New York- UN (PANA) -- UN Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro has called f or greater efforts to achieve gender balance within the UN system, saying statis t ics had shown an “unacceptable lack of progress in this area''.
“While the UN has proclaimed the equal rights of men and women, and the General Assembly has called for 50-50 gender balance in the world body's staff in numer o us resolutions over the years, gender parity is yet to become a reality here,” M i giro said here “Our own statistics showed an unacceptable lack of progress in achieving gender balance among United Nations staff,'' she said in a message to the expert group m eeting on measures to accelerate the improvement in the status of women in the U N system.
The UN official said in the past eight years, the share of female UN Secretariat staff in professional and higher categories increased by an average of only 0.
3 5 per cent per year.
”Between 2004 and 2006, the proportion of women in most professional grades act ually decreased.
Also, during the same period, there was close to a 20 per cent r ise in the proportion of women leaving the organisation voluntarily before retir e ment age.
”Simple projections show that at the current glacial pace, we would achieve gen der balance at the USG (Under Secretary-General) level in 2080 and, even more al a rmingly, at the P-5 level in 2120,'' Migiro said.
She also said if UN managers were judged on their performance on gender, few of them would get a passing grade, and called on managers at all levels “to be bold and creative in their efforts to reach gender parity throughout the UN syst e m, including in recruiting and retaining qualified women''.
Migiro also suggested exploring the kind of temporary special measures that had been used by some member states to reach legislated gender targets.