Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka launche

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka launches UN report into the progress of the world’s women in 2015

Today in London, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka will be presenting her report on the world’s failure to combat domestic violence.

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka launche

The report will tackle what the biggest problems are for women in the 1st century. Mlambo-Ngcuka says, “All countries worry me because of the universality of violence against women. The fact that 75 percent of violence against women is domestic violence is the issue.”

Mlambo-Ngcuka is not only the former deputy president of South Africa, but also the Head of the UN Women since August 2013.

The UN report is called “Progress of the World’s Women 2015-2016: Transforming Economies, Realizing Rights”. It shows that women’s economic and social rights are often held back because they are forced to fit into a male-dominated society. But, it is possible to move beyond the status quo, to picture a world where economies are built with women’s rights at their heart. The report is being published as the international community comes together to define a transformative post-2015 development agenda, and coincides with the 20th anniversary commemoration of the landmark Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, China which set out a comprehensive agenda to advance gender equality.

Since Beijing, significant progress has been made, particularly in advancing women’s legal rights. However, as progress shows, in an era of unprecedented global wealth, millions of women are trapped in low paid, poor quality jobs, denied even basic levels of health care, and water and sanitation. Women still carry the burden of unpaid care work, which austerity policies and cut-backs have only intensified. To build fairer, more sustainable economies which work for women and men, more of the same will not do.

Progress of the World’s Women 2015-2016, brings together human rights and economic policy-making, and provides the key elements for a far-reaching new policy agenda that can transform economies and make women’s rights a reality. Through solid in-depth analysis and data, this evidence-based report provides key recommendations on moving towards an economy that truly works for women, for the benefit of all.

UN Women is the newest department of the international body. Launched in 2010, the first four-year term was run by former Chilean president Michelle Bachelet.

Mlambo-Ngcuka was born in 1955 in Durban, South Africa. She was deputy president to Thabo Mbeki, but her political career came to an abrupt halt when Jacob Zuma took over the presidency. According to The Independent, her husband Bulelani Ngcuka had been the chief prosecutor who initiated an investigation into Mr Zuma’s financial affairs and implicated him in corruption. The investigation forced Mr Zuma to step down as deputy president, and when he subsequently cleared his name and returned to politics as president. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka then left South Africa.

When The Independent asked her if she felt her gender ever held her back, she replied:

“I’ve been a deputy president of a country, I’m the head of a UN agency and I’ve been able to go to school to doctorate level. I’ve had a past that’s better than others and I was determined. I don’t represent the norm. All that said, I can still be a victim of rape. I have not experienced it, but I could; these advantages do not completely insulate you [from inequality].”