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Still Behind the Curve: Gender Balance in Arms Control, Non-proliferation and Disarmament Diplomacy

Still Behind the Curve: Gender Balance in Arms Control, Non-proliferation and Disarmament Diplomacy

WOMEN STILL UNDERREPRESENTED IN ARMS CONTROL, NON-PROLIFERATION AND DISARMAMENT DIPLOMACY

UNIDIR report sheds light on obstacles hindering women’s participation in disarmament negotiations and calls for action to promote gender equality

GENEVA, 26 APRIL 2019 — A UNIDIR report released today finds women are still significantly underrepresented in multilateral forums dealing with weapons, nearly twenty years after the landmark Security Council resolution 1325 on women, peace and security. The study finds women comprise only a third of diplomats accredited to arms control and disarmament conferences. In smaller, more specialized forums, the average proportion of women drops to twenty percent.

The report, Still Behind the Curve: Gender Balance in Arms Control, Non-proliferation and Disarmament Diplomacy, surveyed participants from 84 multilateral meetings held during the last four decades. It shows progress towards gender balance has been slower in disarmament fora than in other areas of diplomacy, such as humanitarian, social and cultural affairs.

“More needs to be done to improve not only the numerical representation of women, but their substantive role in the field of disarmament,” said Dr. Renata Dwan, Director of UNIDIR. “Although Member States have acknowledged the importance of including the voices of women in international security deliberations, the report demonstrates that statements and resolutions have yet to translate into meaningful action.”

The report analyses obstacles hindering the full and equal participation of women in the field of disarmament and international security drawing on views gathered from diplomats and others. It calls for concerted action and identifies practical options to promote gender equality in disarmament diplomacy and argues that security discussions benefit from women's participation.

ABOUT UNIDIR

The United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) is an autonomous institution within the United Nations that conducts independent research on disarmament and related problems, particularly international security issues. UNIDIR supports Member States, the United Nations and policy and research communities in advancing ideas and actions that contribute to a more sustainable and peaceful world. For more information about UNIDIR, visit: www.unidir.org. Follow UNIDIR on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

MEDIA CONTACT

Aaron J. Buckley                                          Renata H.Dalaqua

Strategic Communications Officer             Programme Lead, Gender and Disarmament

+41 22 917 87 28                                        +41 22 917 5061

buckleya@un.org                                        renata.hessmanndalaqua@un.org