The UN prepared for a female Secretary-General

The UN  has mostly been male dominated. So far in this campaign 3 women have been nominated and Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said he would like a woman to succeed him.

The UN has been male dominated in its 70 years history. In a world where almost half the population are women and with well qualified professionals to do the job, it may be time for the UN to have female Secretary General.

In addition to this, women have been underrepresented in the UN, only 24.6% of the highest positions at the organization have been filled by women in the last decade according to UN Women.

In 2006 the only female candidate, Latvian President Vaira Vike-Freiberga, failed in her attempt to reach the 38th floor of the UN Secretariat, the office of the UN leader. But 2016 will see the end of  SG Ban Ki-moon leadership and he has already said he would like a woman to succeed him.

In July the Security Council will begin deliberations and recommend a candidate to the General Assembly. Its President Mogens Lykketoft has already said he  is committed to an "open and transparent process" for the selection of the next Secretary-General. This is important because past nomination procedures have been done behind closed doors.

In February 2015 the "Campaign to elect a Woman UN Secretary General" webpage was created to showcase different profiles of suitable candidates. Women from academia and civil society with long engagement with the United Nations, females heads of states, foreign ministers and finance ministers are along their candidates.  

Similarly the NGO Equality Now constantly updates their article "Time for a Woman: United Nations it’s been over 70 years, elect a female Secretary-General" with information about the nominations.

So far three of the seven candidates are women:

Irina Bokova, Bulgaria

Nominated by the Government of Bulgaria on February 11 2016

Irina Bokova is the Director General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) since 2009. In 2013 she was reelected and is the first woman and Eastern European to lead the organization.

As its leader she is engaged in international efforts to achieve quality education for all, cultural dialogue, scientific cooperation for sustainable development and gender equality.

Bokova first joined the UN at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria in 1977. Her work was focused on human rights and equality of women issues.  She was also appointed in charge of legal and political affairs at the Permanent Mission of Bulgaria to the UN in New York.

She also participated in the drafting of Bulgaria's new Constitution as a Member of Parliament, ambassador of Bulgaria to France, Monaco and UNESCO. She was also the Personal representative of the President of Bulgaria to the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF).

Bokova is a founding member and a President in the European Policy Forum, making her an active member in many international expert networks.

Natalia Gherman, Moldova

Nominated by the Republic of Moldova, February 19 2016.

She currently serves as Deputy Prime-minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs  and European integration of the Republic of Moldova. In June 2015 she was  Moldova's Acting Prime-minister.

She began her diplomat career  as the Second Secretary for the Department of International Organizations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of her country in 1991-2. She then server as Counselor and Deputy Permanent Representative of the Republic of Moldova to the OSCE and the UN Agencies in Vienna.

As Moldova's Representative in the OSCE in Vienna Ms Gherman has been a contributor to the efforts of the Organization on identifying solutions to the unresolved conflicts in the OSCE area and the resolution of the conflict in the Republic of Moldova.

She was among seven most impressive women leaders in the world, selected by The Guardian UK for the ranking "Seven women to watch in global politics who are leading positive change all over the world" in March 2014.

Vesna Pusi?, Croatia

Nominated by the Government of Croatia on January 14 2016

Vesna Pusi? is First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of Croatia . She is an accomplished sociologist and politician. Since 1978 she has been associated with the University of Zagreb covering research on theories of industrial democracy and the sociology of politics.

Ms.Pusi? was part of the first feminist organization in SFR Yugoslavia . She was also a founder and director of the NGO Erasmus Guid which promoted cultural democracy in the post conflict transition of Croatia and the Balkans.

Her politics career began in 1990 when being a founding member of the Croatian People's Party, from 2000-2008 she served as the party's president.  She was a presidential candidate during the 2009-2010 elections for the HNS-LD party and was its president in 2013.

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