European & International News

New Head of UN Women appointed

[Thursday 11 July] The European Women’s Lobby would like to congratulate the newly appointed South African Executive Director of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka.

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The Secretary General of the European Women’s Lobby, Cécile Gréboval, is a member of the global civil society advisory committee to UN Women and she today shared her congratulations with Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka on her appointment. The advisory group represents many women’s rights organisations, women’s rights lobby groups and grass roots activists from around the world.

The announcement was made through the Spokesperson of the UN Secretary-General at yesterday’s news briefing. The statement says: “Ms. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka brings to this position, a wealth of experience in advocating for 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.

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 Organization 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.

Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka holds a Master’s degree in Philosophy in Educational Planning and Policy from the University of Cape Town (2003) and a BA in Education from the University of Lesotho (1980). 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 tasks confronting Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka are considerable, and we wish her every success in her new position.

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