The IPU had a strong presence at the 62nd session of the Commission for Women (CSW). Apart from holding a parliamentary meeting, the IPU also held a series of side events on 14 March 2018.
- “Making it safe for women in politics: Seeking institutional solutions”, co-organized with UN Women and the Permanent Mission of Canada, was on violence against women in politics, a problem that the IPU highlighted in a 2016 publication. Political institutions often have a culture of sexism, making them hostile to the women working there. However, the global #MeToo movement has resulted in several parliaments taking steps to remedy this. The topic pulled in a large crowd: 130 people were packed into the room, and the rest had to be turned away!
- “Gender and youth quotas: Complementary or in competition?”, co-organized with the Mission of Trinidad and Tobago, drew 80 participants. IPU data has shown that parliaments with large numbers of women MPs also tend to have large numbers of young MPs. Youth and gender quotas are often used in tandem. Panellists discussed what could be learned from this practice and how youth quotas could support gender equality in parliament, as well as how young women could be encouraged to work in politics.
- “Advancing gender equality in nationality laws” looked at discriminatory nationality laws that do not allow women the same rights as men: for example, conferring nationality on their children and spouses, as men can. These laws result in violations of the human rights of women. However, some countries have been working on reforming these laws, and the side event shared lessons learned from these reforms.
To get a feel for the events, see our Storify piece.