The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, has called for greater participation by women in global disarmament efforts at an event by the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Researchs (UNIDIR) recently. Bachelet urged women to take their rightful place in international security discussions, especially following the impact Russias invasion of Ukraine has had. The conflict, she said, had created a new threat to the global peace and security that is the basis for sustainable development and all human rights.Bachelet quoted research that shows that high levels of military spending correlates negatively with poor womens rights. She noted, for example, that none of the ceasefire agreements reached between 2018 and 2020 included any provisions for peoples gender. This male-dominated trend has continued with current conflicts, Bachelet continued.The UNIDIRs Deputy Director, Cecile Aptel, also noted that on average, only one in five disarmament delegations are headed by women. Put simply, women dont have an equal opportunity to shape international disarmament and security policies, when these very policies affect everyone, Aptel said. She also noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has turned back the clock on gender equality, which is why it is now even more important to improve womens participation in arms control and disarmament.Research shows that women are chronically underrepresented in discussion related to international security, said Renata Dalaqua, Programme Lead for Gender and Disarmament at the UNIDIR. The policies being debated affect everyone. But women, people of colour, and minorities dont have an equal opportunity to shape them. The UN reveals that currently, there are at least 20 countries at war, including 14 countries in Africa alone. Greater participation of women can help remedy the impact of global conflicts, especially at the community and local levels.