Written by Al Jazeera
In their recent opinion article, "Bureaucratic bloat cannot and will not help women's participation in decision-making processes", France 24 argued that the push for bureaucratic agencies within the bloc, “HEADS”, is stripping states from sovereignty, a problematic approach to the situation at hand. However, Al Jazeera responds by stating that it is this catering to the nations’ wish for more sovereignty in solutions that ends up reinforcing these issues.
Currently, members of the UN Commission of the Rights of Women are convening to discuss female participation in politics along with the general issue of gender equality. Several states in this committee are concerningly troublesome in regards to this, as there are no women being represented in their governments today.
Blocs such as HEADS attempt to tackle this issue by proposing solutions such as international standards and quotas for women in government, taking measures to increase the resources allocated to marginalized women.
In their article, France 24 states, “However, creating new boards, commissions, and task forces will merely exacerbate the problem by creating bureaucratic bloat, and women’s voices will be lost in the processes”, as well as calling out the lack of consideration for state sovereignty. What this editorial fails to take into account, however, is that many of these proposed organizations and task forces are being incorporated into pre-existing UN bodies with the goal of taking into account every population of women, from the indigenous to the ones in developed countries.
While state sovereignty is something important to keep in mind, several of the nations that tend to push this issue are the ones not doing anything for the populations within their borders. The Al Jazeera believes that rather than fighting to have the option of whether or not to be held to these standards, they should focus their efforts on changing it to suit them. One thing that the HEADS bloc actually does include in their resolution is calling for more regional-based solutions to fight against ‘one solution fits all’ band-aid approach.
This push for new bureaucratization in the “HEADS” paper does not have the same devastating consequences on state sovereignty that France 24’s article outlines. This paper takes a regional-based approach and takes into account the specific issues that each region faces. Hence, the fight for state sovereignty conveniently focuses the conversation away from bettering these solutions to fit the specific regions and instead searches for a loophole to not implement these standards, and thus reinforcing the issue at hand.