UN launches a new agency called UN Women

Global body launched: The fight against rape, female circumcision, child mortality and poor healthcare takes on a higher priority.Some 65 years after it was founded, and after decades of reports on every species of sex discrimination and its wasteful effects, the United Nations has decided to set up a single, powerful body to promote equality for women around the world.


The General Assembly voted unanimously on Friday to launch a new agency called UN Women. It will begin its work in January, have a high-level leader, probably twice the $250m annual budget now allocated to gender issues, and will be tasked with challenging governments on women's plights and rights.

UN Women will press hard for women to have a more widespread and prominent role in politics, and also try to reduce some of the world's more glaring discriminations. These include lack of access to health and education, forced marriages, rape, female cicumcision, and trafficking. Diplomats at the Assembly greeted news of the new body with spontaneous applause as the decision was announced with a rap of its president's gavel. "This is truly a watershed day," said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. "Member states have created a much stronger voice for women and for gender equality at the global level. It will now be much more difficult for the world to ignore the challenges facing women and girls or to fail to take the necessary action."