Message from the UN Resident Coordinator in Indonesia: Advancing progress in achieving gender equality and ending "manel" phenomenon

Advancing progress toward achieving gender parity-including the endeavour to treat women as equals in public discourse and ending the “manel” (all-male panels)

Despite comprising half the world’s population, women’s voices are still underrepresented and excluded in public discussions, forums and panels. The high frequency of such occurrences has led to this phenomenon having its own term: “manel” referring to all-male panels or speaking engagements. “Manels” do not represent the diversity of the world we live in and deprive us of a more holistic, innovative and insightful perspective on any given discussion or topic. Moreover, they are manifestations of sexism and exclusion, which may reinforce the gendered stereotype of men commanding authority or superior expertise, even when there are equally - if not more - qualified women whose contributions are undervalued or left out.

As stated by the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, “gender parity at the United Nations is an urgent need- and a personal priority. It is a moral duty and an operational necessity”. In this context, and in alignment with the United Nations wide Strategy on Gender Parity, I am pleased to announce that all UN Heads of Agencies in Indonesia and I have made a firm pledge to not participate as a speaker/panel member in any public meetings, conferences or webinars where there are no women on the panel. This does not include women as moderators or as Master of Ceremonies (MCs), since these are often facilitating roles rather than treating women as equals in public discourse. We also invite our national and international partners in Indonesia to join us in taking this small, yet far-reaching initiative towards gender diversity and inclusion for sustainable development.

Speech by
Author
Valerie Julliand
Resident Coordinator
RCO
Valerie Julliand
UN entities involved in this initiative
DPPA
United Nations Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs
FAO
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
IFAD
International Fund for Agricultural Development
ILO
International Labor Organization
IOM
International Organization for Migration
ITU
International Telecommunications Union
OCHA
United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
OHCHR
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
UN Women
United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women
UN-Habitat
United Nations Human Settlements Programme
UNAIDS
Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS
UNDP
United Nations Development Programme
UNDSS
United Nations Department of Safety and Security
UNEP
United Nations Environment Programme
UNESCO
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
UNFPA
United Nations Population Fund
UNHCR
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
UNICEF
United Nations Children’s Fund
UNIDO
United Nations Industrial Development Organization
UNODC
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
UNOPS
United Nations Office for Project Services
WFP
World Food Programme
WHO
World Health Organization