"In curating this exhibition, I focused on the stories of women who are speaking out, making change and showing us that progress is possible."
It’s outrageous that one in three women around the world will experience violence in their lifetime. Ring the Bell demonstrates how simple actions by ordinary people can end these human rights violations. I especially like this campaign because it shows how men can and must take a stand. Go to the selection >>
Our homes should be safe places, yet too many women live in silent fear of domestic violence. In Our Own Words breaks the silence to tell real womens’ stories of abuse, survival and freedom. Breaking the silence is the first step in overcoming fear and taking action to end violence against women. Go to the selection >>
My mother was the first activist I knew, and her example still inspires me and my children. The older women featured in Activist Grandmothers are creating remarkable change around the world – proof that life begins at 50! There is no age limit to progress. Go to the selection >>
Education has the power to transform lives, families, and societies. In Afghanistan, women and girls continue to struggle for their human rights, including the right to education. Dr. Yacoobi’s work is a shining example of the benefits of education in a country where women want to build a better future. Go to the selection >>
A big part of my job as the head of UN Women is to listen to women and girls and amplify their voices. When Kafayat Quadri says “I am the change you thought could never be,” I am reminded of all the women claiming their rights around the world, changing the future one life at a time. Go to the selection >>
For more than a century women have been struggling for equality in Finland and around the world. I like the way this piece explores progress through dance as we carve out space for women’s leadership and full and equal participation in our societies. Go to the selection >>
Curator's Statement: Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka on Progress
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka is the Executive Director of UN Women. She has devoted her career to issues of human rights, equality and social justice. Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka has worked in government and civil society and was actively involved in the struggle to end apartheid in her home country of South Africa.
From 2005 to 2008, she served as Deputy President of South Africa, the highest ranking woman in the nation’s history. Prior to this, she served as Minister of Minerals and Energy from 1999 to 2005 and Deputy Minister in the Department of Trade and Industry from 1996 to 1999. She was a Member of Parliament from 1994 to 1996 as part of South Africa’s first democratic government.
Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka began her career as a teacher and gained international experience as a coordinator at the World YWCA in Geneva, where she established a global programme for young women. She is the founder of the Umlambo Foundation, which supports leadership and education. A longtime champion of women’s rights, she is affiliated with several organizations devoted to education, women’s empowerment and gender equality, and has a PhD in education and technology.
Learn more about Phumzile and why she's involved in IMOW's Curating Change.
- IMOW matters to me because... it is a unique and vibrant space for women change-makers!
- A mantra to live by... Inaction is not an option.
- I Exhibit Change by listening, learning and lifting up others.
Learn which causes and organizations matter most to Phumzile and how you can connect with them.
I worked at the YWCA back home in South Africa as a teenager and in Geneva leading education programmes for young women. I learned a lot about leadership from the World YWCA!
I founded this foundation to improve school leadership to win the fight against poverty in South Africa. I am immensely proud of all the progress we have made and the positive changes we have implemented in our communities.
I have had the privilege to lead UN Women since August 2014. Our mission is to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment worldwide. This is the greatest cause of our century.
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