20111030 CHOGM 2011 Communique - Gender Equality




(Note: Section taken from the complete report)



5. Improving gender equality and the empowerment of women in the Commonwealth by:

Improving gender equality and the empowerment of women in the Commonwealth by


a) supporting national programmes to this effect, including initiatives to eliminate gender-based violence, intensifying efforts to promote women’s decision-making roles at all levels, and continuing to improve advocacy for women’s leadership and the empowerment of women as leaders;

b) implementing international instruments and agreements on women’s rights, including the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the Commonwealth’s Plan of Action for Gender Equality 2005-2015, and the ‘Joint Statement on Advancing Women’s Political Participation’ and UN Security Council Resolutions (UNSCRs) 1325, 1888 and 1889;

c) applauding the work of the Commonwealth Secretariat in promoting the significance of the 2011 Commonwealth Day Theme "Women as Agents of Change" and the centrality of gender equality and the empowerment of women to achieving the MDGs;

d) directing the Commonwealth Secretariat to institutionalise the principles of gender mainstreaming, as enshrined in the Commonwealth Plan of Action; and to provide recommendations to Heads, through the Tenth Commonwealth Women’s Affairs Ministers Meeting (WAMM) on steps that need to be taken to mainstream gender equality across all Commonwealth work; and to make real progress on implementation of the Plan of Action;

e) supporting the call made by Ministers at the Ninth WAMM held in Bridgetown, Barbados in June 2010, for a more effective response from all actors in the global community to the disproportionately negative impact of the current international and national economic crises on women; and

f) giving due consideration to the domestic legislation of member countries, the Commonwealth may address the issue of early and forced marriage, and consider actions to support the rights of women and children and to share its best practices to promote the implementation of measures to tackle early and forced marriage.




30 October 2011