Thursday, March 8, 2012

UN Announces Plans for a 5th Global Women's Conference

The following announcement was made at a United Nations Press Conference today:

The President of the UN General Assembly, H.E. Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser and the Secretary-General of the United Nations H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon would like to jointly propose the convening of a Global Conference on Women by the United Nations in 2015, twenty years after the last women’s summit in Beijing.

Given that women compose the half of humanity and the inherent importance and relevance of women issues for the global progress, it is high time that such a world conference is convened, more so as the world is going through enormous changes in all fronts having both positive and other implications for women.

The President of the General Assembly and the Secretary-General hope that the international community in general would welcome this joint initiative. They also hope that the Member-States who have the final authority to convene the proposed conference would take the necessary step in that regard during the on-going 66th session of the General Assembly.

They believe that high point that the UN reached with the establishment of UN-Women in 2011 can be meaningfully substantiated with a global programme focusing on women and articulated at the Fifth Conference.

The Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing which adopted in 1995 the current Forward-Looking Platform of Action was preceded by three such world conferences beginning in 1975 in Mexico City, in 1980 in Copenhagen and in 1985 in Nairobi, held in intervals of five years. The enthusiasm of civil society, particularly women’s organizations, for such a conference has added extra strength to the general support expected for the proposal.

The Assembly President and the Secretary-General believe that a world conference on women would do justice in looking closely not only at the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action but also at the emerging issues, in particular  those relating to women and political participation, UNSCR 1325 related  issues on women and peace & security, equal access to decent work and to decision-making, involvement of rural women and girls as well as aid effectiveness, food security, trafficking, drugs, migration, environment, climate change, information technology  which impact on women in various ways  at all levels. As a result, naturally these have implications for nations and societies as a whole. With their manifested complexities, all those areas need to be addressed in a holistic manner, benefitting from ever-widening potentials of global connectivity.

In all these, role and involvement of the young people, particularly women, would bring in an important dimension of intergenerational empowerment that did not get a deserving prominence in earlier conferences.
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Special thanks to Jean Bolen for a decade of work to keep the spirit of a 5th Women's Conference alive at the UN. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Heading for New York and the UN-CSW

I will leave in a few days for New York to join a river of women at the 56th Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women. Women of Spirit and Faith will co-host numerous workshops and events including:

Women, Spirituality and Transformative Leadership
CSW Parallel Event/ Workshop
Tuesday, February 28
8:30 am - 10 a.m.
Drew Room/ Lower Level
Church Center of the United Nations
777 First Avenue at 44th Street

“Women, Spirituality and Transformative Leadership” - Book Event
Featuring readings by authors from the book and circle dialogue
Tuesday, February 28
6: 30 pm
Quest Bookshop
240 E. 53rd Street


Sacred Women's Circle
Co-Hosted with Millionth Circle, Circle Connections, International Public Policy Institute, 5WCW and others
Wednesday. February 29
7-9 pm
Chapel/ 1st floor - Episcopal Church Center
815 Second Avenue

These events are all open to the public and free.

Along with more than 15 other organizations we also invite you to join in a
Global Call to Participate in Prayerful Silence
Sunday - February 26

On the eve of the opening of the 56th Session of the UN-Commission on the Status of Women, women of all spiritual traditions are invited to join in prayer and silence for the good of the world's women and girls - wherever they are and at any time that day.

Women of all spiritual traditions are invited to join in prayer and silence, to hold in their hearts the hopes of those who come to the CSW: for homes and a world without violence and fear, where there will be good food, air and water, education and medical care, for women's empowerment and gender equality,
for consciousness, voice and choice, for circles with a sacred center to support the wisdom and courage of women in them, and for there to be a UN 5th World Conference on Women.

Feel free to share this invitation with your communities and networks!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Global Call to Prayer - February 26 - On the Eve of UN-CSW

Women of Spirit and Faith joins with numerous other women's organizations to broadcast this invitation.

Sunday, February 26
Global Call to Participate in 5 Minutes of Prayerful Silence

On the eve of the opening of the 56th Session of the UN-Commission on the Status of Women, women of all spiritual traditions - wherever they are and at any time that day - are invited to join in prayer and silence for the good of the world's women and girls . Women of all spiritual traditions are invited to join in prayer and silence, to hold in their hearts the hopes of those who come to the CSW: for homes and a world without violence and fear, where there will be good food, air and water, education and medical care, for women’s empowerment and gender equality, for consciousness, voice and choice, for circles with a sacred center to support the wisdom and courage of women in them, and for there to be a UN 5th World Conference on Women.

Share this invitation freely in your communities, congregations and networks.