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UN elects their 9th male Secretary General - do women need to grow a moustache to have leadership position at the UN?

Statement by members of the Women’s Major Group on the appointment of the new Secretary General of the United Nations. The Women’s Major Group of the UN Agenda-2030 process (WMG), has received the announcement of the nomination of Mr Antonio Guterres as new Secretary General, with mixed feelings.

13.10.2016 |

Over the past year, the WMG has advocated for the election of a feminist, woman Secretary General. After 70 years of male leadership of the United Nations, it is past time for a woman to take the helm. Women are half of the world’s population and have the right to equal representation in decision-making and leadership at the highest levels. The UN is officially committed to gender parity. It must lead by example by putting women in leadership positions. Instead, it has chosen nine men in succession for the post of Secretary General. Mr Guterres is also the fourth European man to take this position.

Download a pdf version of the Women's Major Group statement here

Please join us!

By sharing this statement and the accompanying images and tweets which you will find on the Women's Major Group website: 

  • Do women need to grow a moustache to have leadership position @UN? #SGstache #nextsg (http//
  • WMG mixed feelings appointment new @UNSG : 9th male SG in a row  (http//
  • @UN has gender equality as mandate, let it be role model (http//
  • WMG disappointed with @UN for selecting 9th male #UNSG in a row  (http//
  • The @UN chooses to enter its 8th decade with another man in charge. When can women lead?  (http//
  • Why can't the world's biggest international organisation elect a woman?‘  (http//
  • Two days after International Day of the Girl Child, @UN embraces yet another male #UNSG. #DoAsTheySayNotAsTheyDo‘  (http//


Mix & match the following hashtags:

  • #UNstache
  • #SGstache
  • #leadbyexample 
  • #un 
  • #nextsg
  • #gender 
  • #genderparity 
  • #women
  • #leadership
  • #internationalglassceiling
  • #breakingtheglassceiling


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