Only 7 days to the Fourth International Women of the Mountains Conference

Thursday, 1 October, 2015 - 08:28

The Fourth International Women of the Mountains (IWM) conference will take place on 7-9 October, 2015 at Utah Valley University in Orem, Utah, co-organized by UVU and the International University of Kyrgyzstan (IUK) under the auspice of the Mountain Partnership.

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 strengthen the involvement of North American mountain communities with the United Nations’ Mountain Partnership (MP). IWM promotes worldwide sustainable development in mountainous areas. 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.

The issues addressed by the program are broadly, but not exclusively, catalogued into eight topics:

  • Transmitting Family Values, Heritage & Culture: The role of women in sustaining the family values, heritage, and culture in mountain communities. Modern challenges to traditional family values, generational communication of culture, and similar issues in the region are critical.

  • Health of Women & Children: Challenges of high rates of disease and mortality for mothers and children in mountain communities; problems of malnutrition, mutilation, abuse; and the aftermath of terrorism in addition to new threats in the mountains, like: HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases, and other women’s health issues.

  • Education of Women & Children: Women’s and children’s education in highlands; development of political, legislative, and technological frameworks for improving the quality and availability of education; and practical implementation of the frameworks for the mountain communities.

  • Economic Issues of Women & Children: Women’s role in economic development in local communities and use of micro-credits; family and gender policies of the regions; women’s rights to property; issues of equal gender access; poverty; and drug production/ trafficking.

  • Climate Change and Gender: Environmental issues; climate change impacts on mountain women and families; 

  • Human Trafficking and Exploitation: Migration in the mountain areas and mistreatment of women and children; and measures for fighting human trafficking and sexual exploitation in mountain areas.

  • Leadership for Women: Women in leadership roles in contemporary mountain regions; developing women’s leadership capacities; and women’s leadership in entrepreneurial development and governance.

  • Access to information and public services for women: Women and technology, including use of modern ICT and distance education in remote regions.

The agenda for the conference includes a business fair with local entrepreneurs on the date 9 October 2015. During the fair Utah companies will have the opportunity to work with conference participants to find partners for trade and commercial projects. The conference has raised funds to bring six women entrepreneurs to Utah from developing mountain nations (two from Asia, two from Africa and two from Latin America) to attend the conference.

The Conference may have limited funding for participant travel and lodging. Submit your abstracts for the conference to email: For additional information please contact: Deann Torsak, Executive Secretary of the conference:; or Tony Medina, VP for logistics and Protocol:

Work regions: 
Mountain Ranges: 

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