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Michelle Bachelet Steps Down As Head Of U.N. Women

“Former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, who became head of the U.N. agency promoting women’s equality in July 2010, said Friday night that she is giving up the post and returning home, an announcement that comes amid widespread speculation she plans to run for president again this year,” the Associated Press/Washington Post writes. “Bachelet made her announcement minutes after more than 130 countries adopted a 17-page U.N. blueprint to combat violence against women after two weeks of tough negotiations at the Commission on the Status of Women,” the news agency notes (3/15). Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon “expressed his ‘tremendous gratitude for her outstanding service’ as the executive director of U.N. Women, an entity created in 2010 to oversee the organization’s programs aimed at promoting women’s rights and full participation in global affairs,” the U.N. News Centre writes, adding, “Ban said Ms. Bachelet’s achievements include new steps to protect women and girls from violence, new advances on health, and a new understanding that women’s empowerment must be at the core of what the United Nations does” (3/15).