The Honourable Shirley M. Osborne, Speaker of the House of Assembly of Montserrat was elected to the position of Vice-Chairperson at the meeting of the Association’s International Executive Committee held in London, England on October 5th in the context of the 61st General Assembly of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA).
Ms. Osborne succeeds Hon. Datuk Ronald Kiandee, Member of the Parliament of Malaysia. She has been the Speaker of the Montserrat Legislative Assembly for less than one year, having taken up office in January of 2015.
At the Association’s London General Assembly, Ms. Osborne also commenced her three-year term as the Regional Representative of the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP).
The CWP was formed within the CPA to, among other things, respond to the need to increase women’s representation in political institutions and work towards the mainstreaming of gender considerations in all CPA activities and programmes.
Ms. Osborne holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Simmons College, Boston Massachusetts, a college with a deeply-cherished history of visionary thinking, social responsibility, and commitment to the advancement and empowerment of women. She believes passionately in the power of women to affect lives, improve communities and change the world, and much of her work is focused on women’s social, political and economic advancement, and on the normalisation of women’s leadership in public sector decision-making and development policy.
The CPA, one of the oldest established organisations in the Commonwealth, is an association of 180 branches from 53 countries, grouped into nine regions. Its International Executive Committee is made up of representatives of these nine regions – Africa; Asia; Australia; British Islands and Mediterranean; Canada; Caribbean, Americas and Atlantic; India; Pacific; South-East Asia.
Founded in 1911, the CPA brings together Members, irrespective of gender, race, religion or culture, who are united by community of interest, respect for the rule of law and individual rights and freedoms, and by the pursuit of the positive ideals of parliamentary democracy.