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GWL Voices is an advocacy group for multilateralism and gender equality made up of the voices of 62 global women leaders.

Our mission

GWL generates knowledge and analyses, builds awareness, and advocates for the need to achieve full gender equality and women’s empowerment across all spheres of society and the critical importance of multilateralism as a vehicle to advance women’s rights and, in doing so, build more inclusive and equitable societies.

Our Gender Alternation Campaign

Our recent research amplified the need for critical changes regarding gender equality and women’s representation, and we are pushing urgently to ensure the necessary changes occur. Currently, our sights are on the UN General Assembly. Unlike the United Nations Secretary-General, which has five-year terms with a possibility of reappointment at the UN General Assembly, every year, its member states elect a one-year president who is responsible for enforcing rules of procedure and, crucially, setting the agenda.

Relevant Stats and Relevance of the Campaign

  • Since 1946, there have been 74 male presidents and only four female presidents.
  • This June, UNGA elected another male president, Dennis Frances, from Trinidad and Tobago, who is undoubtedly qualified and fit for the job.
  • But we can no longer justify and uphold this tradition of excluding women from the presidency of one of the world’s most important governing bodies.
  • Much like UNGA adopted a resolution in 1963 to alternate geographies for the UNGA Presidency, we believe it’s time to alternate between men and women, too.
  • This proposal must be included in the current reform package for the General Assembly’s rules and procedures.
  • Some might say this is complicated for a governing body in which only 24% of permanent representatives are women.
  • There is no shortage of superbly qualified female UN ambassadors.
  • Knowing that a woman must hold the presidency in the coming year would give countries ample time to negotiate a consensus candidate jointly.
  • Indeed, this would allow many countries to showcase their commitment to gender parity without compromising national or regional priorities.


Ways to Add Your Voice to the Gender Alternation UNPGA Campaign

Join Forces with Us to Ensure that Gender Alternation for the UNGPA Becomes a Reality

  1. Be aware of the facts: Information is critical to driving change. Learn more from our Numbers Matter report and a recent Devex article by GWL Voices’ President, Susana Malcorra.
  1. Educate your networks about the campaign: Once you’re armed with information, it’s time to ignite your networks to act.
  1. Speak about the campaign during relevant speaking engagements: Every platform is essential to raising visibility about this issue; hence we would appreciate it if you could use your platforms to make mention of the campaign during related events.
  1. Post about the campaign using the #GenderAlternationUNPGA hashtag:The power of social media cannot be underestimated; use your social media platforms to spread the word with the hashtag #GenderAlternationUNPGA.
  1. Share our Numbers Matter report with your on and offline networks: Share our report to emphasize the need for women’s representation in multilateral organizations. Gender equality is only possible when women lead and influence all decision-making spheres.
  1. Host online learning sessions or Twitter chats: To foster awareness, engagement and to discuss the report and campaign with the broader public.
  1. Activate your voice: Use your voice to speak about the campaign to drive change. Do a video message for the campaign for UNGA or Send us a quote on why this campaign matters to you.
  1. Collaborate/partner with us: Because “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” We need to work together to get our message across, and we have the tools to collaborate with.
  1. Connect with us and stay engaged via our website and social media channels: For more updates on the campaign, diverse perspectives, and articles on GWL Voices’ work, explore our website and stay connected via our social media platforms: Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
  1. Write an Op-Ed: Leverage your media networks to pen an article about the campaign to foster debate and push for an urgent shift. We can provide data and talking points to help.