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National Assembly to host Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians Conference

06/04/2017

​​The National Assembly for Wales will host the annualBritish, Islands and Mediterranean Region Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians Conference (BIMR CWP) from 6-7 April in Cardiff.

25 delegates representing parties across the political spectrum will attend from Cyprus, Gibraltar, the Channel Islands, Isle of Man, Malta, Northern Ireland, Scotland and both houses of parliament in London.

The conference is an opportunity to share best practice and experience between legislatures with the objective of working towards better and more inclusive representation in public life.

This year's theme is 'Women in the Economy' and delegates will hear a series of talks on issues including:

  • The role of government in promoting women in the economy;
  • The Diversity of Women in the Economy; and
  • Minding the Gap:  Women in Construction.

There will also be presentations from Cerys Furlong and Natasha Davies from Chwarae Teg; Christine Atkinson, Head of the Women's Entrepreneurship Hub at the University of South Wales; Sophie and Hannah Pycroft from Spectrum Collections; and Jo Roberts, owner of Fabulous Welshcakes.

Chair of the BIMR CWP, Joyce Watson AM, said:

"I am very much looking forward to welcoming our guests from the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians to the National Assembly this year.

"This conference is a timely opportunity to explore how women can play a full and equal role in our respective and collective economies, now and in the future, and how policy-makers can support women to achieve and prosper.

"Across the British Islands and Mediterranean Region we are making progress – but equality remains patchy. Women disproportionately work in low paid and part-time roles and are notably absent from certain sectors, like engineering and manufacturing, and leadership positions generally throughout the labour market.

"At the same time, traditional gendered roles – women as 'primary carers' and alike – continue to influence and disrupt women's professional decisions, opportunities and progress.

"The financial cost of this underrepresentation is huge (a recent report calculated that closing the gender gap could add £150 billion to the UK economy by 2025), as is the correlative impact on society.    

"So as we come together in Cardiff, the aim is to collaborate, challenge and inspire change – to identify the barriers preventing women from fulfilling their potential, spot gaps in policy and strategy and share best practice."

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