The United Nations at Seventy-Five: Where Are the Women in The United Nations Now?

Kirsten Haack, Margaret P. Karns, Jean-Pierre Murray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
30 Downloads (Pure)


Following the unsuccessful attempt to get a woman appointed as UN secretary-general in 2016 and the drop in women in senior posts in 2015, it appeared that gender equality at the UN was as distant as ever. Yet, gender equality within the Secretariat and UN system has been on the organization's agenda since 1970, with goals and target dates set for the level of women's participation and achievement. These have been met in some issue areas (for example, in so-called feminine portfolios) and organizations, but not others. As part of the special issue on “The United Nations at Seventy-Five: Looking Back to Look Forward,” this essay traces the evolution of efforts to increase the representation of women in the UN system and takes stock of their current representation therein, analyzing the data on the Secretariat and appointments to senior posts as well as in various operations and programs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)361-371
Number of pages11
JournalEthics and International Affairs
Issue number3
Early online date1 Oct 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2020


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