As part of the IPPR’s Democracy Report project we’re doing a bunch of workshops with MPs focusing specifically on gender issues. We had the first of our four workshops on June 27 2017, which was focused on creating a strong Women’s Caucus.
A caucus is a group of Parliamentarians who come together based on particular issues, interests, or identity. For example, there can be a caucus of members who care about the environment or about healthcare legislation. In the United States, there is a caucus that advocates the interests of African Americans. Similarly in Namibia there is a Women’s Caucus in Parliament, which consists of women from all parties who are interested in advocating for women’s issues.
We had a productive conversation about the challenges and opportunities of a Women’s Caucus, and analysed a recent piece of legislation from a gender perspective to discuss the kinds of impact the Women’s Caucus could have. With the feedback from MPs, we hope to target the next workshop specifically to their needs: the idea is to link MPs with representatives from civil society and other resources to enable them to best represent their constituencies.