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1st Female Chilean President Heads UN Women's Agency

Four United Nations agencies that focus on women and gender equity will be merging, and the new entity will be lead by the former president of Chile, Michelle Bachelet, UN News Centre reports.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today appointed former Chilean president Michelle Bachelet to head United Nations Women (UN Women), a newly created entity to oversee all of the world body’s programmes aimed at promoting women’s rights and full participation in global affairs.

The new body – which will become operational next January – will merge four UN agencies and offices: the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), the Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW), the Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues, and the UN International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (UN-INSTRAW).

Ms. Bachelet, Chile’s first female president who prioritized women’s issues throughout her tenure and since leaving office has been working with UNIFEM to advocate for the needs of Haitian women following January’s devastating earthquake, was chosen over two other candidates.

The new entity is set to have an annual budget of at least $500 million, double the current combined resources of the four agencies it comprises.

Top priorities for UN Women will be to advance the Commission on the Status of Women, help UN member countries implement standards for achieving gender equity, and ensure that the UN itself holds true to commitments of gender equality.


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