Over a thousand delegates from the 178-member Parliaments of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) are meeting in Kigali, Rwanda for the 145th Assembly.
The 145th IPU Assembly is hosted by the Parliament of Rwanda and on Tuesday, 11 October, the Assembly was opened by the President of Rwanda, His Excellency Paul Kagame.
The IPU Assembly provides an opportunity for the global community of national Parliaments to come together to strengthen Parliamentary efforts to drive change and address global issues.
During the 145th Assembly and related meetings, Parliamentarians will debate and deliberate their views with the goal of reaching agreements and consensus on legal frameworks, policies and actions encompassing the theme.
The Fijian Parliament is being represented by His Excellency, the Honourable Speaker Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, Deputy Speaker Hon. Veena Bhatnagar and Hon. Mikaele Leawere.
After the opening ceremony, the Forum for Women Parliamentarians commenced with a panel discussion on Gender-sensitive Parliaments: Parliaments free from sexism, harassment, and violence against women. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the IPU’s Plan of Action for Gender-Sensitive Parliaments which defines a gender-sensitive Parliament as one that responds to the needs and interests of both men and women in its composition, structures, operations, methods and work. A gender-sensitive Parliament allows for women’s full participation and equality between its men and women members and staff.
The Fijian Parliament has already taken steps to develop a gender-sensitive Parliament. These include Standing Order 110(2) that mandates Standing Committees to undertake gender analyses and ensure that whilst undertaking reviews of legislation or oversight of Government ministries and so forth, that they must ensure full consideration of the principle of gender equality so that all matters are considered regarding the impacts and benefits on both men and women equally.
In 2019, the Parliament established the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians Fiji Group (‘CWP Fiji Group’) which is part of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association’s women Parliamentarians’ network. The CWP Fiji Group is made up of all women MPs and is focused on building the capacities of women MPs to fulfill their roles more effectively in Parliament and as leaders in their communities.
The 145th IPU Assembly resumed on Wednesday, 12 October, with the commencement of the Governing Council meeting and other meetings and side events.
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