International Congress of Parliamentary Women’s Caucuses: Ireland 2018

International Congress of Parliamentary Women’s Caucuses: Ireland 2018

>>For me it’s just a general
congratulations to Ireland in their 100th year of suffrage and their wanting to be
leading in this area and inviting us to Dublin. It was my first time there.
>>Same here.>>And the hospitality was amazing.
>>There was just under 50 countries that were represented at this Congress and I think it was the stories that they told us
around the issues that they were facing. So what I also noted was that whilst New
Zealand was ahead of some of the countries and some of the areas around
policies to do with woman, we were just slightly behind, so I think that
there was a lot of learning for everybody in the room. And I was really
proud that New Zealand was put on a pedestal at this conference because
we were the first country to give women the vote.>>I think the learnings for me
were really about global collaboration and I think a global focusing commitment
to ensuring that every Parliament in the world is represented by women.
I think sexual and reproductive health rights, violence, continue to be issues
that women are particularly passionate about, so it was good for us to come
together to hear our experiences because what we heard was one of the
parliamentarians from Malawi who had stood up and advocated for sexual and
reproductive health rights was shot at. She literally put her life on the line
in advocating in her country for sexual and reproductive health rights. So
sharing those stories in the bravery of some of the woman around the world will
remain with us and we have a resolve to make sure that this Parliament
is more reflective of women.>>The area around herstory – there was a big
emphasis on herstory and I don’t think in New Zealand we really emphasize that
much, and I think that as woman we really need to start telling our stories
through the herstory programme. And I would love to bring that back, and
maybe if we were able to and Mr Speaker agrees to helping us to
host the next global women’s conference, perhaps we would be able to
launch something like that for New Zealand.>>The main output or outcome that we as
women caucuses representing our parliaments have committed to is the
Dublin Declaration that essentially reinforces how valuable woman caucuses
are, and I think underlying that is the assumption that every Parliament in the
world will have women, and have women sitting across the Parliament who then
come together to work on issues. And I think the aspiration for every
Parliament to have woman caucuses by 2020 is an ambitious one, but they were
quite bold in saying, ‘Well, we need to commit to it.’ And I guess if you have
like-minded countries all coming together… … and so there are a few more
challenges for us to meet now.

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