The Helsinki Policy Forum Women Parliamentarians Network (WPN) met 30th November – 1st December in Turku, Finland. The meeting brought together women parliamentarians and officials from 15 countries across the Gulf-MENA region and Europe.
The focus of discussions was on climate change, building on the recent COP27 discussions. Members of the network shared how their respective countries are trying to reach net zero, exchanging best practices and examples of legislation. Participants emphasised the reality that climate change is having a disproportionate impact on women and explored how this could be addressed in policymaking.
While in Turku the network was hosted the mayor of the city. Turku is on track to achieve carbon neutrality by 2029, the 800th anniversary of the city. Participants learned about how this is being achieved and debated the role of cities in generating ideas and momentum for climate action.
The meeting also engaged with the Finland Futures Research Centre (FFRC), located in Turku – https://www.utu.fi/en/university/turku-school-of-economics/finland-futures-research-centre . The FFRC plays a crucial role in Finland, contributing to the national and international development of the practice of foresight and promoting a sustainable future. Participants learned about the application of foresight and how it can shape sustainable policymaking.
On the 1st of December, discussions shifted to focus on the challenge of online abuse targeting Parliamentarians. The scale of the challenge was recognised, as was the reality that a significant proportion of abuse specifically targets women. Members of the network committed to examine this theme in greater depth in 2023 with the aim of identifying effective mechanisms from around the world that can address the problem.