The Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) network has launched its new Anti-Harassment Policy Guidelines to support Parliaments across the Commonwealth in the effort to both address and remove all traces of harassment across parliamentary workplaces. The CWP is a network of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) and these guidelines will be distributed to the CPA’s membership of around 180 Commonwealth Parliaments and Legislatures.
The Anti-Harassment Policy Guidelines define harassment as “unwanted behaviour directed at an individual with the purpose or intent of humiliating, disrespecting, intimidation, hurting or offending them.” They have been designed to support all Parliaments regardless of their experiences to endorse and uphold a zero-tolerance approach to harassment, which could include, but is not limited to, a wide range of unwanted sexual, discriminatory, physical and psychological behaviours or actions.
Drawing from a wide range of anti-harassment policies and procedures from Parliaments in the Commonwealth, these guidelines provide a detailed step-by-step approach that offers insights and case studies on what appropriate methods should be included when developing or updating their respective anti-harassment policies.
The CWP Chairperson, Hon. Shandana Gulzar Khan, MNA (Pakistan) said that “At the 6th Triennial CWP Conference, held in the margins of the 64th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference in Uganda in 2019, the issue of bullying and harassment in the workplace was highlighted as an important issue which needed to be tackled across the Commonwealth and beyond. The devastating consequences of this unacceptable behaviour are far-reaching and as both a visible and representative institution, all Parliaments must show leadership and set an exemplary standard for all by taking a proactive role in having such policies in place.” The CWP Chairperson also said that “both the CPA and the CWP network will continue to work with all 180 Parliaments and Legislatures represented in the CPA’s membership to combat harassment in all its form.”