Kenya is set to host the 12th Commonwealth Women Affairs Ministers’ Meeting (12th WAMM). The meeting will be held in Nairobi from 16th to 20th September 2019 under the theme; From Commitment to Action: Accelerating Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment for Sustainable Development.

We appreciate the honour bestowed upon our country to host this significant event that provides a platform for building synergy around critical issues on women’s empowerment and gender equality in the Commonwealth and in the world. This will be achieved by focusing on priority areas which include:   Affordable and quality health care; Women in leadership; Women’s economic empowerment, ending violence against women and girls as well as Gender and climate change.

The 12WAMM takes place at an opportune time given that a range of other major international platforms on gender equality and sustainable development are scheduled to take place These include the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Platform for Action in 2020, the 25th anniversary of the International Convention on Population and Development taking place in Nairobi (November 2019); 2020 also marks the five-year anniversary of the Agenda for Sustainable Development and twenty years of the United Nations Security Council  Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security.

It is therefore my conviction that the 12th WAMM presents an excellent opportunity for the Commonwealth Ministers and delegates to explore the ways in which these processes will converge to streamline reporting and coordination of implementation.

Distinguished delegates will further strategize on emerging gender issues by examining critical areas which still require further attention, share experiences and lessons and forge common positions for accelerating gender equality and empowerment of women and girls.

The meeting is expected to devote considerable attention to how the Commonwealth countries can contribute towards achieving the global agenda-setting processes as well as share innovative approaches that empower women and accelerate achievements of gender equality.

As host of this important meeting, I extend this special invitation to the Commonwealth global community particularly Commonwealth Women Affairs Ministers; Civil Society Organizations, Development Partner Agencies and the Private Sector for their contribution towards the realization of gender equality and women’s empowerment.

I invite you to seize the opportunity; share ideas and perspectives, build knowledge, networks and innovations and recommend long-term strategies that can accelerate progress towards gender equality and women empowerment endeavours.