On February 25th, the United Nations launched UN Women, which combines four previous UN agencies and represents the United Nations’ most ambitious effort ever to accelerate gender equality. The new organization will be a powerful voice for the rights and equality of women across the globe. UN Women includes in their agenda improving the lives of women and, through them. their entire societies.

“With the birth of UN Women, we welcome a powerful new agent for progress on gender equality and women’s empowerment,” says UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. “The challenges are great, but I believe that with the new energy, the new momentum and the new authority that UN Women brings, these challenges will be met. True gender equality should be our shared legacy in the 21st Century.”

The organization focuses on six different areas of improvement: violence against women, peace and security, leadership and participation, national planning and budget, economic empowerment, and millennium development goals. These focus points will be driven at a global, regional and country level. With its 500 million dollar annual budget, UN Women will have the opportunity to truly change the lives of women around the world. These funds will not replace current efforts in other parts of the UN system, but are designed to enhance them. Ultimately, UN Women aims to utilize its global standing to have a significant, positive impact on the lives of women everywhere.

Former Chilean president Michele Bachelet is the first leader of UN Women.  “Think of how much more we can do once women are fully empowered as active agents of change and progress within their societies,” Ms. Bachelet said. “Historically, we are at a point of great potential and change for women. Now we must seize that opportunity. My own experience has taught me that there is no limit to what women can do.”

10x10 is eager to work with the new organization, and we look forward to UN Women’s contributions to the efforts to educate girls worldwide- we hope that UN Women will support the drive to create an International Day of the Girl.

by Anna Claubaugh