The Patriarchy Holding Women’s Rights Hostage at the UN, Women Claim

You got a dog in this fight, UN?

The Guardian:

Women’s rights have been “taken hostage” at the UN, and hard-fought gains are being eroded around the world, a group of former UN leaders has warned.

The group has called for the urgent implementation of a rule to put a woman at the helm of the general assembly every other year, to combat a growing hostility to gender equality. It comes after the UN secretary general, António Guterres, pointed out at the UN’s 78th general assembly, in New York last month, that it remained an almost all-male event. “Just four women signed our founding document,” he said. “One look around this room shows not enough has changed. ‘We the people’ does not mean ‘we the men’.”

GWL Voices – an advocacy group set up by Irina Bokova, a former director general of Unesco, Helen Clark, the former prime minister of New Zealand, and Susana Malcorra, who was a chief of staff to Ban Ki-moon as UN secretary general – is also insistent that the UN must elect its first female secretary general at the next vote in 2026. Of the 78 presidents elected since 1946, four have been women; there has never been a woman UN secretary general.

The movement hopes to use the momentum of the session to push for change, arguing that the lack of gender equality at the heart of the organisation is having a chilling effect on progress for women and girls around the world.

By the way, I’m still pronouncing it “the un.” Not because that joke was in that movie Idiocracy, but because I thought it was funny on my own independently of that movie.

Irina Bokova, Helen Clark, and Susana Malcorra