Despite the fact that women occupy 46% of the positions in public administrations globally, only 31% hold positions of power and represent only 20 percent of top positions, as revealed by a report published this Thursday by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
The work, “Gender Equality in Public Administration” -published in conjunction with the Gender Inequality Research Laboratory at the University of Pittsburgh-, reveals that “persistent” gender gaps “remain” globally and women still remain face glass ceilings and walls that prevent them from advancing towards the highest levels of power and influence.
The UN and the University of Pittsburgh acknowledge that there has been some “progress” in terms of female representation in public administrations in many countries, but this does not mean that women in many regions of the world are still “significantly outnumbered” by men when talking about leadership and decision making policies.
In this sense, they warned that removing women from “critical” decision-making processes and roles, including the management of the coronavirus pandemic, threatens the possibility of achieving an “inclusive” recovery and “green” once the Covid-19 has been overcome.
According to both organizations, women “shine” as leaders And when they hold leadership positions in public administrations, governments are “more responsive” and improve both accountability and public services provided to the population.
The report claims that when women are in power they attend to forgotten problems, such as gender violence, services provided to children or health.
Frequently, in addition, lower levels of corruption and political parties are more inclined to work in a coordinated way.
“While the coronavirus crisis poses unprecedented challenges to governments and their citizens, effective decision-making in public institutions and responsive and innovative public services are more important than ever,” highlighted the UN and the University of Pittsburgh, who They insisted on the impacts that the pandemic has on women and girls, such as the increase in violence against them or the loss of jobs and income.
Angela Merkel, one of the few exceptions in the world, has been Chancellor of Germany since 2005. Photo Michele Tantussi / AP
The role of women in the pandemic
The report, which analyzed 170 countries, revealed that women have a “very limited” role in decision-making on health policy.
Specifically, while 58% of the employees of the Ministries of Health are women, they occupy, on average, only 34% decision-making positions.
Additionally, female representation is also low in government working groups charged with leading governments’ response to the crisis.
Of the 300 national task forces surveyed in 163 countries and territories, women hold 27% of positions and lead 18%.
Only 6% of the groups studied show the gender parity, while 11% – a “shocking” percentage for the signers of the work – have no women at all.
“The effects of Covid-19 are not gender neutral“recalled UNDP administrator Achim Steiner
And he added: “Women must participate fully in public institutions and have a seat at the table when governments are planning their responses and determining the best way out of the crisis. “
“The essential decisions made today will affect the well-being of people and the planet for generations. A sustainable recovery is possible only when women are able to play. a full role by drawing a post-Covid-19 world that works for all of us, “he added.
Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand’s first minister, was noted for her handling of the pandemic. Photo Sam James / AP
Not only ceilings, but also glass walls
On the other hand, the study found that women who work in public administration are “isolated” in certain work areas, so they come face to face with glass walls in addition to ceilings.
Thus, the number of women is higher in ministries focused on issues that impact them, such as health and education, but remain “low” in other areas.
For example, despite the fact that women are “disproportionately” affected by climate change, their participation in ministries responsible for environmental protection is among the lowest of the 20 surveyed.
They represent 33% globally and parity in this area is “rare”, potentially “hinders more” effective climate action and green recovery.
Similarly, in the field of formulating socio-economic policies, the data reveals that women average only the 36% decision-making positions in economic ministries.
“Gender equality and diversity they are key to improving government function and the quality of life for all of us, “insisted the Senior Vice Chancellor of the University of Pittsburgh, Ann E. Cudd.
And he highlighted that the research published this Thursday “has generated important new information, which not only highlights the problem, but also provides the necessary evidence to address these. disparities“.
In this sense, the work provides a series of recommendations, which include strengthening and lobbying for the approval of new laws, frameworks and policies, such as quotas, or promoting institutional change that includes a reform of the workplace, inclusive Human Resources policies or the criminalization of machismo and workplace harassment .
With information from DPA