“The Women’s Leadership Programme is driven by the fact that women’s equality and empowerment is good politics, good economics, good for social inclusion and an important way of ensuring peaceful and just societies”.
Nikhil Seth, UN Assistant Secretary-General and UNITAR Executive Director
UNITAR’s new Women’s Leadership Programme is working with UN Women and across the UN System, with the mandate to build skills, knowledge and capacities of government officials accredited to the United Nations and its entities.
Following UN Women’s Step it Up for Gender Equality call for Planet 50:50 by 2030 as well as the adoption of the Agenda 2030 with Sustainable Development Goal 5, the Women’s Leadership Programme seeks to address the gender imbalance that exists on delegations to multilateral conferences under the United Nations and will seek to promote gender equality and women’s full and effective participation and leadership at all levels of political life.
Between 2016-2017, the programme aims to deliver training and awareness-raising activities to over 500 government officials, to build skills in leadership, negotiation, chairmanship and effective communication.
Promoting women’s participation in governments and in decision-making fora is called for under many United Nations decisions. Having more women on delegations may facilitate new ways of reaching consensus and may inform more gender-responsive policy, whether in the field of human rights, peace and security, disarmament, environment, development or otherwise.
The Programme’s Activities
Since its launch in May 2015, the programme has held three Geneva workshops for the female delegates to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Congress, the Radiocommunication Assembly/World Radiocommunication Conference, as well as an open workshop to women from Geneva’s International community and one in New York for the female delegates to the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development.
“Tania has been an outstanding facilitator. Connecting with us, adapting content, reacting, having impact. ” - Geneva open workshop participant
“I have always been determined and focused but I have learnt to seek support whenever needed. There is no super woman.” - WMO Delegate
“A greater presence of women in negotiations is vital and will help promote the development of radiocommunication” - ITU Delegate
Working with partners, the Programme also facilitates regular awareness-raising and networking events. To date, such events have included the High Panel Discussion that launched the Programme in Geneva in May 2015, and a networking reception for Women’s Leadership in Climate Diplomacy held in Bonn, Germany alongside the UNFCCC SBI 42/SBSTA 42/ADP2-9 sessions. This event was organised in partnership with the UNFCCC Secretariat and the Women’s Environmental and Development Organization (WEDO).
Through these activities the programme has reached more than 200 participants, coming from over 60 countries.
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