South Africa’s Parliamentary delegation to the Inter Parliamentary Union’s 146th Assembly in Bahrain has called for the appointment of the first-ever female Secretary-General of the United Nations.
The recommendation by the South African delegation was made to the Standing Committee on United Nations affairs at the Assembly.
House Chairperson for Committees, Oversight and ICT in the National Assembly, Cedric Frolick, said despite the UN’s commitment to women’s rights, actual transformation has been slow.
“The General Assembly of the UN has been pioneering women’s rights as human rights since 1948 through the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that recognises… all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
“75 years after the adoption of this milestone document, only four women have been elected as Assembly presidents and the male-female ratio for the Secretary General stands at nine to zero.
“In September 2022 when the UN’s High-Level meeting of world leaders concluded, among the 190 speakers, there were only 23 women,” Frolick pointed out.
The Parliamentary delegation reported that Frolick also told the committee as to how much gender parity is imperative in leadership positions.
Research has proven, Frolick highlighted, that the majority of countries with female leadership are making a difference at the national level, as they focus on laws and policies that foster gender equity and do much better in terms of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“[Frolick] said this is a fact that should motivate parliamentarians and politicians to go back to their countries to campaign for the development of policies to advance gender parity, particularly in their political parties,” Parliament reported.