UN Women Executive Director to address Regional Conference on Women in Dominican Republic in first visit to Latin America and Caribbean region

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka will meet officials to strengthen cooperation for gender equality and women’s empowerment


The Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, will visit Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, from 14 to 15 October to meet government and UN officials and representatives of civil society and participate in the 12th Regional Conference on Women in Latin America and the Caribbean, on her first visit to the region. She is scheduled to have bilateral meetings with the President of the Dominican Republic, Danilo Medina, and Vice President Margarita Cedeño and to sign a host country agreement on UN Women’s Training Centre, which is located in Santo Domingo and provides global research and training for women’s empowerment and gender equality.

Informative booklet produced by UN Women for the meeting

Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka will address the opening session of the Regional Conference, along with Alicia Bárcena, Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), and President Medina. She will meet with Ms. Bárcena to strengthen collaboration between UN Women and ECLAC on gender equality and women’s empowerment, especially with regard to the 20-year review of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action of the Fourth World Conference on Women, and ongoing global discussions to formulate a new international development framework after the Millennium Development Goals expire in 2015.

The Regional Conference on Women will focus on gender equality, women’s empowerment, and information and communications technologies (ICTs) and provide an opportunity for government and civil society representatives, UN agencies and private sector partners to discuss ways to use new technologies to empower women, including rural and indigenous women, in the region. Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka will call for strengthened action and collaboration to increase women’s access and use of technologies such as mobile phones and the Internet.

“Access to information and communications technologies is essential to women’s empowerment. It can boost women’s independence, income and self-esteem. It can enable women to better meet their educational, economic and social needs and help prevent violence against women and girls,” said Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka. “I look forward to working with partners in the region to make this technology an integral and daily part of women’s lives, including those who are poor and marginalized,” she added.

UN Women has been working with ICT applications to further key programmatic areas, such as usage of mobile phone apps to report safety risks and expand services for survivors of gender-based violence. The recently launched Global Knowledge Gateway for Women’s Economic Empowerment provides a one-stop online platform, where a global community of women, can connect, identify opportunities, share experiences and expertise and discuss business ideas.

UN Women will organize two side events at the Conference focusing on challenges and risks of ICTs and Gender, and ICTs to empower indigenous women. Other roundtables and panels will address prospects and challenges on statistics and indicators on ICTs and gender, women and science and the upcoming Beijing+20 review.

During her visit, the Executive Director will attend the annual meeting of UN Women’s Regional Civil Society Advisory Group and engage in discussions on gender gaps and opportunities to make further progress. She will meet with Lorenzo Jiménez de Luis, UN Resident Coordinator in Dominican Republic, and the UN Country Team. She is also scheduled to meet other officials including Eleonora Menicucci, Minister of State of Brazil for Public Policies for Women, and Markelda Montenegro de Herrera, Chairwoman of the National Women’s Institute of Panama and Pro-Tempore Chairwoman of the Council of Ministers of Women’s Affairs of Central America.