New York, 14 September 2021 | Women Deliver, a global advocate for gender equality, welcomes the appointment of Dr. Sima Sami Bahous as the new Executive Director of UN Women.
As Jordan’s ambassador to the United Nations since 2016, Dr. Bahous has a distinguished career in public service, politics, multilateral diplomacy, media and communications, and international development cooperation. She brings years of political leadership and expertise to this role.
Over the last two decades, Women Deliver and UN Women have partnered closely together to advance the mutual goal of realizing gender equality and improving the health and rights of girls and women, in all their intersecting identities. UN Women and previous Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka have been an instrumental partner to Women Deliver throughout many major gender equality policy milestones, including the design and execution of the Women Deliver Conferences, the largest convenings on gender equality in the world; the launch of several classes of the award-winning Women Deliver Young Leader Program; collaboration on mutual strategic frameworks; and, most recently, in the development of the 2021 Generation Equality Forum. Women Deliver was pleased to support and contribute to UN Women’s upcoming 2022-2025 Strategic Plan, and looks forward to working with Dr. Bahous to continue to advance the pillars of that strategy, particularly sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and meaningful youth engagement in gender equality advocacy.
Dr. Bahous assumes the leadership of UN Women during a pivotal moment for progress towards gender equality. Globally, we are facing unprecedented challenges from a prolonged pandemic, climate change, and numerous humanitarian crises around the world. SRHR are at risk due to growing political blowback; progress for gender equality and women’s economic opportunities have slowed due to the disproportionate burden of COVID-19 on girls and women; official development assistance (ODA) for programs that support the health and rights of girls and women, particularly family planning, is declining; and civil society and freedom of speech are being threatened like never before. These challenges put the great strides made towards gender equality and the health and rights of girls and women in jeopardy. However, on the heels of the Generation Equality Forum, which renewed momentum for gender equality through political and programmatic commitments valuing nearly USD 40 billion, Women Deliver is hopeful that Dr. Bahous will work closely with the gender equality advocacy community to maintain the energy and commitment from the GEF and bring needed progress to this important work.
This is a new and exciting chapter for UN Women. We look forward to working with Dr. Bahous towards a gender-equal world that is healthier, wealthier, more peaceful, and more productive.
Read the full UN Women announcement here.