All you need to know about UNDP administrator Helen Clark

I don’t have anything to say on any particular individual, but it is clear to me that the critical issue is one of consent. Because when it is domestic violence, the police and everyone else take it as no business of theirs. An assault on women at home is never something “within the family.” It is a crime. It has to be recognised and dealt with.

Strong words to The Hindu from the administrator of the United Nations Development Programme. Helen Clark was reacting to Maneka Gandhi’s recent remarks on marital rape, an opinion welcomed by those trying to make a case for this form of domestic abuse and violence. Ms Clark herself has set an example of where hard work and ambition can take women, and today she is thought to be one of the top contenders for the post of the Secretary General of the United Nations.

Helen Clark by UNDP on SheThePeople

Helen Clark by UNDP: Against Marital Rape

For someone who started out as a professor of political studies in New Zealand, this would be no small achievement. Although NZ Herald, a leading newspaper in New Zealand confirmed that she hasn’t put in her application for the top UN job yet, but if indeed she were to reach that position she would create history by becoming the first female Secretary General of the UN. Having a woman at the helm of affairs of one of the most powerful international bodies would help further the cause of equality for women, especially if the lady has this to say about gender equality:

Grounded in international human rights, gender equality doesn’t just improve the lives of individual women, girls, and their families; it makes economic sense, strengthens democracy, and enables long-term sustainable progress.

Helen Clark by UNDP

Helen Clark by UNDP

When women are able to live in a safe and secure environment, they can participate effectively in the economy and society. This helps overcome poverty, reduces inequalities and is beneficial for children’s nutrition, health and school attendance. Every woman and girl has the right to live in safety in her home and community.

She is also someone with progressive views about relationships and marriage:

I felt really compromised. I think legal marriage is unnecessary and I would not have formalised the relationship [with husband Peter Davis] except for going into Parliament. I have always railed against it privately.

Here are some inspirational facts about Helen Clark:

She is the most powerful woman in the UN, as reported  by Forbes.

She currently heads the UNDP, which puts her at the third highest position in the UN. She is serving a consecutive second term, that would come to an end by the end of 2016. And guess what?! she is the first woman to be appointed at the position!

Also Read: Maneka Gandhi’s statement on marital rape

She is as cool as her portfolio. She has guest starred in various television soap operas, that made her a more popular face with the apolitical masses as well.

She was also the first woman Prime Minister to be elected through general elections, and was re-elected for 3 consecutive terms!