The Urgent Need for a Fifth United Nations World Conference on Women
Paris, France, 12 and 13 November 2010
In 1910 Clara Zetkin together with other sisters put forward a proposal to set aside one day for women’s issues to be publicly voiced – at the time it was mainly the issue of women’s right to vote. Since 1911 International Women’s Day is celebrated all over the world. In 2011, or in other words, next year, the Socialist International Women together with its 157 member organisations, will celebrate the centenary of this day and point out that it was socialist, social democratic and labour women who took this initiative all those years ago.
The theme of the most recent session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (March 2010) was ‘Beijing + 15’. The Socialist International Women, calls for the UN to hold a Fifth United Nations World Conference on Women because we are convinced that it is no longer sufficient to make evaluations and reviews of the resolutions adopted in Beijing. Women worldwide need gender equality to develop further. Women must no longer be perceived as victims but as actors, whether it concerns issues such as poverty and hunger, HIV/AIDS, the eradication of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) carried out on girls and women, child mortality or the responsible use of natural resources.
Therefore, the Socialist International Women demands for:
• A Fifth United Nations World Conference on Women to take place in order to review the implementation of gender equality in the framework of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs); such as better education and training for girls; greater access to land, water, income, energy and capital (financial resources) for women; greater discussion on the reasons of mass migration, pandemics like HIV/AIDS, climate change and the consequences these have on the lives of women; the promotion of economic and political strengthening of women.
As a first step to gender equality the Socialist International Women calls for a Europe-wide petition for a referendum to ensure the embodiment of women’s quota and for this to be an example for other regions to follow.
The Socialist International Women appeals to other women’s organisations to support and promote the above mentioned demands and also encourages women worldwide to call on their governments to implement in full the Beijing resolutions.