The Commonwealth

The Commonwealth is a voluntary association of 53 independent and equal sovereign states (many formerly part of the British Empire). It is home to 2.2 billion citizens, of which over 60% are under the age of 30. The Commonwealth includes some of the world’s largest, smallest, richest and poorest countries, spanning five regions. Thirty-one of its members are small states, many of them island nations. Commonwealth countries are supported by an active network of more than 80 intergovernmental, civil society, cultural and professional organisations.

Commonwealth Charter: http://thecommonwealth.org/sites/default/files/page/documents/CharteroftheCommonwealth.pdf

Member Countries: http://thecommonwealth.org/member-countries






Commonwealth - Gender


Gender is a section in the Office of the Secretary-General at the Commonwealth Secretariat. We work to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment in all social, economic and political spheres.

Commonwealth Gender Equality Policy:


We provide technical assistance to member countries to support skills training and capacity building initiatives, monitoring and evaluation and high level advocacy, research and knowledge generation and lead the way for building consensus on key global gender priorities for the Commonwealth. Our work reflects the highest level of political priority accorded to gender equality by the Commonwealth, and ensures that gender mainstreaming is embedded at all management levels and in all aspects of the Secretariat’s work.


Our work centers on key aspects of human development towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, Post-2015 Sustainable Goals, and global commitments on gender equality and overall empowerment of women.

We lead on gender mainstreaming within the Secretariat and throughout the member states of the Commonwealth.

The Gender Section has three inter-linked functions:


1.    *To implement the Secretariat’s gender work, designed to promote women’s rights and gender equality in Commonwealth countries through advocacy, policy advice, capacity building, and technical assistance.


3.    *To convene triennial meetings of Commonwealth Ministers responsible for Women’s Affairs, annual meetings of Commonwealth Women’s National Machineries and the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting Women’s Forum.


5.    *To lead and coordinate systems and mechanisms for effective gender mainstreaming within the Secretariat, including advice for staff on gender issues and tools development.