Women in Global Diplomacy | Youth Diplomacy Forum

Since the creation and adoption of the United Nations Charter in 1945, women have played a significant role in world administration. Half of the world’s population is made up of women and girls, who also hold half of the world’s potential. The contribution of women to diplomacy is enormous. Their priorities, leadership styles, and areas of expertise increase the range of issues being thought about and improve the caliber of results.

Women in Diplomacy

According to research, women in parliaments and cabinets tend to pass better laws and policies for the general public, the environment, and social cohesion. In the face of pervasive prejudice, it is imperative to advance policies that will boost women’s participation in political and peace processes.

Women Presidents of the UNGA:

The UN General Assembly is the biggest gathering of world leaders each year. Even though the UNGA has hosted a number of pivotal moments for gender equality, there is still much to be done to increase women’s involvement and representation. In the 77-year history of the UN General Assembly, only four women have been elected as its president.

The maintenance of global peace and security is primarily the duty of the 15-member UN Security Council. Even though women currently make up somewhat more than one-third of Security Council members, far more than the average, it is still far from sufficient. Look into the presence of women in the Security Council.

Diplomacy has traditionally been a man’s domain. Although women have long been important players in diplomacy, their contributions are frequently underappreciated. It’s time to acknowledge and applaud the ways in which women are dismantling stereotypes and influencing the world of diplomacy.

In their constitutions, 143 nations as of 2014 guaranteed equality between men and women; 52 others have not yet taken this significant step. Promoting more women in positions of authority will significantly influence and carry out global objectives.

Women made for 13% of negotiators, 6% of mediators, and 6% of signatories in international peace processes between 1992 and 2019. Progress towards all of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and targets will be greatly aided by gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.

It is essential to consistently incorporate a gender perspective into the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, particularly in light of SDG 5’s call for women to participate equally 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.

International Affairs

  • There are 31 countries where 34 women serve as Heads of State and/or Government as of January 2023.
  • Two of the five peace processes managed or co-directed by the United Nations in 2021 were mediated by women, and all five involved consultation with civil society and gender expertise.
  • The Security Council’s first official meeting focused on retaliation against female participants in peace and security procedures in 2022.
  • Women continue to be significantly underrepresented in numerous sectors relating to weapons, particularly technical arms control, in multilateral disarmament forums, with only 13% of ministers of defense worldwide being female.
  • Countries where there are more women in legislative and executive branches of government have less defense spending and more social spending.

Women in Diplomacy and Politics in Pakistan

A number of significant “firsts” in female foreign policy leadership can be found in Pakistan, including the first female prime minister, Benazir Bhutto, who served as the first female leader of the Muslim world in 1988, the first female permanent representative to the UN, Maleeha Lodhi, in 2015, the first female foreign minister, Hina Rabbani Khar, in 2011, the first female minister of human rights, Shireen Mazari in 2018, first female Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Minister, Sania Nishtar in 2018, and the first female Lieutenant-General, Nigar Johar in 2020, among others.

Through their leadership skills, Pakistani women have made significant diplomatic contributions to the world. They have committed to supporting a variety of fields, including as politics, business, academia, architecture, and efforts to advance peace and stability.

They have represented Pakistan internationally, dispelling stereotypes and empowering women all around the world. Their support has been given as a gift to improve Pakistan’s reputation abroad and to advance human rights, gender equality, and diversity. The advancement of Pakistan is greatly aided by the exceptional contributions made by Pakistani women in diplomacy.

Numerous Pakistani women have established thriving businesses and organizations. They have also been in charge of initiatives to support global education and health. These women inspire young girls to follow their dreams and ambitions and pave the path for future generations.

Women’s inclusion in peacebuilding processes is essential for long-term success. This is proven. Gender-equal participation contributes to longer and lasting peace.

Pakistan’s Minister For Climate Change:

As an illustration, Sherry Rehman, Pakistan’s minister for the environment, has made Time Magazine’s list of the 100 most influential persons in the world in 2023. She promoted the undeveloped nations that are most susceptible to climate change while bearing the least responsibility for it at COP27, the United Nations climate summit held in Egypt last November. Sherry Rehman and others worked hard to get the world leaders to make the historic decision to start a new loss and damage fund to aid the most impacted nations.

Minister of State For Foreign Affairs

The significance of women’s roles in addressing global concerns has been emphasized by Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar. She emphasized the significance of the voice of women leaders in addressing issues of international peace, security, and development, in particular the efforts to combat, mitigate, and adapt to Climate Change, during a speech on “Feminist Foreign Policy” at an event hosted by the German Foreign Minister on the fringes of the 77th session of the UN General Assembly in New York.

Minister For Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety: 

Federal Minister for Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety, Chairperson Benazir Income Support Program (BISP), Shazia Marri in a conference said the women empowerment and education through Digital literacy would revolutionize Pakistan’s economy and GDP at an unprecedented level.

Addressing the ceremony, the minister said this is a revolution that Pakistan needs through digital literacy and training on the internet’s positive and constructive usage.

The federal minister after listening to the success stories of the two female beneficiaries of the Internet Dost project said these two smart and talented women of Pakistan Aqsa Abbasi and Kaneez Fatima told us their success stories achieved through the initiative of Google and NRS.

“You have changed the lives of your families and communities and I am thankful to you for coming here after facing all odds”, she said.

Shazia Marri also presented her example as a woman bringing change in her constituency by winning the National Assembly by-election through the direct vote and bringing a revolution against the prevailing old taboos and ill mindset.

Pakistani women in civil society throughout the decades, such as the historian Rubina Saigol, human rights activist Sabeen Mahmud, and digital activist and lawyer Nighat Dad, have been systematically pushed to the periphery.

Pakistani women peacekeepers: 

Pakistan has a long and illustrious history of sending blue helmets to UN peacekeeping missions, and it has sent the third-largest contingent of men overall since the program’s inception in 1960.
78 Pakistan Army women peacekeepers are currently serving in various capacities around the world under the auspices of the UN, carrying on the proud tradition of the Pakistani Armed Forces.

Pakistan Army women peacekeepers are serving as part of Female Engagement Teams (FETs) and as staff officers at various headquarters. Pakistan was also the first country to deploy female engagement teams to Congo on June 19, 2019.

Apart from two female engagement teams in Congo, a third team would commence operations in March in the Central African Republic. So far, around 450 women peacekeepers from Pakistan have served in UN missions. The women peacekeepers from Pakistan have won numerous accolades, including tributes at the UN and medals for exceptional performances and services rendered.

The Honor of Hope Award: 

Two Pakistani women, Yasmeen Durrani, and Naila Alam, have received recognition from the White House for their humanitarian activities. The beneficiaries of the Honor of Hope Award run a charitable organization called “Express Care” which aims to give low-income people access to daily necessities like food and medicine. The group offers employment assistance as well.

The Youth Diplomacy Forum pays glowing tribute to women diplomats of Pakistan and the world over for their invaluable services while representing their countries and proving themselves the icon of professionalism. The advancement of Pakistan is greatly aided by the exceptional contributions made by Pakistani women in diplomacy.

Source: The United Nations, UN Women, Foreign Office Pakistan, and the UN Peacekeepers. 

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