The Fourth International Women of the Mountains Conference

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The Fourth International Women of the Mountains (IWM) conference will take place on 7-9 October, 2015 at Utah Valley University (UVU) in Orem, Utah, co-organized by UVU and the International University of Kyrgyzstan (IUK) under the auspice of the Mountain Partnership. We are inviting UN Women to participate (they earlier indicated support).

This conference will continue the tradition set during the previous International Women of the Mountains Conferences hosted in Orem, Utah in 2007, 2011 and in Puno, Peru in 2012 to promote gender-related initiatives as part of the efforts to advocate sustainable development in mountainous regions both in the Rocky Mountain region and globally. It will also address the critical issues facing women and children in mountainous regions across the globe and provide a forum in which to raise both awareness and advocacy on eliminating gender inequality and addressing sustainability challenges. IWM also focuses on strengthening the involvement of North American mountain communities with the United Nations’ Mountain Partnership (MP).

It is expected that IWM would be attended by more than 100 participants including representatives of the United Nations, the World Bank, U.S. State Department, Ambassadors of mountain nations accredited to the United Nations and to the United States in addition to scholars, experts on gender issues, representatives of NGOs from the United States and abroad, faculty and students and local community from the state of Utah and the Rocky Mountain region. The issues addressed by the program are broadly, but not exclusively, catalogued into eight topics: 1) Transmitting Family Values, Heritage & Culture; 2) Health of Women & Children; 3) Education of Women & Children; 4) Economic Issues of Women & Children; 5) Climate Change and Gender; 6) Human Trafficking and Exploitation; 7) Leadership for Women; 8) Access to information and public services for women.

Taking into account the successful contribution to the Second and the Third IWM Conferences by Utah’s university students, the Utah International Mountain Forum (a coalition of student clubs at UVU) will play a major role in hosting the Fourth IWM conference with faculty assisting them as advisors ( Students from other universities from the state of Utah are invited to join the organizing committee of the IWM conference as well.

Join the Organizing Committee for the 2015 Women of the Mountains Conference at UVU Initial Conference sponsors are: The Mountain Partnership; the Mountain Institute; Vertex; American Council for International education (ACCELSS) Washington, D.C.; Gruppman International Music Institute UT; International University of Kyrgyzstan; City of Orem UT; Utah Valley University UT; and Vista 360 WY.

The Conference may have limited funding for participant travel and lodging. Details about the Women of the Mountains conference 2015 can be found by contacting Jesler Molina, President, Utah International Mountain Forum, Utah Valley University, e-mail: or phone: 801-427-4292 or Dr. Baktybek Abdrisaev, History and Political Science Department, Utah Valley University, email: or phone: 801-863-8351.