What you need to know:
- UN Secretary General António Guterres earned himself a 'B' rating for his ramped up gender advocacy in 2020 amid Covid-19 pandemic.
- As he took office on January 1, 2017, Mr Guterres who identified himself as a feminist.
- His rating was boosted by his efforts to ensure increased transparency around the Covid-19 Response and Recovery Fund and telecast and virtual meetings in the wake of the pandemic.
United Nations(UN)Secretary General António Guterres earned himself a 'B' rating, the highest in the four years he has been in office, for his ramped up gender advocacy in 2020 amid Covid-19 pandemic.
In coming up with the UN chief's report card, International Centre for Research on Women (ICRW) analysed his efforts to promote women and girls rights in the past year based on six-priority areas established in 2016 by Feminist UN Campaign, a group of feminists from academia and civil society.
As he took office on January 1, 2017, Mr Guterres who identified himself as a feminist, was expected to deliver the gender agenda by articulating and implementing a feminist leadership agenda, ensure feminist implementation and accountability for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and finance for gender equality.
He was also to utilise feminist leadership through parity and rights protections, enable a feminist transformation for the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) and UN Women, as well as promote the freedom of information in the UN system.
The UN chief's performance in three of the focus areas increased, bolstering his overall ratings to a 'B'.
The report card states that his "scores increased over last year in the areas of feminist leadership and agenda-setting, reflecting his leadership for gender equality in both diplomatic and funding responses to the pandemic."
He also did a better job of clearly linking the SDGs to the women’s human rights agenda while honouring a feminist implementation for the SDGs.
It found, for instance, that nearly 15 per cent of his tweets in the year were issues related to gender, an increase by four per cent from 2019.
His rating was further boosted by his efforts to ensure increased transparency around the Covid-19 Response and Recovery Fund and telecast and virtual meetings in the wake of the pandemic.
He however, performed poorly in financing for gender equality despite related initiatives and actors remaining vastly underfunded.
He also lagged in enabling a feminist transformation for CSW and UN Women into stronger, more inclusive bodies and resources within the wider UN system.
And 2021 being his final year in the office, the feminists demand of him “to demonstrate his clear commitment to strengthening the UN’s gender equality architecture, from UN Women, to gender advisors to the Commission on the Status of Women—and to civil society’s meaningful engagement in its efforts.”