Gender Institute and Department of International Development public lecture
Date: Tuesday 17 May 2011
Venue: Old Theatre, Old Building
Speaker: Michelle Bachelet
Chair: Professor Judith Rees
The UN's newest agency - UN Women - has a global mandate to empower women and build gender equality. UN Women's first Executive Director and Under-Secretary General Michelle Bachelet will outline her vision for empowering women economically and politically to address challenges of poverty, inequality and exclusion and persistent violence against women both in conflict and non-conflict situations. She will focus in particular on peace and security as an area with particular obstacles to women's engagement in conflict prevention and building security, and she will describe UN Women's work in conflict-affected contexts to enable women to engage as leaders - not victims - in conflict resolution and recovery.
Michelle Bachelet is the first Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women, which was established on 2 July 2010 by the United Nations General Assembly. Under Ms Bachelet's leadership, UN Women will lead, support and coordinate the work on gender equality and the empowerment of women at global, regional and country levels.
Ms Bachelet most recently served as President of Chile from 2006 to 2010. A long-time champion of women's rights, she has advocated for gender equality and women's empowerment throughout her career. One of her major successes as President was her decision to save billions of dollars in revenues to spend on issues such as pension reform, social protection programmes for women and children, and research and development, despite the financial crisis. Other initiatives included tripling the number of free early child-care centres for low-income families and the completion of some 3,500 child-care centres around the country.
Ms Bachelet also held ministerial portfolios in the Chilean Government as Minister of Defence and Minister of Health. As Defence Minister, Ms Bachelet introduced gender policies intended to improve the conditions of women in the military and police forces. As Minister of Health, she implemented health care reform, improving attention to primary care facilities with the aim of ensuring better and faster health care response for families.
Suggested hashtag for this event for Twitter users: #lseunwomen
A transcript of Michelle Bachelet's speech is available to download. Download Empowering Women to Meet New Challenges, from National Development to Conflict Prevention and Post-Conflict Recovery (pdf)
A podcast of this event is available to download from Empowering Women to Meet New Challenges, from National Development to Conflict Prevention and Post-Conflict Recovery.
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