14.09.2010 - UNESCOPRESS

UNESCO Director-General congratulates Michelle Bachelet on her nomination as head of UN Women

Michelle Bachelet Jeria - © UNESCO/Michel Ravassard

The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today congratulated the former President of Chile, Michelle Bachelet Jeria, on her nomination as the head of UN Women, a new entity to accelerate progress in meeting the needs of women and girls worldwide.

“The creation of UN Women, unanimously approved by the United Nations General Assembly, was already an important development. It becomes even more significant now that a person with the talent and experience of Michelle Bachelet has been named to direct it,” declared Ms Bokova. “UNESCO is deeply committed to advancing the rights of girls and women in education, science, culture, communications and information. Gender Equality is one of our global strategic priorities. Our Organization will do its utmost to support Ms Bachelet’s work at the head of UN Women and to collaborate with UN Women in all our domains of activity.”

Over the past decade progress has been made in narrowing gender gaps in education, however girls still account for more than half the world’s out-of-school children; two thirds of the 796 million illiterate adults are women.  Of the world‘s one billion poorest people, three fifths are girls and women.

    The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) brings together and builds on the work of four previously distinct parts of the UN system: the Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW), the International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW), the Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women (OSAGI) and the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM).

    Michelle Bachelet Jeria, a doctor of medicine, became the first woman president of Chile in 2006.


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