9 February 2022
UNGA President Updates Advisors on Gender Efforts, Sets Stage for CSW
Photo credit: Raphael Pouget / Climate Visuals Countdown
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An advisory group is focused on "ensuring that everything the General Assembly does is done through a gender-lens".

The UN Commission on the Status of Women will discuss gender quality in the context of climate change, the theme for its 66th session opening on 14 March.

A group of gender experts held its second meeting to advise the 76th UN General Assembly. The advisory board is tasked with mainstreaming a gender equality perspective across the priorities, initiatives, and mandates for the 2021-2022 session. UNGA President Abdulla Shahid has described gender inequality as “an embarrassment and moral failure for which we can no longer make excuses.”

At the start of the UNGA session in September 2021, Shahid named gender equality as one of his priorities for the year. He announced that his Office was gender-balanced, including at the senior level, that gender equality and sexual harassment training is required for his staff, and that he will only participate in gender-balanced panels.

In October 2020, Shahid announced the members of the board of advisors, and the group held its first meeting on 28 October 2021. In January 2022 Shahid said he was “focused now on ensuring that everything the General Assembly does is done through a gender-lens, with women empowered at each step.” He welcomed the theme for the 66th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women, “achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls in the context of climate change, environmental and disaster risk reduction policies and programmes.” The CSW will convene in a hybrid format from 14-25 March 2022. Regional consultations on the theme are now underway. 

On 21 January 2022, the Board held its second meeting. Addressing the experts, Shahid noted that the International Day of Women and Girls in Science will take place on 11 February, and he expects to launch an advocacy campaign around to inspire young women to become scientists. He also noted that the Office of the UNGA President is working closely with the UN Department of Operational Support to enhance the services of eight lactation rooms at the UN, including a new room that will be easily accessible to Member States, as well as visiting high-level delegations during the UN’s annual High-Level Week. Existing rooms are being refurbished to improve the quality of the facilities, and better signage will be installed throughout the UN for wayfinding. The refurbished rooms will be inaugurated around the week of International Women’s Day. 

The UNGA President’s office issues a quarterly newsletter on its work towards gender equality.

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