To ensure women and girls have full and equal access to and participation in science, and further achieve gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, ICAO committed to the United Nations 2030 Agenda and the respective Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In fact, SDG number 5, “Achieve gender parity and empower all women and girls” is one of ICAO’s highest priorities and has remained a strong focus in recent years.
Gender equality is a basic human right. Many individuals, societies and organizations are continually exerting efforts to sustain inclusiveness. However, in a wide range of cultures, varieties of social norms inhibit girls’ and women’s access to education or jobs and therefore their ability to enter the labour force. Women’s lower participation in the labour market results in fewer opportunities to learn and advance on the job and to have access to opportunities.
Recognizing the importance of advancing gender equality in aviation, in 2016, the 39th Session of the Assembly adopted Resolution A39-30 ICAO Gender Equality Programme promoting the participation of women in the global aviation sector. Accordingly, in 2017, the Secretary General established the ICAO Gender Equality Programme, with four main objectives for effective implementation:
a) build capacity and enhance awareness for gender equality; b) enhance gender representation; c) increase accountability; and d) further engagement with external partners.
a) build capacity and enhance awareness for gender equality;
b) enhance gender representation;
c) increase accountability; and
d) further engagement with external partners.
The Gender Equality Programme covers a broad spectrum of activities, some of which are specific to ICAO, while others focus on Member States, government and policy makers, and some others are directed towards the role of the aviation industry. The overall perspective is that coordinated effort at a global level is necessary for the aviation sector to successfully implement the Gender Equality Programme and that responsibility remains with us all. Moreover, the updated Resolution A41-26 adopted by the 41st Session of the Assembly is a call for stronger commitment at all levels, including the Secretariat.