Senedd Women’s Caucus launched to advance gender equality in Welsh politics
A new cross-party group made up of all the women members of the Senedd launches today (Wednesday 7 June).
The Senedd Women’s Caucus’s says its mission is to promote and support wider participation in politics and will support policies, laws, and initiatives that advance gender equality in the Senedd and in wider society.
Senator Fiona O’Loughlin, Member of the Seanad Eireann and Chair of the Irish Women’s Caucus in the Oireachtas, will deliver a keynote speech at the launch of the Caucus this evening.
Benefitting from the experience of the Irish Women’s Parliamentary Caucus, the event will explore the role of parliaments in driving gender equality in society, experiences of women parliamentarians, and how women citizens engage with the work of parliaments.
Women’s caucuses worldwide have contributed towards advances in the rights of women, and the Members of the Senedd are eager to learn from others, Rt Hon Elin Jones MS, Llywydd of the Senedd said.
“The Women’s Caucus is an important development designed to promote and support women’s participation in politics, and shine a light on current barriers within our parliamentary system.
“Twenty years since the then National Assembly became the first gender equal legislature in the world, we know that there is still much work to be done to ensure a fully equal and inclusive Wales.
“Internationally, women’s caucuses have contributed towards legislation to advance the rights of women and created new spaces for women’s voices to be heard in political debates.
“We are therefore eager to learn from other caucuses worldwide and it gives me great pleasure to welcome Senator Fiona O’Loughlin, Chair of the Irish Women’s Caucus in the Oireachtas, to share her experiences and expertise with the Senedd today.”
Joyce Watson MS, Chair of the Senedd Women’s Caucus added: “I am delighted to be chairing the Senedd Women’s Caucus”.
“The caucus presents an opportunity to bring together women parliamentarians across party lines to provide peer support and advance gender equality.
“Regardless of gender, class, ethnicity, or disability, everyone in Wales should feel empowered to engage with politics at all levels and over the next few years the Senedd Women’s Caucus will be working hard to make this a reality.”
Senator Fiona O’Loughlin, Chair of the Irish Women’s Caucus in the Oireachtas, said: “I am pleased to speak at the launch of the Senedd’s Women’s Caucus. The Senedd is a modern, inclusive and innovative national parliament and this Caucus will provide an additional focus for promoting equality within political structures.
“It is a privilege to be able to provide an international context and speak about the Irish experience and the power and potential of parliamentary women’s caucuses”.
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