Three MHKs represented the island during the recent Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) conference in Malta. Sarah Maltby, Daphne Caine and Ann Corlett all attended the event, which was held over three days in March and hosted by the Parliament of Malta in Valletta.

The conference was the 10th one held since its inception, and was attended by delegates from the British Islands and Mediterranean Region (BIMR).

Speaking about the event, Douglas South MHK Sarah Maltby said: ‘The conference provided an “international community experience” for delegates exploring gender-sensitive issues across the Commonwealth. ‘Topics covered crimes against women, lack of women in leadership, the impact of the cost-of-living crisis and cultural and societal inequality and discrimination.

‘At this conference I met many other politicians from across the Commonwealth whom, without this event, I could never have hoped to get in one room at the same time.’ The Minister for Education, Sport and Culture, Daphne Caine, added: ‘I had previously eschewed participating in Commonwealth Women’s Parliamentary conferences as I would like to consider the need is reducing for an all-female group.

‘However, the concept of “building resilient young women” appealed greatly and I was pleased to be selected to take part.

‘The highlight would have to be hearing directly from young women across the British Islands and Mediterranean Region, especially students from Ballakermeen High School making us aware of their concerns over period poverty and school uniform.

‘I found the opportunity to network and discover that there are similar challenges faced by other participants, such as politicians from Guernsey, Wales and Scotland for instance. This was hugely helpful.

‘It also prompted some reflection on the impact of social media and potentially may result in additional training from the CWP on dealing with threats of physical and online abuse.’