International Day for Women in Diplomacy: History, Theme, and Significance

Saurav Singh

The International Day for Women in Diplomacy celebrated on 24th June annually, highlights the indispensable contributions of women in the field of global governance. Since the establishment of the United Nations and the signing of its Charter in 1945, women have played a significant role in shaping international relations. With women and girls constituting half of the world’s population and potential, their involvement in diplomacy brings invaluable benefits. Their distinctive leadership styles, expertise, and priorities expand the breadth of issues addressed and enhance the quality of outcomes.

Extensive research reveals that when women hold positions in cabinets and parliaments, they champion laws and policies that benefit ordinary people, promote environmental sustainability, and foster social cohesion. Empowering women’s participation in peacebuilding and political processes is crucial for achieving substantive gender equality in the face of deeply ingrained discrimination. With primary responsibility for international peace and security, the 15-member UN Security Council plays a significant role. Although women currently represent slightly over a third of the Council’s members, which is higher than the global average, this proportion is still far from sufficient. The involvement of women in the Security Council requires further exploration and attention.

International Day for Women in Diplomacy: History

Historically, diplomacy has predominantly been a male-dominated sphere. Yet, women have played crucial roles in diplomacy throughout history, despite often being overlooked. It is essential to acknowledge and celebrate the ways in which women are breaking barriers and making a significant impact in the field of diplomacy. As of 2014, 143 countries have enshrined gender equality in their constitutions, while another 52 countries are yet to make this vital commitment. Advocating for increased representation of women in key decision-making positions will profoundly shape and implement multilateral agendas.

Between 1992 and 2019, women accounted for only 13% of negotiators, 6% of mediators, and 6% of signatories in peace processes worldwide. Gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls make a crucial contribution to progress across all Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and targets. The systematic integration of a gender perspective in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda is vital, particularly since SDG 5 emphasizes women’s equal participation in decision-making processes.

Read More: 24 June in Indian and World History

During the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, the International Day of Women in Diplomacy was established through consensus. On this day, as per resolution A/RES/76/269, all Member States, United Nations organizations, non-governmental groups, academic institutions, and associations of women diplomats—wherever they exist—are invited to observe the Day in the manner they deem most appropriate. This may include education initiatives and public awareness campaigns to promote women’s contributions to diplomacy.

On the International Day for Women in Diplomacy, let us honor and appreciate the invaluable role that women play in shaping global governance and fostering a more inclusive and equitable world.

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