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First Woman to Head IPU Promises to Advance Women Legislators Worldwide

Najma Heptualla was elected the first woman president of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, an organization of legislators from around the world. Bringing much experience from Indian and international politics, Heptualla is currently the deputy head of the upper house of India’s parliament.

Heptualla promised to use her new position to advance the role of women legislators worldwide, saying that they should be treated as “equal partners and actors in democracy.”

A report issued during the conference pointed to slow progress since the landmark 1995 Beijing Declaration pledged an increasing role for women in the world’s governments. Women still only hold 13% of Parliamentary seats worldwide.

Sources:

AP - October 15, 1999