Thank you to iKNOW Politics for hosting this discussion. The topic is one that has received too little consideration, but that seems to be slowly changing. To start, I think there has been too much emphasis on establishing Gender Equality or Equal Opportunity Committees as a means of promoting oversight of a government's actions with regard to the rights of women and girls. I am firm believer that ALL sectoral committees of a parliament have a mandate, inherent in their work, to consider the impact of their work on both men and women equally. This should include the development of work plans and annual legislative agendas that actively identify and encourage inout from civil society and stakeholders who reflect the needs and interests of women.
We have seen in places such as Scotland and Sweden, where the parliament has adopted an overarching policy of gender equality, that this can result in all committees understanding their mandate to include active engagement and outreach to women and women's organizations in order to ensure their perspectives are considered as part of the deliberation of the committees.