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1 November 2012
Next week, parliamentarians representing over 50 countries will gather at Westminster for an international parliamentary conference on gender and politics: ‘Representation of Women in Parliaments, Politics and Public Life.’
Over the course of the conference, taking place in the UK Houses of Parliament, delegate parliamentarians will discuss increasing the rate of progress towards gender-balanced legislatures and make all levels and all areas of political and public life more accessible to women.
DfID Minister Lynne Featherstone MP and Rt Hon. Harriet Harman MP will speak at the Closing Plenary on the global effort to eliminate and prevent violence against women, the focus of 2013’s Commission on the Status of Women.
During the three-day programme, delegates will meet with leading experts in the field of gender equality, from private sector, academia, civil society and political backgrounds. Among others, Siobhan Benita, former independent candidate for London Mayor, Winnie Byanyima, Director of the United Nations Development Programme Gender Team, Jane Martinson, Women’s Editor of the Guardian, and Kate Grussing, Founder and MD of Sapphire Partners, will address delegates.
They will also have the opportunity to meet and share expertise with high-profile parliamentary colleagues from the UK political scene, including:
Lord Speaker Rt Hon. Baroness D’Souza CMG
Public Accounts Committee Chair Rt Hon. Margaret Hodge OBE MP
Kate Green MP, Shadow Minister for Equalities
Mary Macleod MP, Chair of the APPG on Women in Parliament
Rt Hon. Baroness Kinnock, Opposition Spokesperson for International Development
A key focus of discussions will be barriers to participation – cultural, economic, educational, political, personal – that remain pre- and post-election. As well as plenary sessions, delegates will break out into workshops to explore specific approaches to these, such as relations with the media with Polly Toynbee of The Guardian and with civil society with Ceri Goddard, CEO of the Fawcett Society.