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Commonwealth ‘Women in Leadership’ Essay Competition

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Commonwealth logoThe Commonwealth’s 10th Women Affairs Ministerial Meeting (10WAMM) will take place in Bangladesh from 17-19 June 2013. In keeping with the 2013 Commonwealth Theme ‘Opportunity through Enterprise’ the theme for the 10WAMM is Women’s Leadership for Enterprise’.  Whilst the 10WAMM theme reflects the Commonwealth theme, it is also very timely and highlights the topical and critical issue which is the status and engagement of women in the Commonwealth. This theme is meant to engage commonwealth citizens at

It is with this background the Commonwealth Secretariat’s Gender Section is launching a Pan-Commonwealth ‘Women in Leadership’ essay competition with a view to engaging the youth in the discussion.

The competition will allow both male and female youths from the Commonwealth to engage in the debates and present their perspective on the subject. Crucially, it will also create awareness among youth who are future leaders.

Topic: Participants must answer one of the  following questions:

  • How and why should governments encourage women’s leadership?
  • How and why should governments encourage women owned enterprises?

Eligibility: The Commonwealth ‘Women in Leadership’ essay competition is open to all youth in the Commonwealth between the ages of 15 and 29 years. In order to ensure fairness, taking into consideration the varied abilities based on age differences, the competition will be divided into two categories:

  • Category 1: 15 to 17 years
  • Category 2: 18 to 29 years

Criteria for Evaluation: The evaluation will be based on a number of criteria which will guide the quality and standard of work expected for the competition. The essay should:

  • be preferably word processed and must not exceed 1500 words
  • submitted in size 12 Ariel font and in 1.5 line
  • be appropriately referenced and include a bibliography of references (where applicable). Plagiarism will result in disqualification
  • include a fully completed cover page obtainable at www.thecommoonwealth.org/genderessay
  • include a header stating only the candidate’s name and date of birth at the top right hand corner of each page
  • be submitted to genderessay@commonwealth.int on or by post to Commonwealth Women in Leadership Essay Competition, Commonwealth Secretariat, Social Transformation Programmes Division, Gender Section, Marlborough House, Pall Mall, London SW1Y, 5HX on or before the deadline of 8 April 2013.
  • Please keep a copy of your essay after submission. Only essays with a cover page will be considered

Deadline for submission:  8 April 2013 (midnight UK time)

Guidelines for writing essays (15-17): Within the context of gender equality, women empowerment and development,
essays are expected to demonstrate:

  1. creativity, imagination and inventiveness, and use their personal experiences where applicable.
  2. an understanding of the relevant issues;
  3. an appropriate balance between factual detail and personal experience;
  4. critical thinking and original thought which will contribute to current debates;
  5. clear evidence of relevant reading;
  6. a focused and well developed argument response to the question which provides a clear introduction, and leads to an appropriate conclusion.

Guidelines for writing essays (18-29):

  1. evidence of critical thinking and original thought which will contribute to current debates;
  2. a rigorous use and a good understanding of relevant source materials, and achieving an appropriate balance between factual detail and theoretical  issues;
  3. clear evidence of wide and relevant reading and an engagement with the issues;
  4. a good understanding of the factual and/or theoretical issues, and addresses the relevant literature on the topic;
  5. knowledge of key issues and develop a focused argument in response to the question;
  6. a well-structured and well-presented paper which provides a clear introduction, and articulates a well-developed argument leading to an appropriate conclusion.

Prize: The winner will be sponsored to participate in the 10th Women Affairs Ministers Meeting (10WAMM) in Dhaka, Bangladesh, from 17 to 19 June 2013.


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March 20, 2013 |

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