Staff Voices

Meet United Nations staff members working in duty stations across the world and read more about how why gender parity is important to them and their ideas on how the UN can better promote gender equality in the workplace.

Monica Kaushal

Monica Kaushal, Special Assistant to Director, Business Transformation and Accountability Division

Gender equality is about enabling all humans to reach their full potential to contribute to and benefit from economic, social and cultural participation. Women's ability to equally participate in these arenas must remain an important goal for all of us. Over my lifetime, I have been heartened to see much progress across societies in recognizing gender inequality, and also active efforts to begin to address the problem. These efforts range from actively promoting primary and secondary education for girls, encouraging women to pursue careers, and ensuring availability of healthcare. Despite this progress, much work remains. I am honoured to add my voice to the cause of gender equality.



Renaud De Villaine

Renaud De Villaine, Reporting officer / Legal Adviser, Commission of Inquiry on Burundi, OHCHR Geneva

Gender equality in the UN should not only be about words and nice statements. Commitments should be translated into actions. Promoting gender equality is first and foremost about educating UN staff on gender sensitivity and respect. When needed, we must sanction inappropriate behaviours in the workplace. Promoting gender equality is also about ensuring that men and women are equally represented at all levels of the organisation. There, the United Nations has progress to make. Women are not sufficiently represented at senior levels despite numerous talents in the Organisation. Promoting gender equality is about nurturing talent and ensuring equal career opportunities. Gender equality is also a matter of human resources management.



Prisca Chaoui

Prisca Chaoui, Interpreter, DCM, Geneva

Achieving gender equality implies real changes in the UN. One of these changes is the empowerment of women. Empowering women in our Organization means fighting precarious contracts, unequal pay and insufficient maternity leave. Empowerment also requires a better balance between private and professional life -  that is why flexible working arrangements have to become a reality.  There is no empowerment without fighting the unconscious bias against women in selection processes.  women from all regions and nations must be empowered by the Organization's gender equality initiatives.  As a staff representative, I believe that all these objectives can be reached if Management and staff work closely on this issue. So let us all fight together for this noble cause.



Dieudonne Munyinga

Dieudonne Munyinga, Human Rights Officer, Africa Branch, OHCHR Geneva

First of all, gender equality is a fundamental human right. The principle of equal rights of women and men is one of the pillars upon which the United Nations was founded. Therefore, promoting gender equality is crucial to the fulfilment of the UN's core mandate. The UN should create, a common understanding on gender issues amongst staff in management, technical and programming positions, as well as UN representatives in the field. It should also develop OHCHR programmes with a gender-sensitive approach.



Elena Nitoi

Elena Nitoi	Human Resources Officer, HRMS, ADM, Geneva

I think the biggest obstacle to achieving gender equality in the workplace are the gender stereotypes shaping the way that women and men are perceived.



Mariama Daramy-Lewis

Mariama Daramy-Lewis, Senior Advisor Human resources and chief, HR and training section, UN Environment

Gender equality means living in a world where my vibrant 14 year old daughter can live her dreams without any inhibitions or hindrances and is treated as a global equal, irrespective of her gender, race or creed; a world of equal opportunity.  From a recruitment perspective, I believe it is very important that we are willing to explore our unconscious bias and ensure that it does not influence the decision-making process.