Gender equality remains a ‘contested political issue’ facing the UN

Gender equality remains one of the “most contested political issues” facing the United Nations, and women are still “not at the table” around the world, the Irish Ambassador to the United Nations said. United Nations.

Geraldine Byrne Nason was speaking on the UN Security Council resolution on women, peace and security, passed in 2000, at the National Council of Women (NWC) Women’s Forum on Thursday.

The resolution recognized the particular impact of conflict on women and girls, as well as their role in conflict prevention, peace negotiations and governance.

“The harsh reality is that gender equality remains one of the most contested political issues facing the United Nations. I think that’s partly because it raises really uncomfortable questions about powers and who has the right to exercise them, ”she said.

“Empowering women and having women at the table fundamentally disrupts the status quo,” added Ms. Byrne Nason.

“Unfortunately… the women are just not at the negotiating table. This is the case in Yemen, Afghanistan and Libya. ”


Ireland took its seat on the Security Council as an elected member in January of this year and is now nearing the end of its 10th month on the Council.

The Council raises the issue of women, peace and security in “absolutely every statement we make in the Council on any issue,” Byrne Nason said.

Citing the example of Ethiopia, in the context of the Tigray crisis, Ms. Byrne Nason said the Council had “consistently focused its attention on the devastating sexual and gender-based violence that is occurring”.

“In our statement, after the fall of Kabul, we chose at the Security Council table to focus directly on the situation of Afghan women and girls,” she said.

This week, Ms. Byrne Nason met in Mali with women members of armed groups who were “in negotiations to build a more lasting peace or trying to achieve a lasting peace in Mali”.

Ms Byrne Nason said she raised the issue later in her own deliberations with the Prime Minister and President of Mali, “ensuring that no matter how difficult the situation on the ground, we would ensure that let the voice of women be at the table “.


The ambassador hoped that the Security Council could “look back and honestly feel that we have improved the situation of women on the ground, women and their communities on the front lines of conflict and violence”.

“And at the end of the day, for me, that’s actually what really matters,” she said.

The NWCI Forum was made up of members from Southern and Northern Ireland and aimed to tackle “the under-representation of women and further develop the role of women in peacebuilding and civil society”.

Funded by the Foreign Ministry’s Reconciliation Fund, the forum meets once a month to address island-wide issues affecting women.

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