50-50: Bridging the UN’s Gender Gap


50-50: Bridging the UN's Gender Gap from Ryan Villarreal on Vimeo.

This week the United Nations General Assembly held its 70th session — the last to be headed by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. When he leaves office at the end of 2016, many people want to see a woman as the next United Nations secretary-general, and they also want more gender equality throughout the UN, especially at senior and high-policymaking levels.  Why, 20 years after the Beijing declaration pledged equality for women worldwide, are so many women stuck outside important positions of power? Shouldn’t the UN be setting an example of gender equality inside its own four walls? 

Efforts made by the UN, including by the Secretary-General, to promote and respect women’s empowerment, are acknowledged by various countries and their delegations, but most feel these gains have not been enough. This video, produced exclusively for the Ralph Bunche Institute’s PassBlue, with a grant from Carnegie Corporation, features frank talk on the topic from longtime UN workers and observers. As Cora Weiss, a women’s rights and peace activist, says in the video, “We don’t lose anything by bringing women to the table, and we have the potential to gain a lot.”