Improvement in the status of women in the United Nations system: Report of the Secretary-General (2021)

The present report (A/76/115) is submitted pursuant to UN General Assembly resolution 74/128 and assesses the status of women in the UN system for the period from 1 January 2018 to 31 December 2019. Since the previous reporting period (1 January 2016 to 31 December 2017), the representation of women in the professional and higher categories in the UN system has increased from 44.2 per cent to 45.3 per cent. For the first time, women’s representation at headquarters locations nearly reached parity at 49.5 per cent overall. Moreover, women’s representation among heads and deputy heads of peace operations reached 48 percent, and parity among resident coordinators has been sustained since 2018.

At the same time, more progress is needed towards advancing the representation of women at all levels across the system. The representation of women during the reporting period continued to be highest at the entry levels, namely P-1 and P-2, before decreasing progressively at the mid to senior management levels. Moreover, the representation of women continues to be lower with slower rate of change at non-headquarters locations. Furthermore, the ongoing COVID-19 crisis has created and exacerbated challenges for gender parity efforts.

This report contains recommendations aimed at assisting entities in the UN system to achieve gender parity, including through rigorous implementation of policies and a range of coordinated actions. The creation of enabling working environments remains vital in supporting the goal of gender parity by fostering an inclusive and diverse workplace that attracts, recruits, and promotes women.

Additional documents