The United Nations & Decision-Making: The Role Of Women
The role of women in decision-making was central to the advancement of women around the world and to the progress of humankind as a whole, Secretary-General Kofi Annan said this morning at the Headquarters’ observance of International Women’s Day, whose theme this year was “Women in decision-making: meeting challenges, creating change”.
Addressing those gathered for the annual celebration, he said that, more than 10 years after the Fourth World Conference on Women (Beijing, 1995), there was still far to go in ensuring that half of the world’s population took up its rightful place in the world’s decision-making. But, the international community was finally beginning to understand that women were every bit as affected as any man, by the challenges facing humanity in the twenty-first century -- in economic and social development, as well as in peace and security. Often, they were more affected. Therefore, it was right and, indeed, necessary that women should be engaged in decision-making in every area, with equal strength and in equal numbers.
Noting recent achievements, he said that, in January, the proportion of women in national parliaments had reached a new global high. And in recent elections and re-elections to the highest positions in Government, women leaders had made a quantum leap by increasing their representation by more than 30 per cent. There were now 11 women Heads of State or Government, in countries on every continent, he said, adding, “I think we should also see a clear message in the overwhelming success of women in presidential elections over the past year; the world is ready for a woman as Secretary-General of the United Nations”.
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