Michelle Bachelet Expresses Her Gratitude to the Spanish People for Their Commitment to Equality

Date : 31 May 2011

UN Women Press Release
For immediate release

Media Inquiries: Nuria Felipe Soria, Communications Specialist, UN Women Liaison Office in Spain, nuria.felipesoria[at]unwomen.org, +34 647 208 657 (cell).

The Executive Director today concludes her official visit to Spain - She has met with representatives of the State and the Government, associations of women and civil society, companies and mass media.

Madrid, 31 May 2011 — “I want to convey to Spanish women — through you, their representatives — the gratitude of UN Women for your steadfast support for the work associated with our mission, which is to empower women and achieve gender equality. With these words Michelle Bachelet, Executive Director of UN Women, initiated a two-day visit to Spain, at an unprecedented meeting at the Congress of Deputies, with the Commissions of Equality and International Cooperation of Congress and Senate (read the complete speech, in Spanish).

UN Women Executive Director Michelle Bachelet meets with Prime Minister José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, in which participants included Trinidad Jiménez, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, and Leire Pajín Iraola, Minister of Health, Social Policy and Equality. Madrid, 30 May 2011.

UN Women Executive Director Michelle Bachelet meets with Prime Minister José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, in which participants included Trinidad Jiménez, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, and Leire Pajín Iraola, Minister of Health, Social Policy and Equality. Madrid, 30 May 2011. (Photo: UN Women.)

“Today I am here to explain to you the results that we have achieved and our aspirations; in order to provide all of you-men and women alike — with a detailed account concerning the effectiveness of our work and to continue maintaining a strategic relationship with Spain on the issue of gender equality and empowerment of women in the world, Bachelet said.

The Executive Director of UN Women highlighted Spain's commitment to the international community through foreign aid “in good times and bad, with the support of all political constituencies and the general public. “It is not easy to maintain international aid in times of economic crisis. There is no doubt that the Spanish people have a staunch commitment to socially oriented spending, acknowledged Bachelet.

The Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations yesterday (Monday) began an official visit to Spain with a meeting with Prime Minister José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, in which participants included Trinidad Jiménez, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, and Leire Pajín Iraola, Minister of Health, Social Policy and Equality.

Bachelet met in addition with Spanish companies to engage in a dialogue on the role to be played by the private sector in the empowerment of women, and with associations of women, NGOs, social foundations and institutions that work to promote women's rights and equality of opportunity, as much in Spain as in developing countries, by means of their programmes of cooperation.

In her first visit to Spain as Executive Director of UN Women, Bachelet focused in particular on the mass media as a way to offer information on UN Women, and to engage in a dialogue with the people in charge of the main Spanish newspapers on how best to work together to bring about the social change needed to create societies that are fairer, free from gender violence, and in which women can choose their own destinies.

Michelle Bachelet travels tomorrow to Cairo where she will take part in a meeting organized by UN Women alongside distinguished women leaders invited from various countries that have experienced democratic transitions, in order to support women in Egypt and to encourage their inclusion in the transition processes getting underway.

Michelle Bachelet is the first Executive Director of the UN Women. She took up the position in September 2010 after having served as President of Chile and following an extensive track record in leadership efforts to promote social justice and the rights of women. Her rank is UN Under-Secretary-General.

Spain is at the present time the main contributor to UN Women and is a member of its Executive Board, composed of 41 countries from all continents.