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August 3, 2011

Dear Friends and Worldwide Signers of 5WCW petition:

We need a 5WCW resolution introduced at the UN General Assembly Meetings in New York, September 13-30, 2011. While it takes only one ambassador from any country to do this, the best situation in this short time, would be to be for it to be sponsored by three developing countries—one in Asia, Africa, and Latin America and one Scandinavian country. Conversations with UN delegation members, ambassadors and others with influence, have been initiated with a handful of countries that fit this “wish list” by individuals who form a core group of 5WCW advocates. We have a Concept Paper that introduces the need and rationale, which can be the basis for the Preamble to the Resolution. The action we ask of the General Assembly is simple: Authorize convening a 5WCW in 2015, and authorize Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (who has been a strong supporter of empowerment and equality for women) to begin a preliminary process similar to that which preceded the Beijing 4WCW. San Francisco is preparing a proposal to be the Host City, New Delhi was mentioned as a potential site, and others may come forth once the General Assembly supports having a 5WCW.

I’ve put together this advocacy version meant to inspire and be informative.

Convening A 5th World Conference On Women (5WCW):
Vision Statement Urging the General Asembly Resolution

“The Fastest Way To Change Society Is To Mobilize The Women of The World.”
Charles Malik, former President of the United Nations General Assembly
“If ever the world sees a time when women shall come together purely and simply for the benefit of mankind, it will be a power such as the world has never known”
Matthew Arnold, 19th Century philosopher

Recalling that the Charter of the United Nations reaffirms the equal rights of men and women.

Recalling the Beijing Declaration and the Platform for Action of the Fourth World Conference on Women.

Recognizing that the participation of both men and women is essential for the attainment of sustainable peace and security and that the necessity and contribution of women is specifically acknowledged in Security Council Resolutions 1325, 1820.

Noting that two of the Millennium Development Goals specifically address women’s concerns and that empowerment of women is necessary to attain all eight of them.

Noting the Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination Against Women, which is often described as a bill of rights for women, remains a model for empowerment and equality for women.

Noting that the General Assembly Resolution on the Girl Child and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, if implemented, are related to the empowerment and equality for women.

Noting recommendations for gender equality and equal participation of women in decisions to do with the environment.

Realizing that the need is to implement these existing UN resolutions and documents rather than create new documents.

Realizing that a UN sponsored conference on women could bring together a global conference of women to share information, best practices, and foster the next generation of women leaders,

Realizing that this would be the first UN World Conference on Women in the 21st Century with the technology to link simultaneous conferences anywhere in the world.

General Assembly Actions to Take for 5WCW

1 Supports convening a 5th World Conference on Women in 2015

2. Urges the Secretary-General to begin an open-ended preliminary process, similar to that which preceded the Beijing 4WCW and to consider any place for the conference site.

3. Calls upon all member states to encourage participation of civil society and government entities concerned with women and girls.



Are you in a position to take action? Here is the webpage for a list of UN member states:  This will take you to the website of every country that belongs to the UN, with the name of the UN ambassador, addresses, photos and more. The 12,000 signers of the 5WCW petition are from all over the world. I think it is possible that a handful of you will realize that there is just one or two degrees of separation between yourselves and a potentially receptive UN ambassador. If you have access to this kind of UN ambassador and believe as I do, that it will take women in sufficient numbers—a critical mass, working with men to create a sustainable, peaceful world, influencing his/her support for a General Assembly 5WCW resolution a will be step in this direction. Tact and diplomacy are necessary. Ambassadors are not elected representatives, they are responsible to who appointed them not to a constituency, even in democracies. To become an informed advocate, go to for information and documents as a beginning point.

You do not need to get anyone’s permission to be an activist on behalf of 5WCW. It may be your assignment, if so: 1. It will be meaningful to you; 2. Promises to be fun because it uses your talents, creativity, experience, and involves people with similar values; and 3. Is motivated by love. Where your locus of activism may be depends on who you are—the model is the women’s movement in the USA, where in just a few years, circles of women in consciousness-raising groups became a movement by raising their own consciousness about stereotypes and patriarchy which had limited and oppressed them, and supporting what each woman felt moved to do.

Jean with Bear

Alice Walker’s book title, Anything We Love, Can Be Saved is a statement that motivates hope in activists, even when a particular effort fails. I could not save the huge Monterey Pine in my front yard from being cut down (decision made by a homeowners association vote), but in the process of trying and failing, I gained a world of information about trees and what they do for the planet and how women, girls and trees are related. It led to writing my latest book, Like a Tree: How Trees, Women, and Tree People Can Save the Planet. The day the book was launched, Earth Day 2011, the Bear was placed on the stump. Now, instead of feeling sad or angry when I look at the stump, I see Bear and smile. Meanwhile the book that grew out of the loss of the tree is out in the world, and  for every hardcover sold, a tree will be planted and tended by school children in Togo, West Africa!

Jean Shinoda Bolen Book Collage

Here is a collage of my books. You may not know me as an author or you may have read Goddesses in Everywoman twenty or thirty years ago. Since then, there is Goddesses in Older Women and the rest of them.

Descriptions are on my website and on Enjoy!

With love and hope,

Jean Shinoda Bolen Signature

Jean Shinoda Bolen, MD

JSB Facebook

for a U.N. Sponsored 5th World Conference on Women

For 5WCW information and documents: