Taking Innovative and Concrete Action to Make Gender Equality a Reality 

By connecting strong female and male leadership within and between key institutions, the network facilitates a deeper level of collaborative exchange and leverages institutional knowledge.

The core of our International Gender Champions work begins with the Panel Parity Pledge and Two Smart commitments that each Champion makes each calendar year.

The Panel Parity Pledge: Creating International Awareness

Through the Panel Parity Pledge, International Gender Champions are taking the lead in creating widespread international awareness of the need to ensure gender parity on panels worldwide.

Hundreds of panels take place each year in Geneva, New York, Vienna, Nairobi, Bonn, but women remain underrepresented in panels on international law, IT, science/technology and security, while significantly less males than females sit on gender equality panels.

Visibility is key for role models in the public space and the workplace, and women’s distinct and expert voices must be elevated through gender parity. Diverse points of view offer twenty-first century results, generate sustainable solutions, and lead to a change in culture. Single-sex panels are obsolete!

All International Gender Champions sign the Panel Parity Pledge to
"no longer sit on single-sex panels."

Making SMART Commitments

Each Gender Champion makes two personal commitments to galvanize behavioural change at an individual and an institutional level. These commitments are specific to the Champion and their organization, seek to catalyse innovation and implement best practices to achieve gender equality in measurable, results-oriented and time-bound increments. All Gender Champions report on their commitments in the end of each calendar year.

Some of our strong commitments: 

  • UN Secretary General: "To ensure that where possible on all country visits to meet with women's civil society organisations and/or visit a programme focused on furthering gender equality and women's empowerment‎"  
  • Permanent Representative from Mozambique to International Organizations in Geneva: "Progressively achieve gender parity in the composition of the delegations coming from Mozambique"
  • Permanent Representative from Fiji to International Organizations in Geneva: "That the budget submissions and budget allocations for the Geneva Mission will be gender responsive, and that all submissions to the Fijian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Budget, shall set out the proportion of the proposed Budget which is designed directly and indirectly to empower women"
  • The Nordic Group of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden: "To promote work-family life balance through: 1) early information and advance notice of meetings to enhance predictability and planning, and 2) avoid calling meetings taking place during evenings, weekends and public holidays".

What is a SMART Commitment? 

Specific. Measurable. Achievable. Realistic. Time-Bound.

Specific customised commitments drawn from existing strategy documents and work plans are most effective to strengthen exisiting work on gender equality, to make it more visible, or to launch new initiatives.

Commitments focus on sustainable system transformation and indicators can be assigned to measure progress.

Champions report on progress of implementation at the end of each calendar year through the IGC Annual Survey. The Survey is also an opportunity to evaluate whether to revise or continue existing commitments, or make new ones for the following year.

Transmit commitments throughout the organization. Officially announce the launch of the initiative and invite discussion on commitment implementation. Place commitments as a quarterly item on your organization’s agenda to assess the progress of implementation. Create a standing agenda item on ‘Gender Equality’ for your Governing Board, and an annual public report for the Board detailing progress towards equality offering strategic options to advance equality.