South African appointed Head of UN Women
United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon has appointed Ms Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka of South Africa, as Executive Director of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women (UN Women).
The Secretary-General expressed his gratitude to the outgoing Executive Director, Ms Michelle Bachelet for her commitment in spearheading the organisation’s work on gender equality and the empowerment of women at the global, regional and country level.
A statement signed by Madam Cynthia Prah, National Information Officer of the United Nations Information Centre in Accra and copied to Ghana News Agency on Friday said Mr Ban was particularly appreciative of Ms Bachelet’s exemplary leadership as the first Executive Director of the UN Women.
It noted that Ms Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka brings to the position, a wealth of experience in advocating women’s issues with a combination of strategic leadership, consensus building and hands-on management experience.
“She was the first woman to hold the position of Deputy President of South Africa from 2005 to 2008.
Ms Mlambo-Ngcuka initially became a member of parliament in 1994 chairing the Public Service Portfolio Committee.
She was Deputy Minister in the Department of Trade and Industry (1996-1999), Minister of Minerals and Energy (1999-2005) and briefly served as acting Minister of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology in 2004,” the statement said.
It said: “Ms Mlambo-Ngcuka was Young Women’s Coordinator for the World Young Women’s Christian Association in Geneva (1984-1986) and served as the first President of the Natal Organisation of Women, an affiliate of the United Democratic Front, when it was formed in December 1983.”
Ms Mlambo-Ngcuka established Umlambo Foundation in 2008 to provide support to schools in impoverished areas in South Africa through mentorship and coaching for teachers and in Malawi through school improvements with local partners.
The statement said Ms Mlambo-Ngcuka holds a Masters of Philosophy in Educational Planning and Policy from the University of Cape Town (2003) and a BA in Education from the University of Lesotho (1980).
It said in 2003, she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Western Cape.
“Born in 1955, Ms Mlambo-Ngcuka is married with three children,” the statement added.