Issue 148 - July 30 - Less than 15% of UN Perm Reps are Women

New York, July 30, 2010 - Out of 192 Permanent Representatives at United Nations Headquarters in New York, 26 are women. The percentage is 13.5%.

This finding is confirmed by records kept by the UN Protocol and Liaison Service.

The region with the highest number (and percentage) of female ambassadors is Latin America and the Caribbean, with eight out of 33 delegations led by women. The region with the lower number (and percentage) of female ambassadors is Africa, with three women and 50 men.

The disparity at the level of Permanent Representative was strikingly clear when the General Assembly elected the president for its 65th Session, Joseph Deiss, on June 11, and each region came forward to welcome him. All five regions were represented by male speakers, the permanent representatives of the country chairing its respective regional group.*

While there is nothing to scrutinize in the regional groups' representatives that day, the obviously small proportion of female to male ambassadors at the UN is noteworthy.

The UN Member States whose delegations are led by women are, by region: 

  • African States
    • 3 out of 53 (5.7% )
    • Gambia, Liberia, Nigeria
  • Asian States
    • 5 out of 53 (9.4%)
    • Laos, Mongolia, Timor Leste, Nauru, Turkmenistan
  • Eastern European States
    • 5 out of 23 (21.7%)
    • Estonia, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Slovenia, Romania
  • Latin American and Caribbean States (GRULAC)
    • 8 out of 33 (24.2%)
    • Bahamas, Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, Grenada, Honduras, Nicaragua, Trinidad and Tobago
  • Western European and Other States (WEOG)
    • 5 out of 29 (17.2% )
    • Ireland, Israel, Luxembourg, Monaco, United States

*Speakers representing each region on June 11: Africa: H.E. Mr. Atoki Ileka (Democratic Republic of Congo); Asia: H. E. Mr. Om Pradhan (Bhutan); Eastern Europe: H.E. Mr. Agshin Mehdiyev (Azerbaijan); GRULAC: H.E. Mr. Delano Frank Bart (Saint Kitts and Nevis); WEOG: H.E. Mr. Thomas Mayr-Harting (Austria)