Gender equality is not only a democratic right, but a necessary pre-condition for sustainable development. Unless women and men have equal opportunities, capacities and voices, gender equality will not be achieved. Parliamentarians have a responsibility to address gender inequalities wherever they find them, whether among the citizens they represent in their constituencies, in a lack of government programs and funding for certain marginalized groups, in legislation and policies or even within parliament itself.
The Parliamentary Centre can help parliamentarians and parliamentary staff to promote gender equality in society at large by increasing their knowledge and skills to mainstream gender in their work. This includes raising awareness among all MPs, men and women, of the importance of taking gender into account. The Centre can assist parliaments in building their capacity to identify issues or elements of legislation which have a gender impact and to ensure that these elements are addressed in the budget by providing tools for gender responsive budgeting. It can also help build capacity and access to adequate resources for female MPs as to promote increased female representation in key committees and parliament at large.