Request for a Fifth UN World Conference on Women

Athens, Greece, 27-28 January 2006


Socialist International Women adopted, at its Bureau meeting in Rome, January 2003, a declaration on holding a fifth UN World Conference on Women. Other UN Conferences show that such large gatherings are a valuable public acknowledgement of the issues discussed. Women demand and need the international community to focus on the further development of real gender equality. Socialist International Women believes that this can only be done effectively in a conference.

Women NGOs have witnessed the disastrous negotiations on Beijing plus 10 at the 2005 session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women and realise that discussing the Platform for Action would therefore be a grave mistake. However, SIW like many other women NGOs all over the world, still firmly believes that such a conference is needed. Together with many women's organisations SIW is certain that the application of gender equality to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) would be an appropriate topic for such a conference.

Predictably but sadly, the MDGs have failed to do that: to acknowledge women not only as victims, but, more importantly, as actors in all those issues: the fight against poverty and hunger, HIV/AIDS, child mortality, the need for a responsible use of natural resources. Discussing women's role in developing a global partnership for development and offering women's creativity, their potential, their ideas would be a most welcome opportunity – which a fifth UN World Conference on Women would provide.

The social, cultural and economic equality of women and men is an essential precondition for overcoming and eradicating poverty and for sustainable development. Equality means that women and men receive equal recognition for their contribution to society and for their work; that they can participate in and shape development on an equal footing; and that they do have and make use of equal opportunities.

A fifth UN World Conference on Women should discuss, inter alia, issues like better education, health care and secure food for women and girls; legal equality as well as economic and political strengthening of women; and fair access to resources, e.g. land, water, income, energy and capital.

SIW therefore calls on governments of UN member states to agree to hold a fifth UN World Conference on Women. SIW will encourage – through its member organisations – national governments to support this proposal.



A Good Education is the Best Guarantee for a Good Life

Article by Tuula Peltonen, published in the Brussels Morning Online Newspaper on 09 September 2021

In Finland, schools are just beginning their autumn term. Despite the coronavirus pandemic, schools will reopen as normal and thousands of teachers will return to teaching...

Situation of Women and Women’s Rights in Afghanistan

26 August 2021

Following the fall of Afghanistan into the control of Taliban forces, the Socialist International Women stands in firm solidarity with the international community both in condemnation of all forms of violence and oppression in Afghanistan and in firm support of innocent civilians caught up in this distressing situation...

Role of Women in Sustainable Peace for Inclusive Development and Economic Security

Article by Shazia Marri, published in the Brussels Morning Online Newspaper on 30 July 2021

Throughout history, women have played a pivotal role in shaping the future. Whether it is the freedom struggles in Asia and Africa or the economic uplift of Europe after the Second World War, women have proved — time and again — their resilience in the face of danger and difficulty alike...

Debt Cancellation: A burden lifted from women

Article by Chantal Kambiwa, published in Brussels Morning Online Newspaper on 17 June 2021

Over the years, acknowledgement of the rights of women and girls has become increasingly central to development strategies across the world and in Africa more particularly. Does this represent a recognition of the value of women and girls and a desire to see them flourish?...

We must defend progress in gender equality after the COVID-19 pandemic

Article by Ouafa Hajji, published in Brussels Morning Online Newspaper on 24 May 2021

Women and girls paid a disproportionate price of the economic shutdown during the pandemic, particularly in developing economies — our policies need to prevent this becoming the new norm, argues Ouafa Haji...

Our Support to Sandra Torres

30 April 2021

Socialist International Women, SIW, would like to show its support to Sandra Torres, leader of the Unidad Nacional de la Esperanza (UNE) of Guatemala and one of the SI Vice-Presidents...

SIW Council Meeting

30 April 2021

How to reinvent our future after Covid-19

Women are each other’s homeland

Article by Hilal Dokuzcan, published in Brussels Morning Online Newspaper on 30 March 2021

As Turkey withdraws from the Istanbul convention – to which an AKP government acceded in 2011 – a Turkish politician reflects on the prosecution of women, everywhere. There is no homeland for women, she notes, other than other women...

Statement on Turkey's Withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention

22 March 2021

The Socialist International Women are very sorry to receive the news of Turkey’s decision to withdraw from the Istanbul Convention determined by the President's decree on March 20, 2021...

Effective Participation and Decision-Making in Public Life - Key to Achieving Gender Equality

16 March 2021

65th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), United Nations, New York, from 15 to 26 March 2021

Virtual Parallel Event hosted by the Socialist International Women (SIW)

International Women's Day Declaration

08 March 2021

Socialist International Women (SIW) warmly applauds this year’s International Women’s Day theme of “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world.”...

Season's Greeting!

December 2020

Wishing peace and equality for 2021

SIW Executive Meeting

18 December 2020

COVID-19 and the Impact this is Having on Women and Gender Equality in the Different Regions

Declaration on International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

25 November 2020

The International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women is a powerful call to stand in solidarity with all women and girls worldwide...

Message of Support for Turkey and Greece Following 30th October Earthquake

October 2020

The Socialist International Women offers its sincere condolences to Turkey and Greece following the devastating earthquake under the Aegean Sea on 30th October 2020...

Message of Solidarity with all Women and Girls Worldwide during the COVID-19 Pandemic

October 2020

The Socialist International Women stands in firm solidarity with all women and girls worldwide during this deeply painful, devastating period of the COVID-19 pandemic...


The First Hundred Years

A Short History of Socialist International Women

By Irmtraut Karlsson

This book tells the history of the first one hundred years of the Socialist International Women