The Next United Nations Secretary-General: Time for a Woman 1945-2006: 3 Europeans, 2 Africans, 1 Latin American, 1 Asian, 0 Women

  • post Type / Young Humanists International
  • Date / 6 June 2006

IHEYO wrote to the missions of the UN members of the Security Council to urge them to consider recommending a qualified women candidate for the post of the next General Secretary of the UN, now taken by Kofi Annan.

In the sixty years since the United Nations was founded, no woman has ever been elected to serve as Secretary-General, despite the fact that there are many qualified candidates. Women are underrepresented in the ranks of the organization, as well as at the top. As of 30 June 2005, women occupied only 37.1% of professional and higher positions and only 16.2% of the Under-Secretaries General were women. Women’s unequal access to positions of decision-making power around the world hinders progress toward all the United Nations’ goals, including equality, development and peace. 

The election of a new United Nations Secretary-General will take place in 2006, when the term of current Secretary-General Kofi Annan comes to an end. Tradition has it that the post of Secretary-General should rotate so that each geographical region gets its “turn.” Women have never had a “turn,” and there are many qualified women from all regions of the world who could serve as Secretary-General.

Equality Now set up an international campaign for this, in which you can join by writing to the UN: http://www.equalitynow.org/english/actions/action_1102_en.html


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