International Women's Day

On Thursday 8 March 2012, the heads of the Vienna-Based Organizations and staff members gathered to celebrate of International Women’s Day. The Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) was represented by the Executive Secretary Tibor Tóth and Vorian Maryssael, the newly appointed Director of the International Monitoring System Division.
Be part of the discussions at work and don’t give up your seat or voice for anybody else. Make yourself heard. You are important and you make a difference.

Vorian Maryssael, herself a mother of twin toddlers, talked (PDF) about the importance of sharing the responsibilities of parenthood to give both parties equal career opportunities: “We should review the role of the father and see that he can do an equally good job as the mother and mean as much as she does to the children. We should give both parents the right to their children, which in turn will give both parents the equal right to actively contribute to building a sustainable future for their children.” Maryssael emphasized the responsibility of employers for setting the framework conditions for equal parenthood and thus equal opportunities in the work place, for example through expanding paternity leave and flexible working hours.

Vorian Maryssael is the newly appointed Director of CTBTO’s International Monitoring System Division. Click image for video. Photo Credit: Dean Calma / IAEA

For you women who want to contribute on the world arena, make sure your partner is truly a partner and if you choose to have children, a partner who is equally interested in being a father as you are in being a mother.

In his statement (PDF), Tibor Tóth explained how the CTBTO has expanded its training and educational activities, for example through the Capacity Development Initiative (CDI), by “embarking on an unprecedented, mass educational collaboration”. “Our quest is to expand the current and next generation of CTBT experts.  I’m not just talking about scientists. But of expanding the pool of experts on the political, legal and technical aspects of the Treaty,” Tóth said. The CDI is a free Vienna based training programme, that is also available online, in real time.

CTBTO Executive Secretary Tibor Tóth speaking at International Women's Day. Click for video. Photo Credit: Dean Calma / IAEA

My pledge is to train as many women in 2012 as we have staff in the whole organization. So that means training some 300 women on all aspects of the CTBTO’s work.

The Executive Secretary said ongoing efforts were needed to close the gender gap within the CTBTO’s own house. “Forty percent of CTBTO Directors are now women. But we fall short across the board with women holding only 30% of professional posts. And only 25% of senior management positions (P5 and D1 combined)”. The CTBTO aspires to achieve a rate of 50% female representation across all staff levels.