Dear Ms. Bachelet, I would first like to congratulate you on your post as Executive Director for UN Women. It is my sincere hope that UN Women will be a powerful tool enhancing women's protection and their access to rights worldwide. If I could wish one thing for UN Women, it would be that it would transform international instruments for women’s rights, like CEDAW and DEVAW, into documents that mean something. One hundred and eight-six nations have ratified CEDAW, and yet very little has been done to translate the Convention into national and local change. Many nations have been flippant and lax about reporting, reservations have remained attached for decades, and very little is done to hold nations to their commitments to end discrimination against women. I would like UN Women to work to change this. UN member nations need to join together and be serious about ending discrimination against women. There must be an agreement to apply trade sanctions to those nations that do little or nothing to ensure equality for women. There could be some sort of grading scale applied to nations as to level of equality women are granted (similar to the type of scale used in the TIP report in the US). Nations that fail to meet a certain standard should have trade restrictions put upon them until the standard of equality in their country is raised. This would require commitments from member nations to adhere to the sanctions, but it would be, in my opinion, the first real step to making CEDAW mean something. It has been much too easy for nations to sign up to CEDAW and leave it at a signature. I sincerely hope that in your time at UN Women, you will be able to do something to translate those commitments down to tangible equality for women worldwide. Sanctions won’t solve the problem entirely, but it would be a huge step forward in making nations take action to end discrimination against women.

Thank you, and I hope all the best for you and UN Women.

Sincerely, Marika Christy San Jose, CA, USA

As the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women officially begins its work this month, World Pulse is asking women worldwide: What is YOUR vision and recommendation for UN Women? We invite you to raise your voice by writing a letter to UN Women Executive Director Michelle Bachelet outlining your recommendation for how this new UN agency can truly affect change on the ground to promote gender equality and uphold the rights and needs of women both on a local and global scale. Learn more:

Take action! This post was submitted in response to UN Women: Visions and Recommendations.

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Dear Marika,

Thank you for participating in this campaign, by using your voice and speaking out for women worldwide on the urgency for translating CEDAW into meaningful documents and tangible action plans for making the rights and security of women a reality.

In two weeks, we will compile your letters and share your voices with the GEAR Campaign, who have been working closely with UN Women to ensure the inclusion of civil society groups, and through the PulseWire community, grassroots women leaders, as they set their agenda. We will also be sending your letters directly to Michele Bachelet and other senior leaders of the newly formed UN agency, to demonstrate the effectiveness for sourcing opinion, knowledge and needs from the global grassroots women's movement through our online community. Through this, we hope to open a portal for our community to have a direct line of influence within the UN Women agency.

I will keep you updated on the progress of our campaign!

In friendship and solidarity, Jade