As a woman in a male-dominated and patriarchal society, I know that invisible barriers often disempower women and prevent them from fulfilling their potential. These barriers can be legal, they can be institutional, and they can be cultural. However, all these barriers are reflections of fundamental attitudinal barriers, created by social norms and perpetuated by value systems. We do not question the validity of these norms enough. We can have the best Constitutional and legal guarantees of gender equality in the world (and Fiji has such guarantees), but until you understand how our minds prevent equality in practice, we will make no progress at all. It is for all men and women who recognise that gender inequality requires special sensitivity and competence to eradicate, to champion such eradication. Thus the need for the International Gender Champions. I am proud to be one.
Nazhat Shameem Khan
Ambassador, Permanent Mission of Fiji to the United Nations in Geneva
I support the IGC Panel Parity Pledge.