Is the UN done paying lip service to women?

Our second guest contributor is Yamil Anglada, Media Director for Equality Now. In the article below, she suggests how reforming the UNSG selection process could support the nomination of female leadership for the world body. As always, we invite your comments 

In the Washington Post of 16 March, Equality Now’s president, Jessica Neuwirth continued to make the case for nominating women to the post of Secretary-General, offering a sampling of qualified women from Asia and elsewhere who have relevant experience for the job.  Whichever region the next Secretary-General comes from, given the UN’s stated commitment to achieving gender balance at the body and Kofi Annan’s comment on International Women’s Day that, “the world is ready for a woman Secretary-General,” the Security Council should be actively seeking similarly qualified women and encouraging them to put their names forward for consideration rather than waiting for women themselves to declare their candidacy.   

This may mean adopting a pro-active recruitment process, for example through an international search committee, which would seek out qualified candidates including women, instead of simply doing business as usual behind closed doors.

Establishing a transparent and fair mechanism for this and future UNSG elections might well encourage more women to put their candidacy forward and so be a step towards concrete implementation of the commitment made by Member States to achieving gender equality within the UN.

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