Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka briefs

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka briefs high profile panel on UN Women

Brand South African hosted a briefing with Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women – the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, on 21 July 2014.

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka briefs


An influential panel of Global South African woman gathered at Brand South Africa’s London office to share their thoughts, experiences and suggestions with Dr Mlambo-Ngcuka, who from 2005 to 2008 served as Deputy President of South Africa.

Dr Mlambo-Ngcuka described the inputs made by the group of women as “rich and insightful” and all those contributing to the discussion have undertaken to assist informally in the global task of eliminating discriminatory and violent practices against women in the developing world and advancing the position of women in the developed and corporate world through a range of interventions.

The discussion focussed on the importance of leadership, the role of the private sector, societal attitudes towards women and entrenched violent and harmful practices such as Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), child brides and honour killings.

The panel included Kate Robertson, COO of Europe RSCG and founder of One Young World, Broadcaster Zeinab Badawi, Carole Stone from You Gov, Richard Morgan from Anglo American, Christine Thompson from SAB Miller, South African Chamber of Commerce Chairperson Melissa Powys-Rodriguez, Diane Chilangwa Farmer, author of book on women in business, Viola Ncube an executive in the global hotel industry as Vice President of Global Hospitality Services, Anne Page, honorary consul for South Africa in East England and South African Deputy High Commissioner Bongiwe Qwabe.

Mlambo-Ngcuka highlighted interventions with violence against women, the need for protection of women in conflict situations, women’s economic empowerment, women in power and decision-making and gender budgeting as key issues.

Janet Grasty, President of UN Woman in the UK outlined in more detail the areas of their work in support of UN Women which includes raising awareness of gender equality issues and campaigning for change with the corporate sector through engaging them in the Women’s Empowerment Principles which encourags companies to adopt gender-sensitive policies, speaking to corporate audiences and running roundtable events for the members of their Corporate Advisory Group.

Dr Mlambo-Ngcuka concluded by re-committing herself to “distilling a critical path for UN women” which included focus on the specifics that needed to be addressed.

She said she looked forward to future contributions by the group and having them as a sounding-board for future plans.