Margaret Snyder obituary

Founding director of Unifem, the United Nations development fund for women

When Margaret Snyder first started working for the UN in Addis Ababa in 1971, programmes for African women centred around healthcare and support for children. Snyder, who has died aged 91, established the first UN regional women’s programme to change that perception. She went on to launch the UN’s development fund for women (Unifem) and became affectionately known as the “UN’s first feminist”.

Her job in Ethiopia was to help establish a women’s programme at the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) to support women in their roles as farmers, entrepreneurs and often family breadwinners. The programme evolved into the African Training and Research Centre for Women (ATRCW).

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