Gender Team: What are some of the changes and progress you have seen in terms of promoting gender equality since the adoption of the first UNOV/UNODC Gender Mainstreaming Strategy? Are there any moments and achievements that stand out?
Jeremy Milsom: In Pakistan we are proactive on promoting gender equality. Many of the departments and agencies we work with (e.g. law enforcement and the judiciary) have relatively low female representation. Thus, we ask for and advocate for female participation in all our events and have supported many capacity building programmes specifically for women. This is evident through the data that the Monitoring and Evaluation Section has been collecting since 2017. In 2021 we have seen a 1908% increase in female participation since 2017!
Gender Team: What do you think are the next big steps towards closing the gender gap in the work that your Regional Office does and where would you like to be in 2026 in terms of gender equality?
Jeremy Milsom: The wider UN family in Pakistan has set gender equality as one of the five priority areas under the new United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF). Through thisinitiative, the heads of 23 agencies have agreed to work together to make a difference in this area in Pakistan. In UNODC’s work, this will entail continuing advocacy and lobbying to ensure equal representation and participation of women in our activities and in specific activities that serve to enable for more women to seek employment in the technical areas in which UNODC works. It will also entail ensuring that assessments carefully analyse the challenges through a gender lens to help us understand constraints to achieving gender equality and how they can be overcome.
Gender Team: How do you view the role of leadership in successfully promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment in UNOV/UNODC’s work and its working environment?
Jeremy Milsom: Leadership is important to keep our entire team consistently focused on gender equality. This applies not only to our technical assistance, but also on how our office functions and its practices. We need to strive for gender parity with our staff at all levels. We need to ensure that we all serve as ambassadors for gender equality as enshrined in the UN charter, principles and values. We need to ensure a safe working environment for all employees. We need to promote regular interaction and innovation to explore ways to reach our gender equality goals.