|WHERE HAVE ALL THOSE WOMEN GONE?
When Ms. Ogata left as High Commissioner for Refugees, she was replaced by a man. When Ms. Mary
Robinson left as High Commissioner for High Rights, she was replaced by a man. Now as Ms. Brundtland
is leaving, she is about to be replaced by a man; maybe even two men -- a Director General and
an accommodated Deputy.
Where have all those wonderful Geneva women gone? They were all very tough when required, yet
always gracious and they gave a touch of warm flair -- even star quality -- in the cool days of
Geneva. Then there was Nafis Sadek, always ready with an intervention, never shying away from
what she felt was right. She was indeed replaced by a woman, a qualified capable woman from a
deserving region. We have yet to see her imprint. UNDP Assistant Administrator for the Arab region,
Ms. Rima Khalaf, is slowly but surely making one. Carol Bellamy, extended in UNICEF, is beyond contest;
those who tried to undercut her earlier on realized that they would do so at their own peril.
Regrettably, Angela King has not been feeling well for a while and her Division on Gender Equality is
lapsing into ponderosity. Deputy Secretary General Louise Freschette has left no stone unturned
in constant pursuit of reform despite sniping, particularly from the Chef de Cabeb who mutters to
himself that she was holding the "other side of the stick" -- whatever that means. One piece of good
news is the arrival of Catherine Bertini. When she left the World Food Programme in Rome, she too was
replaced by a man. However, she is now taking over from Joseph Connor the crucial administrative
and management position. Those who ask where have all those women gone are answered by another
question: Where are those men confident enough to designate a qualified woman?