Improvement of the status of women in the United Nations system: Report of the Secretary-General (2012)

Pursuant to General Assembly resolution 65/191, the present report provides information on the status of women in the United Nations system, including up-to-date statistics, information on progress made and obstacles encountered in achieving gender balance, and recommendations for accelerating progress. Over the two-year reporting period, 1 January 2010 to 31 December 2011, the representation of women in the Professional and higher categories in the United Nations system increased marginally from 39.9 per cent in 2009 to 40.7 per cent in 2011, an increase of 0.8 per cent and a decline from the 1.5 per cent increase in the previous reporting period (2007 to 2009). The highest and lowest proportions of women were found at the P-1 and D-2 levels, at 60.2 and 27.4 per cent respectively, with an inverse relationship between level and the representation of women. Parity was achieved only at the two lowest levels. The Secretariat, the largest entity in the United Nations system, distinguished itself with a record increase at the Under-Secretary-General level from 22.6 to 29.4 per cent (6.8 per cent). However, the combination of declines at the Assistant Secretary-General and P-2 levels and only marginal increases at all others yielded an overall decline of 0.3 per cent, to 38.7 per cent.

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  • Annexes — download all in a ZIP archive or individually below:
    • Annex I: Gender distribution of staff by nationality at the P-1 to UG levels of the United Nations system, on contracts of one year or more and at all locations, as at 31 December 2011
    • Annex II: Projections on attainment of parity at the P-1 to UG levels of the United Nations system, on contracts of one year or more and at all locations, based on average annual increment between 31 December 2009 and 31 December 2011
    • Annex III: Percentage change in the representation of women by entity from the P-1 to P-5 and D-1 to UG levels of the United Nations system, on all contract types and at all locations, between 31 December 2000 and 31 December 2011
    • Annex IV: Gender distribution of staff at the P-1 to UG levels of the United Nations system by entity, on contracts of one year or more, at headquarters and non-headquarters locations
    • Annex V: Gender distribution of staff at the P-1 to UG levels of the United Nations system by entity, on temporary contracts, at headquarters and non-headquarters locations
    • Annex VI: Representation of women in the United Nations Secretariat
    • Annex VII: Gender distribution of staff at the General Service and Field Service levels of the United Nations system, on all contract types, at headquarters and non-headquarters locations, as at 31 December 2010 and 31 December 2011
    • Annex VIII: Percentage of female appointments at the P-1 to UG levels of the United Nations system by entity, on contracts of one year or more, at headquarters and non-headquarters locations, from 1 January 2010 to 31 December 2011
    • Annex IX: Percentage of female appointments at the P-1 to UG levels of the United Nations system by entity, on temporary contracts, at headquarters and non-headquarters locations, from 1 January 2010 to 31 December 2011
    • Annex X: Representation of women at each stage of the staff selection process in the United Nations system, from 1 January 2010 to 31 December 2011
    • Annex XI: Percentage of female promotions at the P-2 to D-2 levels of the United Nations system by entity, on contracts of one year or more, at headquarters and non-headquarters locations, from 1 January 2010 to 31 December 2011
    • Annex XII: Gender distribution of staff transfers at the P-1 to UG levels of the United Nations system, on all contracts and at all locations, from 1 January 2010 to 31 December 2011
    • Annex XIII: Gender distribution of separations at the P-1 to UG levels of the United Nations system by entity, on all contracts and at all locations, from 1 January 2010 to 31 December 2011
    • Annex XIV: Gender distribution of separations at the P-1 to P-5, D-1 to D-2 and UG levels of the United Nations system by reason, for contracts of one year or more and at all locations, from 1 January 2010 to 31 December 2011
    • Annex XV: Matrix of policies and practices of the United Nations entities related to gender balance, based on data from the Entity Survey
    • Annex XVI: Ranking of the top three impediments to gender parity at the P-4 to D-2 levels of the United Nations system by entity, based on data from the Entity Survey
    • Annex XVII: Status of women in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and Department of Field Support (DPKO/DFS)

Bibliographic information

Subject area(s): Economic Empowerment

Publication type: Evaluation Reports

UN Women office involved in publication: UN Women Headquarters

Publication year: 2012

Number of pages: 58