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Events Panel DiscussionPeaceZ-online

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  • 8:00 – 9:30 New York
  • 14:00 – 15:30 Geneva
  • Asako Okai

    UN Assistant Secretary General, Assistant Administrator and Director of the Crisis Bureau

  • Sarah Poole

    Deputy Director, Regional Bureau for Arab States

Rethinking women’s leadership in crisis situations

Missed the live session? Watch event webinar here:


Rising gender inequality is both a driver and a consequence of crisis, as demonstrated by the disproportionate gendered impacts of COVID-19. As such, efforts to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment must be a central pillar of our people-centered approach to tackling crisis and multiple intersecting threats to peace and development. We cannot rethink crisis without a stronger focus on gender equality, and we cannot achieve gender equality without women’s full and equal participation every step of the way.   

During 2020 in the run up to the 25th anniversary of United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325, the first UNSCR to acknowledge the central role of women in ensuring peace, UNDP with UN Women, ICAN and WILPF ran an online open global consultation seeking to learn from the experience of grassroots women all over the globe on what had worked and what had not worked in engaging women in economic and political decision making in fragile and crisis-ridden societies.  That global reflection resulted in nine key insights to help rethink women’s leadership in crisis situations, guide future policy and programming and promote gender equality in crisis countries. Transformation in crisis settings requires doing things differently.   

In the context of the development dialogues series and on the occasion of International Women’s Day, UNDP will showcase those innovative insights and will bring forward the voices of women leaders – nothing for us without us – with a moderated discussion on new ways and opportunities to increase women’s influence in decision-making in crisis contexts. 

In recognition of this year’s Commission on the Status of Women 65 theme, the event will  highlight how national women-led solutions are helping to bring results – in Sudan, the government is using this approach to plan its way out of a compounded crisis, towards a peaceful transition and sustainable development. 

UNDP will also announce the establishment of a new Gender and Crisis Engagement Facility designed to strengthen gender-transformational results and women’s leadership and participation in crisis contexts. 


Opening Remarks:  

  • Asako Okai, UN Assistant Secretary General, Assistant Administrator and Director of the Crisis Bureau, UNDP 

Insights from the WPS sensemaking engagement:  

  • Sarah Poole, Deputy Director, Regional Bureau for Arab States, UNDP

Audio-visual presentation: 

Soundbites from women peacebuilders from around the globe  

Panel Discussion: 

  • H. E. Tayseer Alnworani, Minister of Labour and Administrative Reform, The Republic of the Sudan
  • Sandra Moran, human rights activist, historian, musician, revolutionary, and politician, Guatemala
  • Shreen Abdul Siroor, Founder of the Women’s Action Network (WAN),N-Peace Awardee 2011, Sri Lanka
  • Zarqa Yaftali, Executive Director of the Women and Children Legal Research Foundation, N-Peace
    Awardee 2019, Afghanistan
  • Zainal Abidin, Executive Director, Natural Aceh, N-Peace CSO Awardee, 2018

Closing remarks: 

  • Raquel Lagunas, Director Gender Team, UNDP 



Arabic, Spanish