Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced yesterday the appointment of former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet to head a newly created United Nations agency to promote women’s equality. The UN Entity for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women, or UN Women for short, will focus on promoting equality issues in education, government and employment which, according to a UN study conducted this past June, has progressed slowly.
The former President’s nomination was considered along with two other candidates. She was unanimously approved by a 26-member selection committee to head the agency following interviews with each candidate by the Secretary-General last week. “I’m confident that under her strong leadership we can improve the lives of millions of women and girls throughout the world,” said the Secretary-General of Bachelet. In congratulatory remarks, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton noted: “She has broken barriers for women in Chile and throughout the region, and I am inspired by her passion, her expertise, and her courage to speak out on difficult issues.”
The creation of UN Women was approved unanimously on July 2 this year and will consolidate the activities of four UN agencies including; the Division for the Advancement of Women, the Development Fund for Women, the International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women, and the Office of the Special Adviser on Gender issues. The new agency will have 41 members consisting of member countries from each region.