UN World Leaders Summit Doesn’t Empower Gender – Global Issues

  • by Thalif Deen (United Nation)
  • Associated Press Service

Of the 190 speakers, only 23 were women, “a number that represents about 10% of the leaders participating this year”, according to the UN.

General Assembly President Csaba K. This year’s First General Assembly Platform of Female Leaders”.

But the reaction from human rights activists and civil society organizations (CSOs) has been mostly negative.

Antonia Kirkland, Global Head of Legal Equality at Equality Now told IPS “the number of women leaders speaking at UNGA this year is very worrying given the setbacks in women’s rights in many parts of the world. world, including in the United States, where the United Nations. General Assembly meeting”.

There is a well-documented correlation, between peace and security in general, economic development and women’s rights, that affects everyone, she said.

“The number of female leaders speaking at UNGA is less than half of the already low number of female parliamentarians worldwide (just over 26% according to I PU). “

Kirkland states: “And as civil society finds it increasingly difficult to access the United Nations, women’s rights organizations have less of a chance to hold governments accountable for their legal obligations and commitments to ensure ensure gender equality.

The criticisms come amid lingering complaints about the marginalization of women at the highest levels of the UN since its founding.

The male to female ratio for the Secretary-General is 9 to 0. And the President of the General Assembly (PGA), the highest policy-making body at the UN, is not far behind.

Scores are 73 men and 4 women as PGAs – even if the General Assembly elected another male candidate, as its 77th President and who serves his one-year term beginning September 2022 .

Since 1945, the only four women elected president have been: Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit of India (1953), Angie Brooks of Liberia (1969), Sheikha Haya Rashed Al-Khalifa of Bahrain (2006) and Maria Fernando Espinosa Garces of Ecuador (2018).

Meanwhile, the Women Heads of State and Government met on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) High Level Week to discuss global issues in the region. The UNGA Platform of Women Leaders.

The event, themed “Women Leaders’ Transformational Solutions to Today’s Alignment Challenges”, highlighted the fact that women’s full and effective political participation and decision-making Women are critical to effectively, decisively and comprehensively addressing global priorities, according to UN Women.

In the presence of President Katalin Novák of Hungary, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh, Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir of Iceland, Prime Minister Fiam? Naomi Mata? Afa of Samoa, and Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja of Uganda, as well as Prime Minister Evelyna Wever-Croes of Aruba and Prime Minister Silveria E. Jacobs of St. Maarten, and former Prime Minister Helen Clark of New Zealand, the event was hosted by the Office of the President of the General Assembly and UN Women in collaboration with the Council of Women World Leaders (CWWL).

Purnima Mane, former Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations, told IPS that in June 2022, UNGA adopted a resolution to celebrate International Day Diplomatic Women recognizes the contributions of women. global leaders at all levels of decision-making who work for sustainable development, peace and democracy. “However, we acknowledge that women are underrepresented at most levels of the United Nations, including national and high-level diplomatic missions.”

Although the percentage of political representation of women at senior levels has been increasing in many countries in recent years, especially for women in the head of state, she points out that there is still a way to go. long ahead when only 28 of the 193 member states have Women. heads of state of government.

The low representation of women was evident during the recent UNGA meeting, she said.

Of the 190 speakers, 23 were women, a number representing about 10% of the leaders participating this year – a number that remains “astonishingly low,” said Mane, former President and Director. Pathfinder International executives said

It was important, she said, that many of these few female leaders had “made a punch” in the words of former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark, who moderated the first General Assembly Forum. of the Women Leaders this year.

At this newly launched General Assembly of Women Leaders, the female heads of state from several countries such as Aruba, Bangladesh, Hungary, Iceland, St. Maarten, Samoa and Uganda, addressed the group.

“Without a doubt, this comment by former New Zealand Prime Minister Clark made us pause to think. It is true that some female leaders, like those of Finland and many other Member States, have made the whole world sit up and take notice of their achievements”.

Many countries with female leaders are making a difference at the national level, focusing on gender equality and ensuring laws and policies promote these.

“These countries are also doing better on their development goals and making a difference in their region as a whole, also inspiring women around the world to realize their potential. Imagine what the world would be like if the number of these female leaders increased dramatically, for the benefit of not only their country, but also their region and the world,” she added.

The actions these women leaders have taken speak for themselves – they are pioneers and have delivered much-needed benefits, Ms. Mane said.

“Data is plentiful to show the difference these women leaders are making both nationally and internationally. However, their numbers grow too slowly”.

“While the numbers don’t tell the whole story, they certainly point to the root of the problem, and the world will lose in moving faster towards development and greater equity,” she declared.

Addressing the meeting of women leaders, Sima Bahous, UN Women Executive Director, said: “As more women lead in political and public life, everyone benefits, especially especially in crises”.

A new generation of girls sees a possible future for themselves. Health, education, childcare and violence against women get more attention and better solutions.

“We must find every possible way to amplify the wealth that women leaders bring. This platform is an opportunity to do just that. “

Recent global crises, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, climate and conflict, she said, have shown the positive difference that women leaders and decision-makers can make in different countries. executive, parliamentary and public administration positions.

For example, UNDP – UN Women COVID-19 Global Gender Response Tracker shows that governments with a higher proportion of women’s representation in parliament have adopted a number of more gender-sensitive policy measures in response to COVID-19, including policies aimed directly at increasing women’s economic security.

She pointed out that out of the 193 member states of the United Nations, only 28 women hold elected Heads of State or Government positions.

While much progress has been made in many countries, the global proportion of women in other levels of political office worldwide is still very far away: 21 per centt of the world’s ministers, 26% of national parliamentarians, and 34 percent of the elected seats of local government.

According to a New UN reportAt the current rate of progress, equal representation in parliament will not be achieved until 2062, Mr. Bahous said.

Katrín Jakobsdóttir, Prime Minister of the Republic of Iceland and President of the Council of Women World Leaders, said: “I strongly believe that the world needs more female leaders and more diverse leaders, who people with all circumstances and life experiences”.

“The decisions that leaders make affect everyone in our society. These decisions should be made by people who have a real and profound understanding of how most people live, what their concerns are, and thus meet their needs. “

Report of the United Nations Office IPS

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© Inter Press Service (2022) – All rights reservedOrigin: Inter Press Service

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