In honour of International Women’s Day, the Anwar Gargash Diplomatic Academy (AGDA), launched its latest 'Women in Diplomacy Index 2022', at the Women’s Pavilion, in Expo 2020 Dubai.
Following the launch of the Index, the UAE’s leading entity that trains current and future diplomats hosted a panel discussion with leading diplomats and speakers from the UAE and from around the world. The session, titled 'Breaking the Bias: Women in Diplomacy,' shed light on the topic of gender equality in foreign policy and the diplomatic corps.
The panel discussion, which was moderated by Nickolay Mladenov, Acting Director-General of AGDA, saw the interactive participation of Marcy Grossman, Ambassador of Canada to the UAE; Ambassador Thomas Greminger, Director of the Geneva Centre for Security Policy; Celina Lezcano, Minister for Women for the Republic of Paraguay; and Afra Al Hameli, Deputy Director of the Strategic Communications Department at the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC).
Nickolay Mladenov said,
"Our Academy is honoured to launch the 2022 edition of the Women in Diplomacy Index, which was compiled by a team consisting of AGDA faculty and our students and future diplomats. We are confident that by continuing to document the number of women ambassadors appointed worldwide, we can monitor progression over time and provide Ministries of Foreign Affairs a way to benchmark themselves against their peers."
"Diplomacy has traditionally lagged behind many other sectors when it comes to gender balance, especially in leading positions. The importance of gender balance in the workforce has long been on the agenda of organisations in many countries around the world. Although progress since 2018 has been achieved – with only a slight improvement since 2021, as presented in the Index – it remains clear that diplomacy needs to become a more gender inclusive field."
The Women in Diplomacy Index 2022 maps the percentage share of women ambassadors representing the countries of the 40 largest economies in the world and the European Union (EU). The Index focuses on ambassadorships, in order to gauge the degree to which women assume some of the most prominent leadership positions in the world of diplomacy. The 2022 report constitutes the third edition of the index and covers the bulk of global ambassadorial appointments.
Dr. Sara Chehab, Academic Programme’s Manager and Assistant Professor at AGDA, who presented the Index at the event, pointed out that the dataset in the report is unique in its nature, building on a database of more than 4,200 ambassadorial appointments.
"The 2022 data indicates that women remain underrepresented in ambassadorship positions, across the world," she said. "The index reveals that we have made advances since 2018, however, with a mere 21.6 percentage share of the total ambassadorial posts for the 40 countries in this year’s report – the picture is clear: the world is still a long way away from ensuring gender equality in the top diplomatic posts."
Out of 4,293 ambassadors currently appointed in the sample, only 927 are women, as revealed in the report. This indicates that the total share of women ambassadors stands at 21.6 percent for 2022, a slight improvement from the 20.7 percent share recorded in 2021.
The data also indicates that Canada and Sweden take the lead in having appointed the highest share of women ambassadors and permanent representatives in 2022, with 50 percent of both countries’ ambassadorial posts being held by women. Norway’s share of women ambassadors stands at a close 46.1 percent, having appointed 35 women ambassadors out of 76 posts.
The Index also shows that results vary significantly between regions. For the Nordic states in the sample (Denmark, Norway and Sweden), the percentage of women in ambassadorship positions is the highest at 40.8 percent. In North America (U.S., Canada and Mexico), more than a third of ambassadorial appointments go to women while in South America (Brazil, Argentina and Colombia), the percentage of women in ambassadorship positions sits at 18.8 percent. In both the EU and Europe as a whole, women ambassadors constitute approximately a quarter of all appointments.
Meanwhile, the percentage of women in ambassadorship positions in the Asia region (excluding the Arab world) is 13.7 percent. The percentage for the Arab states in the sample (Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE) stands at 7.4 percent, with the UAE scoring the highest percentage share of 10.9 percent.
The Women in Diplomacy Index 2022 also highlights the efforts that the UAE has made to advance female participation in diplomacy. Around 41.5 percent of the employees at the UAE’s MoFAIC are women. Today, Emirati women hold ambassadorial roles in various countries including Denmark, Latvia, Finland, France, Germany and Poland, while the Assistant Minister of MoFAIC for Political Affairs, Lana Zaki Nusseibeh, is both an Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the UAE to the United Nations in New York.
AGDA is a strong advocate of gender parity within the field of diplomacy. Since the launch of its diplomatic training programmes in 2015, a consistent 60 percent of AGDA’s total graduates have been women.
News Source: Emirates News Agency