Shandana Gulzar Khan, a Member of the National Assembly of Pakistan has been elected Chairperson of the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP).
Gulzar Khan polled 48 votes against 34 for Tara Rivers of the Cayman Islands.
The election was held on 24 September 2019 during the 27th CWP Business Meeting at the 64th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference at Speke Resort Munyonyo in Uganda.
In campaign speech, Gulzar Khan pledged to continue working with CWP in promoting trade and development in Pakistan.
“I looked at the six pillars of the strategic plan and agree with the establishment of women caucuses. Part of what we want to do is to ensure cohesion. Unless we have cohesion within the CWP, I do not see women’s economic growth going very far,” she said.
Shandana is a legal professional with extensive experience in international trade and economic law advocacy. She was the first female negotiator to the World Trade Organisation, with 22 years of experience in trade.
“I want to show off a little bit and I am proud to say that I was the first girl to go to school in my village. Thanks to my father, who put his foot down and made sure I went to school and now all every girl in my village who can afford goes to school,” Gulzar Khan added.
She pledged to work with men in the campaign to achieve women economic empowerment.
Gulzar Khan said her experience with the war and terror in Pakistan, puts her at a vantage point to lobby for women economic empowerment.
Gulzar Khan who will serve a three-year term, (2019-2022) applauded her predecessor, Dr. Dato’ Noraini Ahmad who is the MP for the Federal Parliament of Malaysia. Noriani was elected during the 62nd CPC in 2016 in London.
The previous CWP Chairpersons include; Rebecca Kadaga (Uganda), Alix Boyd Knights (Dominica) and Kashmala Tariq (Pakistan), as well as Lindiwe Maseka (South Africa).