UN Women - United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women

“Going alone you can go fast, but going together you can go far”: Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka

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Speech by UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka at the Global Fund for Women 25-Year Gala on 30 October, 2013, in San Francisco

Date: 30 October 2013

Good evening!

It is wonderful to be here with all of you to celebrate 25 years of the Global Fund for Women.

I thank the team under the leadership of Musimbi and Board Chair Leila and all those before them who nurtured and built this organization.

I cherish my association with the Board. I know that together when we stand up for women’s rights, we stand up for peace, democracy and justice. 

When we empower women and girls, we empower a community and a nation. We empower the world.

I thank the UN Secretary-General for his words. He deeply believes women’s rights, women’s groups and civil society are necessary for the success of the United Nations.

Just last week the UN Security Council said this loud and clear, and agreed to increase the number of women in peace talks and peacebuilding.

The Security Council adopted a resolution that recognizes that women and girls are vital to efforts to maintain international peace and security.

UN Women and women’s groups around the world pushed hard for this resolution.

And we plan to push hard to turn these words into action and to save lives, counting on your help and support.

Women’s groups also pushed hard to create UN Women, which I now lead, and some of them are with us here tonight. 

I am determined to lean on and work in close collaboration with women from the grass-roots to political leaders at the highest levels to serve the 3.6 billion women and girls on the planet.

As the African saying says, “going alone you can go fast, but going together you can go far”. I plan to go far together.

In my term of office, I plan to pursue women’s economic empowerment as a priority – underpinned by access to education for women and girls, and designed to fight poverty – and to continue the fight against gender-based violence and to promote women’s leadership.

I invite all of you to join us and together to make the 21st century a game-changer, a century with far-reaching changes for women. It is about time.

I thank you and please enjoy your dinner!