Former South African leader named head of U.N. Women

Reuters News
Posted: Jul 10, 2013 12:17 PM

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The United Nations named former South African deputy president Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka to head the gender equality body U.N. Women on Wednesday, after former Chilean president Michelle Bachelet stepped down to pursue another presidential bid.

Mlambo-Ngcuka, 57, was deputy president of South Africa under Thabo Mbeki between 2005 and 2008. Bachelet stepped down in March from U.N. Women, a body for gender equality and the empowerment of women created in 2010.

"Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka brings to this position a wealth of experience in advocating for women's issues, with a combination of strategic leadership, consensus building and hands-on management experience," U.N. spokesman Martin Nesirky said.

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(Reporting by Michelle Nichols and Louis Charbonneau; Editing by David Brunnstrom)