Thank you, Dr. Goetz,
It is my pleasure to address you at today´s launch of this report on gender equality in public administration.
The theme is surely important – not only as a fundamental rights issue, but also because bringing women´s perspectives to public policy and decision making is essential to make government more responsive and effective.
We have been fortunate to see valuable progress in this field in Iceland - progress that can largely be attributed to the hard work of pioneering women that originally brought the importance of gender equality and women´s empowerment to the political agenda.
Since then, some of the good practices that have delivered concrete results include special measures and legislation, such as paid parental leave for both parents and affordable day care.
Together, these measures have undoubtedly made a significant contribution to the high level of women’s labour participation in Iceland, now ranked at the top of the OECD countries.
However, we do realise that more needs to be done, and we must continue to do our utmost to ensure that equal participation in public life can thrive.
The report provides important insights into the challenges women face in public administration, while also highlighting substantial opportunities for further progress and offering specific recommendations to that effect.
Through our participation in the UNDP Gender Equality Seal Programme, the Icelandic Ministry for Foreign Affairs is firmly focused on seizing these opportunities by implementing gender equality reforms in our own work.
Overall, it is clear, that we all must work to unleash the full potential of gender equality for peace, progress, and development – including in our national public administrations.
The report being launched here today is an important contribution to these efforts.
I thank you.