UN Women Executive Director to make first official trip to India


Indian women
Photo: UN Women/Shaista Chishty

Starting on 8 November, UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka will travel to India on her first visit to the sub-continent as the head of UN Women. She is the first high-level UN official to visit India since the formation of a new government led by Narendra Modi in May this year.

Women’s public safety and accelerated implementation of legislation on women’s economic empowerment and political participation will be high on the agenda, resonating with the commitments on gender equality as one of the top five priorities of the Government. Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka will highlight the opportunity to advance the gender equality agenda offered by the renewed mobilization in the lead-up to the 20th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration.

During the five-day visit, Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka will underline the leading role India plays as the world’s largest democracy and one of the most powerful economies, to lead the way towards more just and equitable societies. She will meet with senior ministers, civil society and media leaders, donors, and the private sector in New Delhi and Mumbai. Visits with civil society organizations and UN Women grantees in Gujarat in western India, and with Barefoot College workers in Delhi are also on the Executive Director’s agenda. In Gujarat, Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka will visit an ICT-for-Development project, a Fund for Gender Equality grantee, and discuss access and use of technology in India. A visit to a Safe Cities project which works with the administration and NGOs to make public spaces safer for women and girls, on the outskirts of New Delhi, is also planned.

The visit coincides with the 2nd Global MenEngage Symposium in New Delhi, organized by MenEngage in collaboration with UN Women and other partners, in the context of Beijing+20. The Executive Director will be the opening speaker at the Plenary Session on 11 November, entitled “State of the Field in Engaging Men in Gender Equality”. The Symposium, attended by over 1,000 participants from across the globe, will focus this year on the theme of “Men and Boys for Gender Justice”.

The Executive Director will provide UN Women’s perspectives on the role men and boys can play in shifting power relations to end violence and achieve gender equality, an engagement she considers catalytic for making accelerated progress in the post-2015 agenda, and take stock of how well men and boys have been involved in promoting gender equality, 20 years since the adoption of the Beijing Platform for Action. UN Women will participate in several events at the three-day-long Symposium, including on the recently launched HeForShe campaign and its mobilization in India.

Follow the Executive Director’s visit on Twitter @unwomenindia and on Facebook.com/unwomenindia

Photos from the visit will be available online at: flickr.com/unwomen

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