BRICS Women MPs meet to discuss SDGs and women’s involvement in the development process

AGORA moderator's picture

A two-day conference of the BRICS Women Parliamentarians’ Forum ended here on Sunday with a call for women’s involvement in the development process for ensuring inclusive growth.

Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said the governments should strengthen innovative partnerships with civil society groups to assess effectiveness of their development initiatives.

Conflicting views too

While discussing the strategic partnership among the BRICS countries, the delegates stressed the need for greater role of their respective countries in the global bodies and strategies for combating global terrorism.

Some conflicting views emerged in the plenary session on “Perspectives on implementation of sustainable development goals (SDGs)”.

When Wen Ma, head of the Chinese delegation and member of standing committee of National People’s Congress of China, called for her country’s bigger role in international affairs, proportionate to its “clout”, the Indian side retorted by affirming that New Delhi too had enough clout and it deserved membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).

China has been opposing India’s membership in the elite 48-nation NSG, leading to strained relationship between the two countries.

Even as the delegates from other countries stayed back to get a taste of Rajasthani hospitality, the Chinese delegation left for Delhi immediately after the valedictory session.

According to official sources, the Chinese delegates, including Ms. Wen Ma and Lu Sai Xia, were scheduled to fly from Delhi to Guangzhou in China late on Sunday night.

In her concluding remarks, Ms. Mahajan said the active involvement of women parliamentarians would result in a greater responsiveness towards citizens’ needs and lead to “greater harmony, meaningful development and inclusive growth.”

The Lok Sabha Speaker laid emphasis on inclusiveness in development to make it sustainable and effective and said the role of legislations to achieve sustainable development was equally significant. “Development must be inclusive if it is to be equitable, sustainable and effective,” she said.

Referring to SDGs, Ms. Mahajan said that as lawmakers, it was the responsibility of women parliamentarians to oversee and monitor the implementation strategies and mechanisms of the targets put in place by their respective governments.

She called upon the delegates to learn from best practices in the BRICS member-countries to deal with the effects of climate change and to promote women’s welfare. She cited the initiatives and action plans taken up in Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa for fostering an environment favourable for women’s growth.

In her valedictory address, Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje said the BRICS could play a catalytic role in forging partnership among women lawmakers for mainstreaming SDGs. All member-countries of the BRICS had large populations, making it imperative that the development processes were sustainable, she said.

A Jaipur Declaration adopted on the conclusion of the conference stated the pledge of women parliamentarians to work together in the fields of economic growth, social inclusion and environment protection by intensifying mutual cooperation and strengthening strategic partnerships.