Mlambo-Ngcuka eager to uplift women globally

The former Deputy President was appointed as head of UN Women on Wednesday.

United Nations (UN) General Secretary Ban Ki-moon appointed former Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka as head of gender equality body UN Women on Wednesday.Picture:EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Former Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka says she wants to help advance education and leadership among women around the world.

United Nations (UN) General Secretary Ban Ki-moon appointed Mlambo-Ngcuka as head of the UN gender equality body, UN Women, on Wednesday.

She was appointed after former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet stepped down to pursue another presidential bid.

Bachelet stepped down in March after leading UN Women since 2010 when the body, aimed at furthering gender equality and the empowerment of women, was created by the UN General Assembly.

Mlambo-Ngcuka says she is eager to help uplift women around the world.

"Violence against women is a focus area including women in areas of conflict. Another key area is economic empowerment which is something I have always been passionate about."

Mlambo-Ngcuka was deputy president in former president Thabo Mbeki's administration between 2005 and 2008.

She resigned from Cabinet after Mbeki was ousted by President Jacob Zuma at the ANC conference in Polokwane.

In 2009, she left the ANC to join the Congress of the People (Cope).

She is married to the former head of the National Prosecuting Authority, Bulelani Ngcuka.