Women and girls around the world still suffer from human trafficking, unspeakable violence, feminized poverty, the ravages of HIV/AIDS, and much more. This is unacceptable. We do not accept the violence and poverty imposed on women and girls and we know that you will not accept it either. Progress must begin today.
Why are we so focused on this need right now? In 2010, as part of its reform agenda, the United Nations launched a new entity called UN Women to be the global champion for women and girls. Michelle Bachelet, the first women president of the Republic of Chile, was appointed Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director. She brings incredible experience to our cause as a national leader, a doctor, and a mother. The launch of UN Women under Ms. Bachelet’s leadership allows us to accelerate progress and more effectively coordinate programs for women and girls worldwide. She is raising awareness of these issues, driving both understanding and funding efforts. In her new role, Ms. Bachelet is also dealing with the practical side of empowering women by drawing attention to the urgent need to invest in gender equality. Stressing that investing in women is not only the right thing, but also the smart thing to do and central to sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction, she is calling on leaders to accelerate actions to advance women’s rights.
Ms. Bachelet’s discussions and actions for change focus on a range of issues, from enhancing women’s economic empowerment and sustainability to ending violence against women — a global pandemic — to supporting women’s leadership worldwide, including in the current transitions across the Middle-East and North Africa.
The US National Committee for UN Women (USNC), as UN Women’s representative in this country, is one of 20 worldwide National Committees that support UN Women. Each of these National Committees is an independent non-governmental organization supporting UN Women through dynamic membership programs, advocacy, public education on global women’s issues, and fund raising efforts to support UN Women programs in developing countries. Of the approximately $800,000 total contributed annually by all National Committees, the US National Committee for UN Women (USNC) typically contributes only $50,000. Think about it … in no way does this level of support represent the spirit and passion of our membership and our country. We must do better, much better!
With the new international organization now in place, USNC must step up its efforts. As the United States representative for UN Women, we must lead the way for women around the world. After careful planning, the USNC has set a target of $1 million, to be raised by June 2013 and payable over 3 years, to guarantee an adequate income stream for infrastructure and leadership. We intend to work more effectively to make certain the United States contributes at a much more appropriate level.
With a stronger funding infrastructure, we can better fuel education, advocacy, and financial support for UN Women. This must be our first priority. Our supporters care deeply about our mission and we are committed to:
There is no excuse for not delivering greater financial and political support. We are determined to ensure greater impact and we are re-Launching the USNC to do that!We need your support. Will you join us by making a contribution this year? Your contribution, and the contributions of others like you, have enabled us to get this far. Now we ask that you please help us go the distance.
Supporting a woman in a developing nation impacts our world in many ways by:
UN Women is the only multi-lateral grant-making body in the world that works to improve the lives of women and girls. Its mission is to support longer-term programs that address deeply embedded cultural and political attitudes/practices that limit and harm women. UN Women programs and grant recipients help women to:
At the heart of all of UN Women’s work is the conviction that women and girls have the right to live a life free from violence, poverty, and discrimination. UN Women consolidates the resources and mandates of UNIFEM and 3 other, previously separate, UN bodies on gender.
The USNC is UN Women’s legal 501(c)(3) representative in the United States and UN Women’s voice within the United States. Our mandate is to:
UN Women is the women’s fund at the United Nations. The predecessor organization, UNIFEM, was created by a 1976 UN General Assembly resolution, following a call from women’s organizations at the UN First World Conference on Women in Mexico City. UN Women’s role has been clearly defined:
Active in all regions and at different levels, UN Women works with developing countries to create and implement laws and policies to eliminate gender discrimination and promote gender equality. Examples include land and inheritance rights, decent work for women, and ending violence against women. UN Women also aims to transform institutions to make them more accountable to gender equality and women's rights, to strengthen the capacity and voice of women's rights advocates, and to change harmful and discriminatory practices in society. UN Women provides longer-term, in-country programs that help ensure cultural, political, and economic changes that help women to gain control of their lives. UN Women currently operates programs in 80 countries.
Through its 18 National Committees, UN Women raises money and awareness for its programs. USNC is one of UN Women’s national committees. Chartered in 1983, the USNC is a volunteer-driven organization with thirteen chapters across the United States and additional chapters in development. With nearly 5,000 supporters across the U.S., the USNC has one full-time, paid employee headquartered in Washington, DC, and an important network of additional volunteer resources at both the national and local chapter level.
As UN Women’s sole outreach organization in the United States, the USNC fosters financial, public, and political support for UN Women. The USNC works to increase awareness of such issues as human trafficking, violence against women, and gender-based poverty. The USNC raises funds annually for UN Women and also sponsors fund drives such as the special appeal for UN Women’s efforts in Haiti. The USNC, often in cooperation with other women’s organizations, works to garner support for legislation such as the International Violence Against Women Act (I-VAWA) and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). Finally, the USNC works closely with UN Women to promote UN Women’s specific campaigns, including the global “UNiTE - Say No to Violence” effort.
The US National Committee for UN women, working with a network of volunteers and one paid staff, has historically given approximately $50,000 per year to UN Women. We can significantly increase this amount if we expand our capacity, primarily by providing more support to our all-volunteer workforce through the expansion of our Washington, DC facility and additional features to our recently upgraded database and website. The US holds vital resources that could be brought to bear on the current state of women across the world. Our ability to better tap these resources to promote support for UN Women will ensure much greater progress.
Our objective is to improve our capacity one step at a time. We undertook Step 1 in 2011 with a targeted infrastructure campaign. Through the dollars raised we enhanced our capacity by:
Now we are ready for Step 2, which is to raise $1M payable over 3 years, thus providing the appropriate income stream to support the following:
Step 2 will enable the USNC-UN Women to become a more impactful representative within the US through an expanded staff that allows our committed network of volunteers to increase our effectiveness and expand our external reach. This will enable us to build a fund development engine capable of raising real dollars and broader awareness. Our ability to become true and effective advocates will be secured.
We believe the current level of US support of UN Women, including both government and private support, is unacceptable. We believe the US can and should lead the way in moving the needle closer and faster to improving the lives of women and girls and eliminating violence against them in large part. We are ready to re-Launch and we are ready to embrace you as our partner.