U.N. President of the General Assembly María Fernanda Espinosa addressed the Commission on Tuesday stating there has been a “serious regression” in women’s political power, pointing at the lack of progress for women in leaderships positions globally.
In response to these obstacles Gabriela Cuevas Barron, The head of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, proposed increased affirmative action by parliaments around the world in order to increase gender parity. Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka also argued at the meeting that women must be “change makers” in order to change the systems made for men by men that currently exist in government.
This lack of progress is attributed to the pushback against female leaders throughout the world. According to the executive director of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, this pushback includes political violence, online abuse as well as verbal abuse, all of which deter female candidates from running as well as harm their ability to win seats.
Recent statistics report that only 6.6 percent of the world’s leaders and 24 percent of lawmakers are women. Last week it was also released that the percentage of elected female world leaders, as well as heads of government, both dropped a percentage in the last year. However, women prime ministers increased significantly, about 2.4 percentage points, reaching a historic high.
Media: Huffington Post 2019; New York Times 2019; UN 2019