Women Diplomats from different countries speak out on the need for gender equality during the BRICS CCI WE meeting in India



Women Diplomats from different countries speak out on the need for gender equality during the BRICS CCI WE meeting in India

The call was made during the first roundtable on Women Diplomats

The meeting was held in the Indian capital. BRICS CCI WE represents the BRICS Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BRICS CCI) women’s vertical, which promotes commerce and industry in BRICS and other countries. The vertical focuses on initiatives and policies to empower women across regions, as reported by ANI, a partner of TV BRICS.

The 2023 Women in Diplomacy Index results show that women continue to be underrepresented in ambassadorial positions around the world: in 2023, only about 20 per cent of all ambassadors were women. Between 1992 and 2019, they made up just 13 per cent of negotiators, 6 per cent of mediators and 6 per cent of peace processes around the world.

Welcoming the gathering, Dr Madhukar, Director General of BRICS CCI, stressed the importance of providing equal opportunities for women in education. He said, “In a rapidly changing world, diplomacy is the cornerstone of international relations. However, one important dimension is underrepresented in the diplomatic arena – the influential voices of women. When women gain power, social barriers disappear.”

Р. К. Vishnoi, Chairman, BRICS CCI, in his special address emphasised: “The role of women in diplomacy is undeniable. People, international committees and leadership are convinced that women bring many life-changing ideas. When women sit at the table, the chances of resolving conflict are greatly improved.”

Delivering the welcome address, Ruby Sinha, President of BRICS CCI WE, said: “Recognising the irreplaceable contribution of women in diplomacy throughout history, let us work together to ensure that gender equality and women’s empowerment are fully integrated in our diplomatic efforts in the future. These discussions are particularly important in a year when India is leading the G20 dialogues, where inclusive and comprehensive development is a key focus.”

The roundtable was attended by a representative from the Embassy of Ethiopia; Minister Counsellor of the Office of the High Commissioner of Sri Lanka; Third Secretary and Counsellor of the Embassy of Chile; and Chief of Field Services of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

All speakers noted that, while women’s participation in all important areas of public life had improved in recent years and each country had much to be proud of in that regard, it was still not enough to speak of gender equality in the diplomatic service and in politics in general. Based on the statistics cited, much work remained to be done.

Ms Jalpa Ratna, Chief of Field Service, UNICEF, spoke about the vital role of primary education for girls to ensure long-term gender equality even in diplomatic positions. Ratna also proposed a UNICEF India initiative that empowers students from classes 6-8 to spread awareness about child rights in their communities and bring issues affecting them directly to the Chief Ministers of their states.

Manju Seth, former Ambassador and Consul General of India, in her speech expressed hope that a day will come when talking about gender equality will no longer be an issue. She urged men to advocate for more opportunities for women in all fields, including diplomacy.

Photo: IStock




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