The inaugural Commonwealth Women's Forum was held at CHOGM 2015 in Malta, with the ambition of accelerating gender equality and promoting women's rights in the Commonwealth and beyond.
The 2018 Women's Forum will reflect on some of the global challenges still faced by women, as part of a wider commitment to "leave no one behind" in the Commonwealth journey to achieving gender equality by 2030.
The Women's Forum will draw international delegates from the Commonwealth and the rest of the world to highlight women's positive political, economic and societal contributions and establish how women and girls will be key to building sustainable and resilient societies.
The first Commonwealth Women's Forum (CWF) was held in Malta in the lead up to the November 2015 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meetings (CHOGM) as a response to a proposal from the 10th meeting of the Commonwealth Women's Affairs Meeting of 2013.
The purpose of the CWF is to affirm high-level support and direct top-level policies for gender equality and women's rights, for women to be given the opportunity to interact with leaders and for the Commonwealth's commitments to gender equality to be positioned high on the agenda for Heads of Government.
The 2018 CWF will address the theme of "An empowered future for women and girls".
The theme signals a clear message that gender equality, women's rights, and women's empowerment are goals and means towards achieving sustainable development as pursued through the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The programme will include substantive plenary sessions and parallel workshops providing the opportunity for participants to focus on specific areas including:
Women in leadership Women, peace and security Women's economic empowerment Gender parity in education Ending violence against women and girls Eliminating harmful practises
The CWF will also present an opportunity to network with participants from the other three Forums (Business, People's and Youth).
The ambitious agenda of the CWF provides a platform for turning the political aspirations of the Heads of Government into a reality. The Forum will put forward the case that achieving gender equality in all areas, including the economic and productive sectors of the Commonwealth, is a prerequisite for building prosperous societies.