A common excuse is that finding panellists is a little more difficult. Well, board organizers have to look a little trickier. Mannells is a deviation when the issue being discussed is directly related to women, such as sexual and reproductive rights. The youth activists had the slogan “There is nothing about us without us.” The same applies to women’s issues.
If we want gender equality in presidencies, parliaments and other positions of power, then we must definitely have women on every committee. There is no reason to exclude women from any discussion, and there are every reason to involve them, because they bring another perspective and raise questions and issues that men may never have thought of.
“No manel” pledge
For these and other reasons, we pledged at the United Nations in Indonesia that ‘No Manel’, and with our encouragement and strong support from the Ambassador of Canada, we have secured more than 40 ambassadors – including not only model ambassadors from donor countries, but also ambassadors representing a diverse group of countries. From every continent – to join them.
In addition, senior officials from the Government of Indonesia have joined this initiative. There is still great interest and we expect the number of ambassadors, ministers, and even CEOs from the private sector to increase in the coming weeks.
The United Nations in Indonesia is developing a practical and easy-to-use guide to help our country team members as well as our external partners to avoid situations of co-organizing or speaking at an event involving Manel. It is clear that in some disciplines, there are far fewer women than men, and even with good intentions, it is difficult to identify the right experts.
However, there is no magic bullet and no quick fix. The “ men ” phenomenon will not disappear overnight, but the United Nations will undoubtedly raise standards, increase the cost of neglecting women’s voices, generate greater public awareness, and create a ripple effect towards normalizing gender-balanced public policy discourse.
The “not to prevent” pledge is sometimes interpreted as a strike on men. None of this aims to detract from men’s views, just to point to the obvious, and to reverse it: A painting without women is detrimental to the world of equality, freedom and peace that we seek to build and need.