Why form a Women’s Caucus? Women who are organized into a caucus can serve the same purpose as a “critical mass” of women, even where women do not make up a significant a portion of the legislature.1 Caucuses are able to extend influence over several realms simultaneously:
• They impact the government and political process by helping to shape the agenda and by providing information and advocacy
• They impact the constituency by raising awareness about an issue, by acting as catalyst for communication on certain issues between government and civil society, and by providing information and advocacy
• They act as a watchdog for certain issues by ensuring that concerned individuals and groups are aware when relevant legislation is up for review • Members of caucuses often become the spokespeople for their issues, thereby streamlining information and raising awareness.