18 September 2011

UN Women ~ Chile's Bachelet on Global Mission

Gayle Tzemach Lemmon writes in Newsweek that former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet Has a Mission -- running the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women -- popularly known as UN Women. While the mission of gender equality and protection and a voice for women is hugely important, Lemmon itemizes the many challenges...
"...from the beginning of Bachelet’s tenure there have been problems. To begin with, U.N. Women was not accorded the power of a full agency, a distinction that matters at the United Nations. It is the product of four years of negotiations that nearly ended in gridlock after member states split on the organization’s mission. What emerged was an entity with an operational responsibility to run programs on the ground when countries want them, and a policymaking arm to ensure women sit at the center of the U.N.’s work. All that costs real money, which points to the more fundamental problem: the financial resources critical to U.N. Women’s success have failed to materialize. While countless U.N. speeches have eloquently emphasized the importance of improving the lot of women and girls, contributions to the fledgling organization haven’t lived up to the rhetoric."
Despite this, Bachelet seems up to the task.

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