UN Women welcomes first woman head of African Union Commission

Date: Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Statement by Michelle Bachelet, Executive Director of UN Women

UN Women welcomes the election of Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma of South Africa as Chairperson of the African Union Commission, the first woman to hold the post. In taking this decision, African leaders took a step forward to advance women's leadership and representation. It is well-known that women leaders bring their own unique perspective and insights to decision-making.

As leaders, they can advance equality and human rights. As role models, they can change individual and public perceptions of what women are capable of achieving. I congratulate Dr. Zuma on her election and pledge the continuing commitment of UN Women to work with the African Union to promote gender equality and the empowerment of women. I also thank the outgoing Chairperson, Dr. Jean Ping, for his leadership of the Commission over the past four years.

UN Women will continue to strengthen its partnership with the African Union, in particular to support the African Women's Decade 2010-2020, which aims to raise the profile of African women and put women at the centre of development on the continent.