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Michelle Bachelet to step down as head of UN Women

UN Women Executive Director Michelle Bachelet.
ILO/M. Creuset
UN Women Executive Director Michelle Bachelet.

Michelle Bachelet to step down as head of UN Women

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today said that Michelle Bachelet had informed him of her intention to step down as head of the United Nations entity mandated to promote gender equality.

The Secretary-General expressed his “tremendous gratitude for her outstanding service” as the Executive Director of UN Women, an entity created in 2010 to oversee the Organization's programmes aimed at promoting women's rights and full participation in global affairs.

“Michelle Bachelet was the right person in the right job at the right time,” Mr. Ban said in a statement.

“Her visionary leadership gave UN Women the dynamic start it needed. Her fearlessness in advocating for women's rights raised the global profile of this key issue. Her drive and compassion enabled her to mobilize and make a difference for millions of people across the world.”

Mr. Ban said Ms. Bachelet's achievements include new steps to protect women and girls from violence, new advances on health, and a new understanding that women's empowerment must be at the core of what the United Nations does.

“This is a stellar legacy, and I am determined to build on it,” he noted.

Earlier in the evening, Ms. Bachelet had spoken to the closing session of the Commission on the Status of Women where more than 130 Member States agreed on a document to prevent and eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls.

International media reported her saying this would be her last Commission and that she planned to return to Chile, where she had served as president from 2006 to 2010.