More Women Entering the Previously Male-Dominated United Nations
While women diplomats are still far from a majority at the U.N., they have reached a critical mass. A record one-third of the members of the U.N. Security Council, the organization’s most powerful body, are represented by women. Thirty of the U.N.’s 193 members have female ambassadors — also the most since the international body was created in 1945.
In the preamble to its charter that year, the U.N. asserted its determination “to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women.” The world body has been slow to live up to that lofty mission, say some of the women diplomats who have served there. Instead, they say, they’ve been subject to the same slights and exclusions as their counterparts in other fields.
Still, reaching the “long overdue” milestone at the Security Council provides potential for further advancement of women’s issues worldwide, particularly in the realm of national security, said Melanne Verveer, President Barack Obama’s former ambassador for global women’s issues.