Is it women’s turn to reshape the future?

Time for a change?

Prime minister Pedro Sanchez at the conference opening. Credit: GWL voices/X

A two-day conference in Madrid aims to redress the balance in terms of gender equality with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez leading the call for change.

Pedro Sanchez, Spain’s Prime Minister has endorsed the campaign for gender alternation in the UN’s top position during the ‘Women’s turn to reshape the future’ event in Madrid.

This historic gathering, which runs from held on January 22-23, has drawn over a hundred global leaders for its International Dialogue. ‘It is time for us to have a Secretary General of the UN,’ Sanchez declared emphatically.

Confronting under-representation

Despite the UN’s nearly 80-year history, it has always been led by men – a trend that GWL Voices and Sanchez aim to change.

He stressed the urgency of addressing this gender imbalance, noting, ‘There can be no more excuses, it is time.’ The ‘Women in Multilateralism 2024’ report, to be unveiled at the meeting, will shed light on the gender makeup of senior roles across 54 major international organizations.

Spain’s steps towards equality

Spain’s commitment to gender equality is evident in its current Cabinet, where women outnumber men.

Sanchez highlighted this, alongside the parity law, a cornerstone policy requiring a minimum 40 per cent female representation in government, corporate boards, electoral candidates, and constitutional entities.

The law advocates for a 60-40 balance, applicable in the public sector and to be adopted by ministries and senior state positions within five years. Professional and constitutional bodies will follow suit.

A moral imperative

Sanchez described feminist diplomacy as not only a moral duty but also a key strategy aligning with Spain’s governmental vision.

This extends to the private sector, with the parity law mandating balanced gender representation in major companies, including those in the Ibex 35, by June 30, 2024.

Firms with over €500 million market capitalisation have until June 2025, and other listed companies until June 2026.

Bridging the gap between rhetoric and action

The forthcoming report on women’s roles in multilateral spaces reveals a stark contrast between governmental gender equality rhetoric and actual practices in vital sectors like security, climate, and trade.

This event’s organizers view the report as an opportunity to shift towards leadership that truly reflects society.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.