UN Women - A Catalyst for Change

On January 24th 2011, The launch event for UN Women, Honouring the Past – Envisioning the Future for Women and Girls, was hosted by Ms. Michelle Bachelet, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director, UN Women. It was emceed by Ms. Juju Chang, news anchor of ABC's Good Morning America, with other distinguished speakers and performers.

Bandana Rana of Saathi-Nepal and GEAR Campaign Focal Point made a statement as representative of civil society at the event.
Michelle Bachelet laid out a 100-day action plan today, embracing a full spectrum of issues from supporting national partners to promoting coherence within the UN system. In her remakes, she stated that UN Women will focus on five areas:

UN Women will focus on five areas:
1) Expanding women's voice, leadership and participation;
2) Ending violence against women;
3) Strengthening women's full participation in conflict resolution and peace processes;
4) Enhancing women's economic empowerment; and
5) Ensuring gender priorities are reflected in national plans and budgets, including capacity to support CEDAW reporting.

UN Women is known formally as the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. It was merged with four former 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).

UN Women Executive Director Michelle Bachelet commemorated the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day (IWD) with a visit to Liberia's capital, Monrovia, where she engaged with women demonstrating leadership in rebuilding the country from the conflict that dominated its recent history.In her address she stated that; “This year's theme for International Women's Day challenges us to think critically about women and girls' access to education, training, science and technology,” she said. “Gender equality and the empowerment of women can only become a reality if we put the necessary resources into education and training for women and girls.”