Mlambo-Ngcuka begins new job

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka was sworn in as the new head of UN Women on Monday.

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, who has been appointed the chief of the UN women’s agency. Picture: UN.

NEW YORK - Former Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka begins her new job as the Executive Director of the United Nations (UN) Entity for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women today.

Mlambo-Ngcuka was sworn in on Monday during a ceremony held at the UN headquarters that was presided over by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.

She is the second executive director of the organisation which was created in 2010 to lead the UN's work on advancing gender equality and women's empowerment.

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.

Moon said Mlambo-Ngcuka adds a wealth of experience to the position as an advocate for women's issues who will "bring strategic leadership, consensus building and hands on management."

Mlambo-Ngcuka's appointment was announced on 10 July.

Speaking of her appointment, Mlambo-Ngcuka said 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.