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UN Women's new chief - In the news: Phumzile Mlambo-Nguka |

Meet UN Women's new chief - In the news: Phumzile Mlambo-Nguka | Devex
South African politician Phumzile Mlambo-Nguka will replace Chilean presidential candidate Michele Bachelet as head of U.N. Women, U.N. secretary-general Ban Ki-moon announced on Wednesday.

Mlambo-Nguka, former deputy president under Thabo Mbeki (2005-2008), is a known advocate for womens rights and pushed for the government’s anti-AIDS policies to expand treatment, testing and prevention programs at a time when South Africa was still struggling to admit it had a problem with the disease.

The 57-year-old “has proven to be a groundbreaker and a formidable champion for women and girls,” United Nations Foundation president and CEO Kathy Calvin said in a statement.

Mlambo-Ngcuka will replace former Chilean president Michel Bachelet, who resigned in March to seek the same office for the second time in her home country.

The appointment comes as a relief to U.N. gender rights entity, whose deputy executive director John Hendra told Devex in April that a replacement for Bachelet would be picked within three months. Hendra added that U.N. Women continues to grapple with underfunding within the world body’s system relative to other agencies.

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