The IPU held a capacity-building workshop for staff of the Kenyan Parliament on mainstreaming gender into parliamentary work. The workshop, co-organized with the Parliament of Kenya on 19-23 June in Nairobi, was a follow-up of a self-assessment exercise conducted in 2016 on the Parliament's gender-sensitivity. One of the recommendations from the self-assessment was to ensure that staff have strengthened capacities and tools to mainstream gender into parliamentary work.
News in brief
Five years ago, the IPU’s Plan of Action for Gender-Sensitive Parliaments was adopted by the 127th IPU Assembly in Quebec. Since then, the IPU has been helping parliaments become more gender sensitive and has developed a self-assessment toolkit to help them examine their strengths and challenges in embodying gender equality and delivering on it. The five-year anniversary provides an opportunity to reinvigorate the strategy and take stock of lessons learned from gender assessments of parliaments. To this end, the IPU organized an Expert Group Meeting, which brought together researchers, experts and practitioners involved in parliamentary gender assessments or audits. The meeting took place at IPU headquarters in Geneva on 11-12 June.
The IPU was actively involved in the 35th session of the Human Rights Council, which was held in Geneva from 6 to 23 June 2017. We organized three side events and made two contributions, one oral and one written. On 23 June 2017, the Council adopted a resolution supporting stronger cooperation with parliaments.
Dealing with gender inequalities in the economy and family; improving the health of women and girls; and encouraging bills by private members to tackle sexual offences and amend discriminatory legislation: these were some of the priorities identified during a seminar on Uganda’s implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). The focus of the seminar—organized by the Parliament of Uganda and the IPU and held from 14 to 15 June—was parliament’s role in the implementation of CEDAW.
Preventing violence against women and girls (VAWG) requires more than adopting laws—they need to be effectively implemented. Parliamentarians, NGOs and legal officers met to discuss the issue at a regional conference for Eastern and Central Europe on Making Laws Work to End Violence against Women and Girls. The conference, held from 12 to 14 June, was co-organized by the IPU, Vital Voices, Global Rights for Women and the Romanian Chamber of Deputies, with the support of the Senate of Romania.
The IPU condemns in the strongest terms the recent attack on US Congressman Steve Scalise and three other individuals, including a congressional staff member. Our thoughts are with the victims and their families as they struggle to deal with the tragic consequences.
Vital to our survival and providing livelihoods for millions of people, the Ocean is severely threatened by climate change, pollution and unsustainable practices. The United Nations held a five-day conference on the Ocean from 5-9 June to begin to address these issues and, at the end of the Conference, Member States adopted a Call to Action to protect the ocean. In February, the IPU and the United Nations held an Annual Parliamentary Hearing that focused on the ocean. The hearing provided a parliamentary component to the preparatory process for the conference; several of its recommendations were included in the Call to Action.
IPU President Saber Chowdhury is the proud recipient of this year’s World No Tobacco Day award. The award, given by the World Health Organization (WHO), recognizes Mr. Chowdhury's contribution to tobacco control at the local, national, regional and international levels.
As part of our work on health and development, the IPU participated in the World Health Assembly (WHA). On 24 May, IPU Secretary General Martin Chungong addressed the WHA plenary debate for the second consecutive year. on 29 May, the IPU—with Austria, Bangladesh, Cameroon, the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH), and the WHO—organized a parliamentary side event at the WHA.
Every year, we hold an information seminar for senior parliamentary staff who serve as Secretaries of IPU Groups within Member Parliaments or are otherwise actively engaged in inter-parliamentary work.