The occasion of selecting the 9th Secretary-General saw unprecedented public demand for a feminist leader. This prompted many candidates, including Mr. Guterres, to outline beliefs and propose strategies to recognize, protect and promote women’s rights and voice as a key part of their platform for leadership of the United Nations.
Over the fall of 2016, the International Center for Research on Women interviewed leading feminist activists, philanthropists, UN insiders and former UN officials as to what a more feminist UN would look like. A number of proposals emerged, which were articulated in an unabridged policy paper. Following the quick selection of Antonio Guterres as the world’s next Secretary-General, the paper was culled to present an agenda for actions that could be taken by the new Secretary General in his first hundred days in the post to advance this vision and in response to the widespread and unprecedented calls for female and feminist leadership of the United Nations.
The incoming Secretary-General should signal willingness to take on these issues head on by setting out a feminist agenda for the first hundred days that acknowledges the challenges inherent in the system and articulates a pathway forward. This report lays out the top six things Secretary-General Guterres should do in order to create an agenda that truly puts gender equality at the forefront of the United Nations.
To read the longer paper, click here.
In 2016, ICRW President Sarah Degnan Kambou and Carrie Hessl