UN, World Bank Asked to Set Example, Promote More WomenApril 2, 2005, Agence France Presse
Carol Bellamy, director of UNICEF, pointed a finger at her own organization as a laggard in women's rights. The UN needs to put women in senior jobs. Other global institutions ought to recruit women in their top ranks. There are many opportunities, starting with the openings heading up UNDP and the World Bank. UN Secretary General Kofi Annan agreed with her, and said we have to try harder. According to official figures, women hold only nine of 27 jobs as director of a UN agency or program, and 12 out of 54 senior posts in the UN Secretariat. The White House, which traditionally chooses the World Bank president, is reported to be considering Carly Fiorina, the ex-chief executive of Hewlett Packard and one of the top US executives. Another vacant UN position is High Commissioner for Refugees, and the UN has recently solicited nominations from its 191 member states. Until now, many senior UN appointments have been handled through non-transparent political negotiations to meet with the UN charter's recommendation of equitable geographic representation.
An initiative recently begun by the British government and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to provide family planning facilities for many millions of women who were previously denied them was intended to prevent unwanted pregnancies which often endanger the mother's health or produce another mouth which it will prove hard to feed.
But official Roman Catholic church strenuously resists initiatives of this kind, both on grounds of doctrine and by arguing that the money involved could be better spent in other ways.
Many Christians take another view, saying that it has been conceded that sexual intercourse has a wider purpose than procreation it is hard to see why artificial contraception within marriage should be forbidden.