The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) has launched Parliamentary Workplace Equality & Diversity Networks: Case Studies from the Commonwealth, a new publication that introduces Workplace Equality & Diversity Networks (WEDNs) and offers examples of their use in different Parliaments across the Commonwealth.
WEDNs provide a forum for employees of Parliaments to discuss, consider and promote vital equality rights-related issues. These issues include disability, race, gender, sexuality and age, amongst others. WEDNs can be an effective mechanism for Parliaments to champion a plurality of voices in decision-making within the institution and promote a sense of belonging amongst Parliamentarians and parliamentary staff.
The case study compilation features 13 Commonwealth Parliaments* and showcases how WEDNs are used to encourage diversity and inclusion within these institutions. It also explains how WEDNs, or related initiatives, can be launched in small Parliaments, with case studies from jurisdictions of all sizes. It will be an invaluable tool in supporting Parliaments to develop new, or improving existing, WEDNs.
Blog: WEDNs in the UK Parliament
Irving Anderson, a member of parliamentary staff at the UK Parliament, writes about how the introduction of Workplace Equality Networks has helped to create a diverse and inclusive workplace for all.
Writing in the foreword, Hon. Solomon Tsenoli, Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly of South Africa, stated that,
“It is important that Parliaments are environments that facilitate genuine equality, and ought to be exemplary institutions leading the way towards ever greater diversity and inclusivity. Without appropriate steps taken by Parliaments to resolve disparities in equity amongst Parliamentarians and parliamentary staff, they cannot be considered truly representative.”
The publication was compiled from responses that Commonwealth Parliaments provided to a request for information from the CPA’s Commonwealth Parliamentary Research Service. This service, available to CPA Members and partners, undertakes comparative research on Commonwealth Parliaments and encourages the sharing of best practice.
The case study compilation has been produced in line with the CPA’s commitment to the Commonwealth Charter, particularly Article IV on Tolerance, Respect and Understanding. The publication also goes towards the CPA’s contribution to the pursuit of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 16 on Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions, particularly Indicator 16.7 on ensuring “responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels.
The case study compilation is available to download below. If you are interested in establishing or improving WEDNs in your Parliament, or you have any further questions regarding the publication, please contact Clive Barker, Programmes Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org.
* The full list of featured Parliaments includes: Parliament of Australia, Parliament of Fiji, States Assembly of Jersey, Parliament of Mozambique, Parliament of New South Wales, New Zealand Parliament, Parliament of Pakistan, The Scottish Parliament, Parliament of South Africa, UK Parliament, Parliament of Victoria, Senedd Cymru / Welsh Parliament, Western Cape Provincial Parliament.