Celebrating UN Women Symposium Keynote: Michelle Bachelet on UN Women priorities (video)

Celebrating UN Women Symposium Keynote: Michelle Bachelet on UN Women priorities (video)

Resource Type
Event Recording
Publication Year
English (US)



Mahnaz Afkhami introduces the keynote speaker, Michelle Bachelet, for WLP’s conference, Celebrating UN Women: The Way Forward. Michelle is a physician, minister, and now, first Director of UN Women.

Michelle Bachelet begins with a nod to the work done by many women’s rights activists in the room, and historically, before turning a lens towards upcoming challenges and opportunities in the global women’s movement. She discusses an upcoming strategic plan from UN Women; colleagues in the field will provide country-based and regional consultations during this process. UN Women will focus on 5 priority areas, with empowerment as the essential common denominator:

  • Expanding women’s voices, leadership, and participation, and closing gaps in different sectors (political empowerment) 
  • Ending violence against women and girls, and enabling states to set up, formulate, and enforce laws, policies, and services. Laws need to transform into factors that influence reality.
  • Women’s voices need to be at the heart of peace and security talks, conflict resolution, and the formal peace process
  • Economic autonomy and empowerment
  • Making gender priorities central to national and local planning and budgeting

Michelle Bachelet poses the following questions for the audience: What channels can we create for women’s groups and networks to continue to be a dynamic partner to UN Women in guiding its strategic direction? How do we manage partnerships within the UN so that it leverages maxim benefit for issues of gender equality?

Celebrating UN Women: The Way Forward is a symposium presented by WLP to celebrate the launch of UN Women, the most significant structure yet devised by the community of nations to address challenges and strategies for bringing about fundamental and all-encompassing change in gender relations. In partnership with The Center for Public Scholarship & Gender Studies Program at The New School, the symposium is held in conjunction with the 55th Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW).