“There is no great force for change, for peace, for justice and democracy, for inclusive economic growth than a world of empowered women.” ~ Phumzile Mlambo Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women

Summary: Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka is United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women. She was sworn into office on 19 August 2013 and brings a wealth of experience and expertise to this position, having devoted her career to issues of human rights, equality and social justice. Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka has worked in government and civil society, and with the private sector, and was actively involved in the struggle to end apartheid in her home country of South Africa.

Nationality: South-African

Industry: Global Relations

Q: If you could get in a time machine and go ahead 50 years to a world where gender equality had been achieved, what would that world look like and what changes and decisions happen today to get us there? on thesolutionsjournal.com

A: To me the biggest thing is poverty. The fact that poverty is the face of women and girls sums up everything, because in that poverty-stricken existence is violence, disease, disempowerment, etc. So a world where poverty—if it still exists—is not just the burden of the women but is distributed in society, would be my first prize. Once women have overcome poverty, the freedom for them to live a life that is more fulfilling and meaningful takes care of itself.

Women do not want people to look after them. They just need opportunity and circumstance. So to remove all these circumstances that bring women down, then women could be whomever they want to be and make choices, bad ones sometimes, but choices nevertheless.

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