- Posted by: Valerie Vaz MP
- Category: News
On 14 May 2012, Valerie took part in a round table discussion with a delegation of women Members of the Parliaments of Afghanistan and Pakistan. The meeting was addressed by British Parliamentarians, Baroness Corston who chaired the meeting, Jo Swinson MP and Mary McCleod MP. The meeting was held to support women parliamentarians through access to networks, information, knowledge, research to encourage collaborative work on issues of particular interest and concern to women and children.
“I was pleased to take part in the discussion where women MP’s came together to share experiences and concerns. In the United Kingdom women make up 22.3% of Parliament, in Afghanistan it is 27.7% and 22.5% in Pakistan. The progress made by women of these countries is remarkable.
It was very interesting to hear about their experiences in politics and to discuss the challenges and the future faced by female MP’s. I explained that there are many national and international organisations that exist to make and keep the links with women in different countries. We can help each other and share experiences. “
During the course of the week the Afghan and Pakistan MP’s took part in many discussions including the role of women’s parliamentary groups, governance and justice, gender and development and forced marriage. The women also attended debates in the commons to get an idea of how theBritish Parliament operates.
In the UK the percentage of female MPs in the major parties are as follows:
Labour: 31% ; Conservatives: 16%; Liberal Democrats: 12%; Other: 21%
The delegation was organised by the UK branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association. You can find out more about the CPA by clicking here.