RNE staff celebrate International Women’s Day

The Near East and North Africa (NENA) Regional Office celebrated International Women’s Day with its staff on March 8, 2020.


Employees wore purple as a symbolic gesture in solidarity to the cause and gathered together to reflect on progress made on gender equality and women’s empowerment in the region and within FAO. The occasion was an opportunity to discuss the gaps that remain and brainstorm on the way forward, including within the Regional Office.

Following opening remarks from Abdessalam Ould Ahmed, FAO Assistant Director-General and NENA Regional Representative (RNE ADG), staff engaged in an interactive game to test their knowledge on International Women’s Day – a creative way to increase their knowledge of the day and its purpose.

The celebration was attended by guest of honor Dr. Maha El-Saeed, Cairo University Professor and founder of the Cairo University Anti-Harassment Unit, who provided an informative presentation on the status of women in the region, based on findings of the Beijing +25 review report, and the work still needed to achieve gender equality.

In the second half of the event, the focus shifted on gender parity and gender equality in the workplace. The Regional Gender Officer, Clara Mi Young Park, shared highlights from the FAO performance data on gender parity based on the UN System Wide Action Plan on Gender Equality report. The presentation was followed by a panel discussion with female staff members across different categories, ages and nationalities, who shared their experiences in the UN system and FAO. Focus was on lessons learned and practical advice on work-life balance, career development, mentorship and the buddy system.

On the occasion, the RNE ADG recalled the DG’s initiatives to promote gender equality in all areas of FAO’s work in gender equality, parity and a harmonious work environment free from all forms of harassment. The the RNE ADG also announced the establishment of a regional Women’s Committee to contribute to FAO’s efforts in this direction.