Women parliamentarians at different events of the 63rd Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference (CPC) demanded to ensure 30 percent participation of women in parliament aiming to empower womenfolk in all spheres of society.
"At the conference, steering Committee of Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians made recommendations including enhancing political participation of women for boosting socio-economic development in the country," Advocate Fazilatun Nesa Bappi told a press conference at the Hotel Radission here today.
She said, "Although 50 percent women make up the total population, there is no women representation in 12 countries out of 53 Commonwealth member states. Gender equality in politics is crucial to democracy as well as economic development."
Bappi said CPA conference could be an excellent platform to ensure gender sensitive parliament through enhancing political participation of women actively.
Bangladesh has set an example in the field of women empowerment, she said adding parliamentarians of CPA member countries visited Jatiya Mohila Sangstha to see the success stories of women empowerment in Bangladesh and other initiatives of women empowerment and their rights.
The global average of women in national parliament is 23.3 percent, up from 22.6 percent a year ago. At this pace it would take another 50 years to reach gender parity in parliament.
A member of Bangladesh Parliament said Bangladesh has made a good progress in participation of women in politics.
"At present, 20.3 percent women are in the current parliament, indicative of women's active involvement in politics," she added. She said alongside significant representation of women at the Bangladesh Parliament, women representation also increased at different local government bodies.
Representatives of over 110 branches, out of 180, are taking part in the conference, Jatiya Sangsad (JS) Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury said at a press conference held on Friday.
She said, "We are hoping a large number of delegates will arrive today to attend the programme." About women participation in politics, Dr Shirin said, "Gender equality in politics is crucial to democracy and to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Empowerment of women and enhancing women participation should be discussed at the CPA and other parliamentary associations including IPU to ensure gender equality of women."
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, also Vice-Patron of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), will open the 63rd CPA Conference officially tomorrow at the South Plaza of the Jatiya Sangsad.
The 63rd Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference (CPC), one of the largest annual gatherings of the CPA, already began here on November 1 at Radisson Blu hotel in the capital city.
The main theme of this year's conference is 'Continuing to enhance the high standards of performance of Parliamentarians,' while the theme of the CPA is 'Democracy, Diversity and Development'.
Earlier, President and Chairperson of the CPA and Speaker of the Bangladesh Jatiya Sangsad Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury said this year's CPA conference would elect its new chairperson for a three-year term.
"Out of 52 countries in the CPA, representatives of 44 countries arrived to attend the event. The guests continued to arrive until today (November 4), so we are expecting a large number of delegates."