Dr Matshidiso Moeti, World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Director for Africa says the agency will soon recruit 100 national and international young women as UN volunteers in the region.
Moeti disclosed on Sunday in a video message to mark the International Women’s Day.
The regional director said that she was happy to launch the Africa Young Women Champions Initiative in partnership with the UN Volunteers Programme.
“In the coming months we will recruit 100 national and international UN volunteers in the African Region and we will be targeting young women from the global south to boost equity and empowerment.
“We will be looking for candidates to work in technical areas, such as family health, nutrition, disease prevention and control information management and innovation.
“We will also be looking for candidates to work in communications, external relations, general management and administration,’’ she said.
According to her, the Initiative comes at the right time for WHO in the African Region.
“We have committed to achieving gender parity among WHO staff, and although we are making progress, we still have work to do.
“Women now account for 33 per cent of our workforce, up from 27 per cent in 2015.
“We need more women to apply for jobs with WHO in the African Region – currently only one-quarter of our applicants are female.
“Within WHO, we are building the capacities of female staff.
“For example, we supported the training of an all-female cohort through our leadership development programme.’’
In addition, Moeti said the agency had established a mentoring and support programme, and we have set-up a task force to promote a more conducive working environment for women in the region.
“Together, we need to do more to empower women, include building skills beyond traditional training, addressing social norms, and helping the next generation of girls.
“Gender equality is a priority now, and for the health and well-being of future generations. Investments in equality will benefit us all – women, men, girls and boys,’’ she said.
The regional director, however, assured of its commitment to supporting the next generation of female leaders in health in Africa.
She said the theme of 2020 Women Day “I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights” called on us all to stand on the right side of history, to address inequities, for our peers and for future generations.