At the 146th IPU Assembly in Manama, Bahrain, IPU Members voted in new Presidents of the Bureau of Women Parliamentarians and the Board of the Forum of Young Parliamentarians. Both Presidents were elected for two-year terms. They will also serve as Ex Officio Members of the IPU Executive Committee.
Ms. Cynthia López Castro from Mexico becomes President of the Bureau of Women Parliamentarians succeeding Ms. Lesia Vasylenko from Ukraine.
Ms. López Castro has been a member of the Mexican Chamber of Deputies since 2018 representing Mexico City. In 2017, at the age of 30, she participated in the drafting of a new Constitution for Mexico City. She was also one of the main proponents of the inclusion of a youth quota in the city’s electoral law.
Today, Ms. López Castro’s work in Mexico focuses on ensuring that a minimum of 25% of candidates for public office at the federal level are under 29 years old. Mexico is one of only six countries in the world today to have 50% or more women MPs in parliament’s single or lower house.
Ms. López Castro was also one of the winners of the inaugural Cremer-Passy prize in 2022.
The IPU Forum of Women Parliamentarians was created over 30 years ago as a trailblazing global body with the mandate of correcting the gender imbalance in political representation in national parliaments and within the IPU itself. It fosters democracy through action on parity and ensures a gender perspective in all the IPU’s work.
The Forum also provides a networking and knowledge-sharing platform opportunity for women from around the world. Increasingly, male MPs also contribute to the Forum’s work. The Bureau that organizes the work of the Forum includes women MPs from all regions of the globe as well as all women members of the IPU Executive Committee.
Ms. Castro said: “Women’s leadership is crucial. But gender parity in decision-making is still far off. For that we need to change laws, institutional culture and mindsets. Our Women’s Forum is well placed to drive this change. I look forward to taking part in the change that the IPU is leading to achieve parity across the board.”
Mr. Dan Carden from the United Kingdom was elected as the new President of the Board of the Forum of Young Parliamentarians succeeding Ms. Sahar Albazar from Egypt.
Mr. Carden has been an MP since 2017 representing Liverpool Walton. Mr. Carden served as Shadow Secretary of State for International Development from 2018 to 2020, and Shadow Financial Secretary to the Treasury from April to October 2020. He was reelected to the UK Parliament in 2019. Mr. Carden is also treasurer of the British Group of the IPU.
The IPU Forum of Young Parliamentarians ensures that the youth voice is heard in global political decision-making both through greater participation of young MPs at IPU meetings, and by providing youth perspectives into outcomes. It also works to enhance youth participation in national parliaments.
The adoption of a major IPU resolution in 2010 on boosting youth participation in democracy led to the creation of the Forum in 2013. It meets twice a year during IPU Assemblies.
As President of the Forum, Mr. Carden represents all legislators under the age of 45 from IPU Member Parliaments. He will lead the Board of 12 parliamentarians – one man and one woman from each of the IPU’s six geopolitical groups – to achieve the organization’s aims. Both the Board and the President are elected every two years.
Mr. Carden said: “Today’s young people will inherit the greatest challenges facing our common humanity – poverty and inequality; conflict; climate and ecological breakdown. Their voices are crucial to putting us on the path to a sustainable future and I look forward to using this role to help make sure they are heard on the world stage.”