Commonwealth Local Government Forum

Celebrating International Women's Day 2023

08 March 2023


We come together across the Commonwealth on 8th March to commemorate International Women's Day 2023. The theme for this year is Innovation and technology for gender equality.

Transformative technology

The aim is to recognise and celebrate the women and girls who are championing the advancement of transformative technology and digital education and addressing the impact of the digital gender gap on increasing economic and social inequalities. To embrace equity and provide women with the support they need to fully contribute their expertise and talents to society.


For local government, this means supporting women to play a part in public life as councillors, practitioners and leaders, with the objective of increasing the number of women politicians to become part of the planning and decision-making processes in our communities.

Key messages from CLGF

At CLGF, we are very proud of the progress that has been achieved within the local government family. This is a key part of our work and aligns to SDG5 and, specifically, target SDG 5.5.1b - Women in Local Government. In recognition of International Women's Day 2023, we have produced a short video featuring key messages from some of the women who are making a difference in the sector.

Experiences of women in local government

To complement this, we conducted a series of short interviews with women who have  broken through the barriers to take up senior roles that make an important difference to their communities and the lives of their citizens. They talk about their experiences: why they entered local government; the main hurdles they faced and the most rewarding experiences; and they offer advice to women wishing to enter local government.


Since the launch of the Commonwealth Women in Local Government (ComWLG) network in 2017, it has grown, both in numbers and outputs, with many ComWLG chapters emerging in individual countries across the Commonwealth.

Digital tools 

CLGF and our members have, for some time, been championing the use of technology by producing a series of digital tools. They seek to help women in their campaigns to become councillors and in their daily lives as public servants. These tools can be downloaded from the ComWLG section on our website.


One such project to produce digital tools was developed in India and is being rolled out via a new project in Bangladesh. Another project is about to commence in Sierra Leone to support women candidates in the upcoming 2023 elections.


The progress made, thus far, is the result of much hard work, tenacity and courage by women who enter challenging environments to ensure that their skills and talents are used to benefit not just women and girls, but the whole community. We also acknowledge the support of many men who contribute to these advancements.

Onwards and upwards


There is still much work to be done to increase the number of women councillors, practitioners and leaders but, working in partnership, we will make gender parity in local government a reality.





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