Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, used the occasion of the Human Rights Council’s annual discussion on gender mainstreaming to highlight his commitment to become a Geneva Gender Champion.
“Just over a month ago, I committed to become a Geneva Gender Champion, joining a campaign that was launched by Director-General Michael Møller, who is with us today, and US Ambassador Pamela Hamamoto. I pledged that I will no longer take part in any panel that does not include women experts. I also committed to improving gender parity within my Office, where although women are 57% of staff graded “Professional” and above, they still represent barely one-third of senior managers.
All of us have the power and responsibility to promote gender parity. If our international commitments to gender equality are to be more than lip service and empty marketing exercises, we must take action, at the national and international level, to address discrimination, combat stereotypes, and promote equality. We must stop regarding parity as a token exercise, and grasp at last that equal representation of women and men, across themes and bodies, not only embodies but also builds more just societies.”