46th PCB - Intervention by Dr. Karen Badalyan - Agenda item 8: Update on strategic human resources management issues

Delivered by Dr. Karen BADALYAN, Europe, on behalf of the PCB NGO Delegation

I am delivering this statement on behalf of the NGO Delegation.

The PCB NGO Delegation appreciates the Secretariat’s input to move forward with its ambitious agenda across the four pillars of the 2016– 2021 Human Resources Management (HRM) Strategy. We also recognize the immense ongoing efforts of the HRM department to uphold dignity, accountability, and wellbeing in the UNAIDS workplace, and to provide an environment in which staff members feel safe and happy to work, and are supported and empowered to perform to the best of their abilities.

It is important also to acknowledge that women’s empowerment has been mainstreamed with the overall proportion of female staff members in UNAIDS standing at 55% for the past 5 years, and 68% of the internship positions offered to women.

Despite these achievements, we must raise your attention to the gender equality issues within HRM. Gender parity at all levels is an important goal in the UNAIDS 2018–2023 Gender Action Plan. We are extremely disappointed with being informed that the Staff members’ biological sex has been automatically taken as an indicator to identify people’s gender self-identification, as well as the binary approach to the gender with a diversification of Staff members only to men and women. These are so out of date, so retrogressive, so cis-normative. We must, as a global health programme, recognise gender identities and gender expressions in all their diversities and must collect data appropriately. We call upon the Secretariat to include gender diversity in its full spectrum in all future human resource management reports. What we ensure and demand internally, we must work for externally.

I strongly believe that who hasn’t actually walked a mile in transgender, non-binary, intersex, gender queer, gender non-conforming, bigender people’s shoes, hasn’t full understanding of their needs and problems inside out.

We must do better. We must recognise the wonderful diversity in our communities and our constituencies and we must structure our response to work with this diversity, and to protect, and serve all of our constituencies.

Thank you!


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