Positive impacts for women benefit society as a whole: new UN Women chief

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Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, new Executive Director of UN Women with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. [UN Photo/Evan Schneider]

The new Executive Director of UN Women says she will use the countdown to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as an opportunity to make progress in areas such as improving girls' access to education.

Phumzile Mlambo-Ncguka was speaking to reporters in New York on Thursday during her first press conference since taking the helm of the agency in July.

She said addressing education, reproductive health and rights, and economic empowerment, are essential building blocks towards women's emancipation.

"We see the work of UN Women not just as service to women because the positive impacts we can make on women has far reaching impacts on humanity as a whole." (14")

The former Deputy President of South Africa also addressed what she called "the elephant in the room: money."

She said UN Women hopes to increase the number of countries which contribute to its budget, as well as diversifying funding sources from the private sector, foundations, philanthropists and individuals.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1’03″

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