Women’s empowerment is everybody’s business: Mlambo-Ngcuka - CNBC Africa

Women’s empowerment is everybody’s business: Mlambo-Ngcuka

Southern Africa

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Mlambo-Ngcuka will be the executive director of the Entity for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women, a recently established programme that aims to promote gender equality and assist in various issues affecting women globally.

“This is a new institution. The different entities that have been joined together to make UN Women used to be a stand-alone programme. One of the key strategic focuses for me is going to be consolidating on the good work that was started by the first executive director, the former president of Chile, and making sure that all of these areas hang together and that they also work with the other agencies of the UN,” Mlambo-Ngcuka told CNBC Africa on Thursday.

“I’m very much interested in UN institutions such as UN Industrial Development Organisation, that deals a lot with industries and business because therein lies a lot of opportunities for us to work together to address issues of women, economic empowerment and to bring private sectors much closer to the agenda for women.”

Focus areas of the programme include violence against women, violence in areas of conflict as well as domestic violence. Poverty alleviation in accordance with the Millennium Development Goals will also be an integral part of the programme.

She expects to significantly increase the base and stakeholders in strategic places to assist with the issues affecting women in the first four years at UN Women.

“If we could generate and allocate more resources for women, but more than anything else, take it seriously and not just do it as a public relations activity,” said Mlambo-Ngcuka.

 Mlambo-Ngcuka was the first woman to become a deputy president in South Africa. She was deputy president between 2005 and 2008 before that the minister of trade and industry between 1996 and 2005. She is also the first African head of UN Women.