EU Vows 'Strong Support' for UN Women

United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women Executive Director Michelle Bachelet meets with European Commissioner for Development on March 24 in Brussels. Photo by: European Union

The European Union will provide “strong support” to the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, or U.N. Women, to help promote women’s empowerment and gender equality on the ground, according to the bloc’s development commissioner.

Andris Piebalgs on Friday (March 25) pledged “not only moral support, but also financial support” to the newly launched U.N. agency.

“We will jointly define the envelope and the best ways to allocate it to support UN Women’s work,” Piebalgs said in a statement.

The EU development commissioner met with U.N. Women Executive Director Michelle Bachelet last week on the margins of a meeting among EU member states on gender and development, to discuss future cooperation between the EU and U.N. Women.

Bachelet also met with Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Steven Vanackere and Minister for Development Cooperation Olivier Chastel on Friday. They discussed the need to end violence against women and push for the implementation of U.N. Security Council resolutions on women, according to a statement by the Belgian government.

In a visit to Egypt March 19-21, the U.N. Women chief vowed to help uphold women’s representation as the Arab nation transitions to democratic rule.

“We will continue supporting women’s organizations, but they have to work on identifying women’s rights champions that are men,” Bachelet said.

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    Ma. Rizza Leonzon

    As a former staff writer, Rizza focused mainly on business coverage, including key donors such as the Asian Development Bank and AusAID.