Coverage of the Executive Director in Mexico
Date: Friday, December 5, 2014
From 4-7 December 2014, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka was in Mexico on her first visit to the country as the head of UN Women. She met with officials from all three levels of government and authorities from Mexico City, female indigenous leaders, feminist organizations and Mexican businesswomen. She highlighted the importance of increasing investment in gender equality, and the role of women’s empowerment as the foundation for sustainable development.
The Executive Director participated in the inauguration of the First National Indigenous Women's Forum on 6 December. Despite the discrimination and marginalization they often experience, indigenous women have demonstrated their ability and leadership to act as human rights defenders, make decisions and implement them. They have been important allies and civil society advisors since the creation of UN Women in 2010. During the Forum, Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka called for solidarity with indigenous peoples, and indigenous women in particular, so that equality and non-discrimination may become a lived reality in each of their communities.
On 5 December, UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka met with Miguel Ángel Mancera, Mayor of Mexico City, who signed on to UN Women’s HeForShe campaign. Ms. Mlambo-Ngucka met with various Government officials during her visit to the country, to encourage renewal of national and local commitments to making gender equality a reality through public plans, programmes and budgetary measures that produce concrete results. It was also announced that Mexico City will join the Safe Cities Global Initiative, to which more than 20 cities have already signed on, including New York, Reykjavik and New Delhi.
From the private sector, support for the HeForShe campaign was individual and collective. The Global Compact in Mexico, which includes more than 600 member companies and organizations, through Gustavo Pérez Berlanga, Chairman of the Mexican Business Global Compact network, signed the "HeforShe" campaign. He was accompanied by representatives of various Mexican and transnational companies with operations in Mexico. The Global Compact Mexico is the largest in Latin America and the first to commit to promote this UN Women initiative among all its associated members.
In her speech at the Second National Encounter of Women Legislators of the Commissions for Gender Equality and the Heads of Mechanisms for Women’s Progress in the 32 Mexican States, in Mexico on 4 December, Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka called for stronger implementation of policies and financing to support gender equality. She said in the lead-up to post-2015, leaders must work to close gaps and accelerate progress, especially when it comes to including women and men equally in decision-making bodies and economic participation. After the inauguration of the event, the Executive Director met with Mexico's Minister for Foreign Affairs, José Antonio Meade, to discuss gender equality and the empowerment of women. The Minister joined UN Women's HeForShe campaign.
In her speech at a special HeForShe event on 4 December at the Senate of Mexico, UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka called for an end to the "battle of the sexes" and, instead, for men and women to collaborate in achieving gender equality. She encouraged Mexico to build on the gains it has made for and encourage more men to become a HeForShe. She said achieving gender equality requires lawmakers and governments to actively support it and ensure it is funded in the post-2015 agenda. Senators of the Republic, led by the Chairman of the Board, Miguel Barbosa, and Minister President of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation, Juan Silva Meza, also joined the HeForShe campaign.
The Executive Director also met with the President of the Supreme Court and congratulated him for the United Nations Human Rights Prize awarded to the Court in 2013. They agreed on the importance of access to justice so that laws can be applied, and for collaboration on an observatory to analyse judicial decisions from a gender perspective.
Also on 4 December, Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka met with businesswoman and philanthropist Angelica Fuentes, Chair of the Angelica Fuentes Foundation. They signed a collaboration agreement, which will include a USD 1 million donation to fund programmes dedicated to social, economic and political empowerment of women. They will support four initiatives: the Fund for Gender Equality, the 20th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action; a study on women’s economic empowerment in Latin American and the Caribbean and UN Women's HeForShe campaign.
By invitation of the Government of Mexico, through the National Women’s Institute, UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka will make her first official visit to Mexico from 4 to 7 December. Against the backdrop of the 20th Anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the visit is an opportunity to renew commitments — both on a national and local level — to accelerate the gender equality movement and make the human rights of women and girls a reality through public plans, programmes and budgetary measures that produce concrete results in the lives of women and girls.
Photos of the visit will be available on: flickr.com/unwomen