New report on UN staff shows women equaling men in numbers, not seniority

18 February 2004

A new report on staffing at the United Nations shows women catching up with men in terms of the number of those recruited, but females still hold lower-level jobs.

A new report on staffing at the United Nations shows women catching up with men in terms of the number of those recruited, but females still hold lower-level jobs.

The percentage of women in UN posts subject to geographical considerations under the Organization’s quota system has jumped to 41.8 per cent from 38.1 per cent in 1999.

Aside from those posts set aside to fill geographic quotas, the global gender distribution of Secretariat staff shows a nearly balanced female-male ratio of 51.2 per cent to 48.8 per cent. The numbers, however, do “not reveal important differences in gender representation by grade, category and by department or office,” the report notes.

Women account for just 17.3 per cent of the 52 Under-Secretaries-General and Assistant Secretaries-General. Among the 383 Directors below them, women comprise just 30.6 per cent. These are the decision-making and senior staff.

With regard to posts subject to the quota system, the Office of Human Resources and Management (OHRM) has more female professionals, with a ratio of 37 women to 27 men, but in the Department of Political Affairs (DPA), there are 41 women compared to 60 men in those jobs.

Women are 40 per cent of the middle-level Professional staff and 62 per cent of the 6,745 General Service mainly secretarial staff, according to the report.

 

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