24 June – International Day of Women in Diplomacy

Inclusive diplomacy

Women have participated in diplomacy for centuries, yet their contributions have often been overlooked. Women and girls represent half of the world’s population and, therefore, also half of its potential. Women bring immense benefits to diplomacy. Their leadership styles, expertise and priorities broaden the scope of issues under consideration and the quality of outcomes.

Research shows that when women serve in cabinets and parliaments, they pass laws and policies that are better for ordinary people, the environment and social cohesion. Advancing measures to increase women’s participation in peace and political processes is vital to achieving women’s de facto equality in the context of entrenched discrimination.

When women are represented in legislative bodies, it enhances the effectiveness of governance and ensures that a wider range of perspectives and experiences are considered in decision-making processes. This inclusivity not only reflects the diversity of the population but also leads to better-informed policies that address the needs of all citizens.

However, the unfortunate reality is that violence against women in politics remains a significant issue that hinders progress towards gender equality. Such violence not only violates the fundamental human rights of women but also poses a serious threat to their participation in the political process. It creates a hostile environment that deters women from entering politics or voicing their opinions, ultimately undermining their ability to contribute fully to society.

Women have been playing a crucial role in the United Nations since the drafting and signing of the United Nations Charter in 1945.

The UN General Assembly (UNGA) is the world’s largest yearly meeting of world leaders. While the UNGA has been the setting for several historic moments for gender equality, much has yet to be achieved regarding women’s representation and participation. Just four women have been elected President of the UN General Assembly in its 77 years.

The 15-member UN Security Council has primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. While women currently represent slightly over a third of the Security Council’s members — far higher than the average — it is still far from enough. Explore the participation of women at the Security Council.

Inclusive governance can result in policies that create positive change over the long term.

Women and global diplomacy

Women, as we all know, are realists, but they are also realists who, while they keep their feet on the ground, also keep their eyes on far horizons.

Global norms and standards play a key role in establishing benchmarks for the international community to abide by, and for countries to implement.

See how far women have come


Historically, diplomacy has been the preserve of men. It’s time to recognize and celebrate the ways in which women are breaking barriers and making a difference in the field of diplomacy. As of 2014, 143 countries guaranteed equality between men and women in their constitutions; another 52 countries have yet to make this important commitment. Advocating for increased representation of women in key decision-making positions will greatly shape and implement multilateral agendas.

Between 1992 and 2019, women represented 13 per cent of negotiators, 6 per cent of mediators and 6 per cent of signatories in peace processes worldwide. Gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls will also make a crucial contribution to progress across all the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and targets. The systematic mainstreaming of a gender perspective in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda is crucial, especially since SDG 5 calls for women’s equal participation in decision-making.

At the UNGA’s 76th Session, the General Assembly by consensus declared the 24th of June each year to be the International Day of Women in Diplomacy. By the resolution (A/RES/76/269) the Assembly invited all Member States, United Nations organizations, non-governmental groups, academic institutions and associations of women diplomats — where they exist — to observe the Day in a manner that each considers most appropriate, including through education and public awareness-raising.

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