Women Leaders Sidelined at Multilateral Organizations, New Study Shows
Women have held just 12% of the top jobs at 33 of the biggest multilateral institutions since 1945, and more than a third of those bodies, including all four large development banks, have never been led by a woman, a new study released on Monday shows.
Five of the bodies have only had a woman president once in their history, and that includes the current head of the World Trade Organization Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, according to the report prepared by GWL Voices for Change and Inclusion, an advocacy group made up of 62 current and former senior women leaders.
The study, to be released during this week’s meeting of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, called for proportional representation of women at every level of multilateral organizations, from field offices to headquarters, as well as in secretariats and governing bodies.
“The truth is that numbers matter,” said Maria Fernanda Espinosa, a former Ecuadorian foreign minister who served as president of the U.N. General Assembly from 2018-2019.