New head of UN Women discusses role

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka
Mlambo-Ngcuka was the first-ever female South African deputy president. Image: UN Women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, a former South African deputy president, has been appointed by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as the head of the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, also known as UN Women.

Mlambo-Ngcuka, who stepped into the relatively new position on Thursday, replaces former Chilean president Michelle Bachelet, who resigned in March to pursue a presidential bid in her country.

UN Women was formed in 2011 as an “overseeing” role for promoting women’s rights, an area that Mlambo-Ngcuka is well versed in, having worked at grassroots levels on gender equality in South Africa and eventually becoming the first-ever female deputy president in 2005 . . .

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