Skip to main content

The need to ensure an equal participation and representation of women in decision-making in international organizations is critical to ensure: 

1. Inclusivity and Diversity in Decision-Making:

2. Addressing Power Imbalances:

  • Women, making up half of the world’s population, must be adequately represented in decision-making roles to ensure a true reflection of the global demographic.
  • A greater representation of women not only recognizes the contribution of women to the design of innovative policies and norms but also rectifies gender-based power imbalances.
  • Reducing gender disparities in leadership fosters more balanced and equitable decision-making structures. This shift would lead to improved selection processes, enabling more competent and talented women to attain leadership positions. A recent survey found that 61% of women consider gender diversity as an important aspect when deciding where to work.

3. Gender Alternation in the Presidency of the UN gains support:

  • Gender equality fosters a diversity of thought, leading to innovative and effective problem-solving strategies. A study found that cognitively diverse teams find solutions faster by utilizing novel problem-solving methods.
  • Inclusive decision-making processes that draw upon a variety of experiences and insights, improve the quality and sustainability of decisions.
  • Teams and organizations with diversity are inherently more creative. When individuals from different backgrounds collaborate, their unique perspectives often spark greater creativity. A study found that companies with more diverse management teams report 19% higher revenues due to innovation.

4. Reflecting Global Realities:

  • A gender-equal international system ensures that decision-making bodies reflect the diverse realities and contexts of decision-making.
  • International organizations benefit from leadership that understands and addresses the unique challenges faced by people of all genders.
  • Women’s participation in leadership roles helps to ensure that policies are more gender-sensitive and cater to the needs of people across the gender spectrum. A study in Switzerland revealed that female policymakers shift the focus of public expenditures, rather than altering their total size, by directing resources more towards health and environmental issues.

5. Improved Organizational Culture:

  • Gender equality contributes to a positive organizational culture by fostering collaboration, respect, and mutual understanding. A survey revealed that women in leadership excel in several key areas: they are 34% more effective at compromise, demonstrate greater honesty and ethical behavior, are 25% more committed to their beliefs, 30% more likely to ensure fair pay and benefits, and 25% more adept at mentoring.
  • Inclusive environments enhance the overall effectiveness and enhance the relevance and efficacy of international organizations.
  • Women’s participation in decision-making roles contributes to a more dynamic and adaptable organizational culture, which is crucial in a rapidly changing global environment.

6. Legitimacy and Credibility:

  • International organizations gain greater legitimacy and credibility when their leadership reflects the diversity of the communities they represent. This alignment fosters a greater connection and trust with the populations they serve.
  • Incorporating a feminist perspective reinforces the commitment to human rights and equality, reinforcing the organization’s moral authority.
  • Extensive research supports the economic value of gender diversity. For instance, firms with gender-diverse teams are often valued higher by investors. A study focusing on women’s representation in telecommunications companies in Western Europe discovered a positive correlation between increased gender diversity and the company’s market value, highlighting the tangible benefits of diverse leadership.

7. Long-term Sustainable Development:

  • Gender equality is recognized as a crucial component of sustainable development. Decision-making that integrates equity and equality principles contributes to policies and strategies that promote long-term social, economic, and environmental sustainability.
  • Gender-balanced decision-making contributes to more socially inclusive policies. When policies reflect the needs and perspectives of both men and women, they are more likely to promote social cohesion and reduce inequalities, leading to more stable and peaceful societies.
  • When women are involved in decision-making, policies tend to better address the needs of the entire population, contributing to more investment in education and social needs. Women leaders often prioritize areas such as child health, maternal care, and education, leading to healthier, better-educated societies. These are essential foundations for sustainable development.

8. Global Reputation and Partnerships:

  • International organizations that prioritize gender equality are likely to build stronger global partnerships.
  • Demonstrating a commitment to gender equality and women’s rights principles enhances an organization’s reputation, fostering collaboration with governments, NGOs, and other stakeholders.
  • Research confirms the economic benefits of gender diversity: companies with higher representation of women in top executive roles typically exhibit higher profitability. This underscores the importance of gender balance not just for equity but also for organizational success.

9. Tackling Climate Change:

  • Including women and girls in disaster preparedness and management is vital, as they are disproportionately affected. Ensuring their representation in decision-making bodies, conducting thorough gender and vulnerability assessments, providing gender-responsive training, and collaborating with local organizations is essential.
  • Women in developing countries often experience the brunt of the impacts of climate change. Equal access to resources can increase their agricultural yields by 20 to 30%, potentially reducing world hunger by 12 to 17%.
  • Their active involvement in climate-related decision-making is key to developing more effective adaptation and mitigation strategies. Countries with higher women’s representation in parliament are more likely to ratify international environmental treaties.

10. Enhanced Economic Growth:

In summary, gender-balanced and women’s leadership in decision-making within international organizations not only aligns with principles of equality and justice but also brings practical benefits to the leadership and effectiveness of these organizations. It ensures a more comprehensive understanding of global issues, promotes innovative solutions, and contributes to the creation of a more just and sustainable world. Moreover, it strengthens the legitimacy and global reputation of these organizations, making them more reflective of the diverse societies they serve and more adept at addressing a wide array of global issues.

Download Women in Multilateralism 2024Find more about Women in Multilateralism