International Day Of Women In Diplomacy 2023

The International Day of Women in Diplomacy is celebrated annually on 24 June. It was established by the United Nations (UN) on 20 June 2022 to reaffirm that women’s participation, on an equal footing with men and at all levels of decision-making, is essential to achieving sustainable development, peace and democracy. The International Day of Women in Diplomacy provides an opportunity for the world to recognise and applaud the work of women diplomats.

Of the 193 United Nations member states, only 34 currently have women as elected heads of state or government. Progress has been made in many countries. However, there is still a long way to go in terms of women’s representation at other levels of global political office. Currently, women make up:

  • 21% of the global ministers
  • 26% of national parliamentarians
  • 34% of elected local government representatives

According to a new UN report, at the current rate of progress, equal representation in global parliaments will not be achieved until 2062.

What about St Helena?

The St Helena Legislative Council has 15 members, 12 of which are elected for a four-year term by popular vote of the public and are voting members. Of the other three members, two fulfil the roles of the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker, with the Attorney-General also being an ex-officio member of the Council.

Currently, five women, are part of the St Helena Legislative Council. This means that 41% of Elected Members are women. Two of the five Ministers (or 40%) in the Executive Council, St Helena’s executive branch, are women.

In comparison, in February 2020 40% of members of the European Parliament were female, and in 2022 30% of ministerial positions in the UK were held by women.

The chart below shows the number of women elected at St Helena general elections since 2013:

To mark this day, a short interview with Chief Minister Julie Thomas will be released on SHG’s social media channels.

Reflecting on International Day of Women in Diplomacy 2023, Chief Minister Julie Thomas said:

“Female representation in diplomacy is vitally important. Women have different viewpoints on how we see politics and life in general when compared to men, so we are able to bring different experiences to the table. I’m proud that in my position as Chief Minister, I am able to be an ambassador for St Helena and communicate to the world what it is our fantastic Island and community has to offer.”

If you’d like more information and figures about women in politics and public life, please visit www.commonslibrary.parliament.uk/research-briefings/sn01250/, or www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_GGGR_2022.pdf.

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St Helena Government Communications Hub

Telephone: 22470
Email: kimberley.peters@sainthelena.gov.sh