Build a United Nations that really works for all women!

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*In addition to the signatures below, this petition has garnered hundreds more hard-copy signatures.     
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HELP GET 3000 SIGNATURES BY THIS WEEKEND!
UN General Assembly session ends September 14th!



Background:

"A UN women's agency will not speak for women, but will ensure that at long last, women's own voices can be heard, at all levels of society, and in the decisions that affect their lives... It should have the capacity to collect and analyze data on women's lives and rights; to develop policy; to provide technical advice and assistance on gender and women's empowerment in every specialized field; to support and monitor the gender-related work of other UN agencies; and to work closely with government partners to plan and oversee programmes at the national level." - Excerpt from the statement of H.E. Mr. Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann, the President of the United Nations General Assembly on International Women's Day, March 8th, 2009.

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For the past three decades, the United Nations has been a galvanizing force in efforts to define a comprehensive global agenda for peace and security, human rights, poverty eradication and sustainable development. As a result, there have been significant commitments made towards gender equality and women's empowerment. 

However, the UN still lacks a strong driver for women's rights at the leadership level both at Headquarters and at the country level, as well as a systematic and effective mechanism to deliver on many of the essential commitments made. The UN has several small under-resourced agencies focused exclusively on women's issues. Other larger agencies make critical contributions to women's human rights and gender equality, but this is usually a small part of their mandate.  

Currently, there are four separate women's entities within the UN:
%uFFFD The Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW)
%uFFFD The Office of the Special Advisor on Gender Issues and the Advancement of Women (OSAGI)
%uFFFD The United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM)
%uFFFD The International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW).

In this context, women have been pressing governments to address the weaknesses within the UN system on gender equality and women's empowerment as part of the overall UN reform process, which started in 2006 under the leadership of the previous Secretary-General, Kofi Annan. This is a crucial intervention, since it has become clear that the UN cannot help countries achieve gender equality and women's empowerment if work on women's issues remains fragmented, uncoordinated and under-resourced. 

      
Please join the global call to create a stronger new women's entity at the United Nations!

      
For more information about the GEAR Campaign to create a new women's entity at the United Nations, email: gearcampaign@gmail.com or visit http://gear.collectivex.com/main/summary

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Letter:


The United Nations plays a key role in the advancement of women at the global level. However, work of the United Nations in the area of gender equality and the empowerment of women is fragmented and underfunded, which impedes its ability to effectively address women's needs worldwide. Therefore, to remedy the fragmentation that currently exists between the UN's four separate women's entities, the Gender Equality Architecture Reform (GEAR) Campaign advocates for the creation of a new, consolidated women's entity at the UN.

Civil society, especially women's organizations, has played an important agenda setting and policy role at the United Nations, assisting the UN and Member States to recognize and address global challenges relating to gender equality and women's empowerment. Women's organizations bring years of experience working with women in countries and communities as well as regionally and internationally to advance women's rights and to improve women's daily lives. It is critical to build on these experiences by systematically bringing diverse women's voices into all aspects of the new women's entity at every level in order to deliver effective results for women on the ground.

Therefore, we, the undersigned, call on the Secretary-General and Member States to:

(1)  Establish a strong, consolidated and ambitiously funded UN entity for women led by an Under Secretary-General that combines policy making and country level operations to effectively deliver on women's rights on the ground.


(2)  Ensure meaningful involvement of civil society, especially women's organizations, at all levels - global, regional, national and local. At the global level, at least five representatives (one from each region) should be included on the Governing Board of the new women's entity.

   


 
 
Background:


"A UN women's agency will not speak for women, but will ensure that at long last, women's own voices can be heard, at all levels of society, and in the decisions that affect their lives... It should have the capacity to collect and analyze data on women's lives and rights; to develop policy; to provide technical advice and assistance on gender and women's empowerment in every specialized field; to support and monitor the gender-related work of other UN agencies; and to work closely with government partners to plan and oversee programmes at the national level." - Excerpt from the statement of H.E. Mr. Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann, the President of the United Nations General Assembly on International Women's Day, March 8th, 2009.


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For the past three decades, the United Nations has been a galvanizing force in efforts to define a comprehensive global agenda for peace and security, human rights, poverty eradication and sustainable development. As a result, there have been significant commitments made towards gender equality and women's empowerment. 


However, the UN still lacks a strong driver for women's rights at the leadership level both at Headquarters and at the country level, as well as a systematic and effective mechanism to deliver on many of the essential commitments made. The UN has several small under-resourced agencies focused exclusively on women's issues. Other larger agencies make critical contributions to women's human rights and gender equality, but this is usually a small part of their mandate.  

Currently, there are four separate women's entities within the UN:
%uFFFD The Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW)
%uFFFD The Office of the Special Advisor on Gender Issues and the Advancement of Women (OSAGI)
%uFFFD The United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM)
%uFFFD The International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW).

In this context, women have been pressing governments to address the weaknesses within the UN system on gender equality and women's empowerment as part of the overall UN reform process, which started in 2006 under the leadership of the previous Secretary-General, Kofi Annan. This is a crucial intervention, since it has become clear that the UN cannot help countries achieve gender equality and women's empowerment if work on women's issues remains fragmented, uncoordinated and under-resourced. 

      
Please join the global call to create a stronger new women's entity at the United Nations!

      
For more information about the GEAR Campaign to create a new women's entity at the United Nations, email: gearcampaign@gmail.com or visit http://gear.collectivex.com/main/summary

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Letter:

The United Nations plays a key role in the advancement of women at the global level. However, work of the United Nations in the area of gender equality and the empowerment of women is fragmented and underfunded, which impedes its ability to effectively address women's needs worldwide. Therefore, to remedy the fragmentation that currently exists between the UN's four separate women's entities, the Gender Equality Architecture Reform (GEAR) Campaign advocates for the creation of a new, consolidated women's entity at the UN.

Civil society, especially women's organizations, has played an important agenda setting and policy role at the United Nations, assisting the UN and Member States to recognize and address global challenges relating to gender equality and women's empowerment. Women's organizations bring years of experience working with women in countries and communities as well as regionally and internationally to advance women's rights and to improve women's daily lives. It is critical to build on these experiences by systematically bringing diverse women's voices into all aspects of the new women's entity at every level in order to deliver effective results for women on the ground.

Therefore, we, the undersigned, call on the Secretary-General and Member States to:

(1)  Establish a strong, consolidated and ambitiously funded UN entity for women led by an Under Secretary-General that combines policy making and country level operations to effectively deliver on women's rights on the ground.

(2)  Ensure meaningful involvement of civil society, especially women's organizations, at all levels - global, regional, national and local. At the global level, at least five representatives (one from each region) should be included on the Governing Board of the new women's entity.
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