United Nations: Michelle Bachelet to Head UN Women
Wednesday, September 22, 2010 10:40 AM

The United Nations announced recently that Michelle Bachelet, the former president of Chile, will lead a new UN agency, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women). The new agency will synthesize four previously distinct UN entities: the Division for the Advancement of Women, the International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women, the Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and the Advancement of Women, and the United Nations Development Fund for Women. UN Women will have a budget twice the size of the four former entities combined. The Millennium Development Goals relating to women's rights have seen the least progress, and the new agency with expanded funding is part of a final push to better address those issues.

Bachelet’s career reveals a devotion to promoting the rights and interests of women, as well as great skill in global politics and leadership. During her tenure as the first female president of Chile, Bachelet created a gender-balanced cabinet and focused on a number of issues affecting women. She has worked with UNIFEM since leaving office to help advocate for Haitian women affected by the severe earthquake that occurred there last January. In the next few months, recruitment of staff will continue, and UN Women intends to begin work in January 2011.

Compiled from: UN News Centre, Feminist Daily News, WUNRN.com (September 22, 2010).