New Women’s Forum launched in Malta

Women's forum

A brand new Women’s Forum was launched in the run up to November’s Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Malta.

The Forum, which aimed to raise awareness of women’s issues in Commonwealth countries and show how women’s contributions can have a positive impact politically, economically and socially, took place from 22-24 November at the Intercontinental Hotel in St Julians.

Lakshmi Puri, Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations and Deputy Executive Director of UN Women, was one of the main speakers at the Forum.

Sarah Kitakule, from the Gender and Economic Empowerment Section at the Commonwealth Secretariat, said: “The Commonwealth must summon both the political and financial will to honour and sustain its commitment to deliver real progress on improving the lives of women and girls. By holding the Women’s Forum we hope to influence real change for all women, men, girls and boys across the Commonwealth.”

The Women’s Forum joins the more established Business, People’s and Youth Forums, which run alongside the biennial CHOGM. The theme of the Women’s Forum was ‘Women Ahead be all that you can be’. The Youth Forum’s theme was ‘Adding Global Value… # WHAT NEXT?’, the People’s Forum was ‘What Makes Societies Resilient?’ and the  Business Forum’s theme was ‘Adding Global Value – Creating a More Prosperous Commonwealth’.

CHOGM will take place from 27-29 November with the theme ‘Adding Global Value’.

Speaking ahead of the event, Malta’s Foreign Minister George W. Vella said: “The first thing Malta wants to bring to the table during CHOGM 2015 is a sense of pride of belonging to this august organisation. We want to instill a conviction that by working together as a family of 53 nations we can achieve much.”

He went on to say that the Women’s Forum was instigated at Malta’s suggestion, adding: “We wanted CHOGM to be better informed of the potential lying within its citizens.”

Malta, one of just three European countries in the Commonwealth, is hosting CHOGM for the second time, having welcomed heads of government previously in 2005.

Malta’s Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said: “On behalf of the Maltese government and our people, I would like to express how truly honoured we are to be hosting the 2015 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, a meeting which will undoubtedly tackle a number of key issues, while focusing on the Commonwealth’s global value.”


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