International Day of Women in Diplomacy 24 June

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International Day of Women in Diplomacy 24 June

Women have participated in diplomacy for centuries, yet their contributions have often been overlooked. Representing half of the world’s population, women and girls hold half of its potential. Their leadership styles, expertise, and priorities broaden the scope of issues under consideration and improve the quality of outcomes. Women bring immense benefits to diplomacy, which deserves to be recognized and celebrated.

Research shows that when women serve in cabinets and parliaments, they pass laws and policies that are better for ordinary people, the environment, and social cohesion. Advancing measures to increase women’s participation in peace and political processes is vital to achieving women’s de facto equality in the context of entrenched discrimination. When women are represented in legislative bodies, it enhances governance effectiveness and ensures a wider range of perspectives in decision-making processes. This inclusivity not only reflects the population’s diversity but also leads to better-informed policies that address the needs of all citizens.

However, the unfortunate reality is that violence against women in politics remains a significant issue hindering progress towards gender equality. Such violence violates women’s fundamental human rights and poses a serious threat to their political participation. It creates a hostile environment that deters women from entering politics or voicing their opinions, ultimately undermining their ability to contribute fully to society.

Women have played crucial roles in the United Nations since the drafting and signing of the United Nations Charter in 1945. The UN General Assembly (UNGA) is the world’s largest yearly meeting of world leaders. While the UNGA has been the setting for several historic moments for gender equality, much remains to be achieved regarding women’s representation and participation. In its 77 years, only four women have been elected President of the UN General Assembly.

The 15-member UN Security Council, which holds primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security, currently has slightly over a third of its members as women. This representation, while higher than the average, is still far from sufficient. Inclusive governance can result in policies that create positive change over the long term.

Women, as we know, are realists. They keep their feet on the ground while their eyes are set on far horizons. Global norms and standards play a key role in establishing benchmarks for the international community and for countries to implement.

Historically, diplomacy has been the preserve of men. It is time to recognize and celebrate the ways women are breaking barriers and making a difference in the field of diplomacy. As of 2014, 143 countries guaranteed equality between men and women in their constitutions, while 52 countries have yet to make this important commitment. Advocating for increased representation of women in key decision-making positions will significantly shape and implement multilateral agendas.

Between 1992 and 2019, women represented 13% of negotiators, 6% of mediators, and 6% of signatories in peace processes worldwide. Gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls will make a crucial contribution to progress across all the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and targets. The systematic mainstreaming of a gender perspective in implementing the 2030 Agenda is crucial, especially since SDG 5 calls for women’s equal participation in decision-making.

At the UNGA’s 76th Session, the General Assembly declared 24 June each year as the International Day of Women in Diplomacy by consensus. By the resolution (A/RES/76/269), the Assembly invited all Member States, United Nations organizations, non-governmental groups, academic institutions, and associations of women diplomats to observe the Day in a manner they consider most appropriate, including through education and public awareness-raising.

Today, on International Day of Women in Diplomacy, we recognize the achievements of women in diplomacy, advocate for their increased representation, and renew our commitment to gender equality. Women’s contributions to diplomacy are vital for building a more inclusive, fair, and peaceful world.

 

 

 

 

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