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The Commonwealth

The Commonwealth is an association of sovereign nations that support each other and work together towards international goals.The association does not have a written constitution, but it does have a series of agreements setting out its beliefs and objectives.

These Declarations or Statements were issued at various Commonwealth Heads of Government Meetings. The first, fundamental statement of core beliefs is the Declaration of Commonwealth Principles which was issued at the 1971 summit in Singapore. Among other things, it stresses the need to foster international peace and security; democracy; liberty of the individual and equal rights for all; the importance of eradicating poverty, ignorance and disease; and it opposes all forms of racial discrimination.

Read The Commonwealth's Plan of Action for Gender Equality 2005-2015 here


Gender Objectives in the Commonwealth 

  • Integrating gender into all policies, programmes and practices of member governments and the Commonwealth Secretariat in order to achieve sustainable development, human rights, peace, political participation and alleviation of poverty for women and men;
  • Influencing policies and processes that can ensure a better distribution of benefits and resources for women and men in all social, economic and political spheres;
  • Ensuring that women benefit from development and have equal access to training, education, information, health and employment opportunities;
  • Developing and implementing innovative pilot projects, ‘how to’ manuals and tools to support gender mainstreaming; and
  • Acting as a knowledge-based network for the sharing of ideas, best practices and experiences among member states.

Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting - CHOGM

Every two years, Commonwealth leaders meet for a few days to discuss global and Commonwealth issues, and to agree collective policies and initiatives. These summits provide a unique forum for consultation at the highest level of government. They are organised by the host nation in collaboration with the Commonwealth Secretariat. At their 2007 summit in Kampala, Uganda, Heads of Government reaffirmed their decision to meet in Trinidad and Tobago in 2009 at the invitation of the Government of that country.

 Click on here to find out more about CHOGM:

9th Women Affairs Ministers' meeting PDF Print E-mail

The 9th Commonwealth Women’s Affairs Ministers Meeting (WAMM) Partners Forum is the civil society event held prior to the ministerial meeting, and was held this year from 4-5 June in Barbados.  The Partners’ Forum was organised by the Commonwealth Foundation in collaboration with the CPDC (Caribbean Policy Development Centre) and the Government of Barbados, and provided a platform for civil society voices on issues of concern for women.  The theme was ‘Gender Issues in Economic Crisis, Recovery and Beyond: Women as Agents of Transformations’.  


WNC Deputy Director Sue Green attended the Partners’ Forum, and delivered a speech on partnerships and networks for achieving gender equality.  She also sat on the drafting committee for the Partners’ Forum statement.

Read on for more information about the 9WAMM


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