Dear UN Women Executive Director Michelle Bachelet:

I am so pleased and grateful for the formation of UN Women. Thank you very much for accepting this honorable and challenging position as Executive Director.

I work in the International Human Rights area of Conflict Mediation/Negotiation and Project Planning Facilitation. Women's Rights are close to my heart. While I am not a lawyer, I am quite knowledgeable with many aspects of International Law including the UDHR and CEDAW. My conflict management skills fall into the Unifem designation of "...supporting the implementation of existing human rights frameworks to help ensure impact and rights realization..." ( and the UN Women role "...To help Member States to implement these standards..."

Thus, my recommendations stem from this area.

  1. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights includes, not by accident, three references to "Dignity." Dignity can best be defined by the numerous offenses on women's dignity. These offenses are the core of many of the human rights abuses against women. Dignity must be stressed first and foremost in any human rights framework in order to insure women's rightful place in such framework.

Therefore, I recommend that the whole UN Women make the establishment and promotion of women's dignity a realized focus both in writing and implementation in all communications and programs where it is appropriate.

  1. To help ",,,insure impact and rights realization...", women/girls must be educated in esteem-building life skills with educational and vocational options funded and available to them freely on demand. Viable options lead to self-confidence that leads to women of True Power. (True Power being individual women imbued with a glow of inner peace and the confidence to express her voice without fear of reprimand.)

Therefore, I recommend supporting those NGO's already making the effort to do just this by offering inclusive program assistance through local program facilitation for the best possible community and State results. In addition, I recommend a predetermined portion of donor funding with close ledger accountability.

  1. Carefully worded and presented UN sponsored women programs to be introduced to government officials in order to gain official support and accountability. These would be highly innovative, UN/Community facilitative programs presented in such ways that officials can't say "no." These would, of course, be women designed and developed programs all within their cultural comfort level. (All programs to be developed within the UN Women and CEDAW guidelines.) Cultural/religious customs and rules must always be honored so many programs are usually "baby steps" for Women's Rights. Of course, words of support and promises are meaningless without conscious action.

Therefore, I recommend the facilitation of both the proven and new, creative pathways to hold said government officials to their word and incite positive action to the best of their ability.

  1. Finally, for the purpose of this letter, I address the UN Women's role desiring " forge effective partnerships with civil society." To my experience changing harmful biases and practices to positive perspectives and actions through project planning, peace implementation programs, mediation, listening skills, asking the relevant questions and a good sense of humor are all requisites in forging effective partnerships with our global sisters.

Therefore, I recommend that in each endeavor, UN Women representatives approach societies of women with intent to empower - without judgment, with an open mind and a smile.

I am pleased to offer my assistance at any time.

Best regards,

K-lee Starland, Ph.D. International Human Rights Advisor Smithville, Texas 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.

Comment on this Post


Dear K-lee Starland: I hope you are doing well and have a great New Year. I read your letter. It is moving because it is saying and notifying all women around the world's words. Indeed, each women no matter if she is from Afghanistan or USA want to preserve their dignity, which has been told in your piece of writing for the first time. Thanks Bests Parwana Fayyaz Also, your name sounds so beautiful, so inspiring.

Thank you ,Parwana, for your beautiful words. I am so very happy to hear from a sister in Afghanistan. Happy New Year to you as well. I hope our military will be out soon and leave you in much peace, prosperity and joy.

Yes, dignity, to my belief, is paramount. Thank you so much for your support.

Thank you, too for your comment about my name. In USA we can marry more than once so on my journey to inner peace I had first my father's last name, then my first husband (very abusive) last name and then a second husband who only wanted a maid and cook. So, I finally came into my own realization of my self and decided I would have my own name once and for all to signify most closly who I feel I am. I created Starland to represent "as above so below" I'm happy you like it.

Love K-lee

K-lee Starland, Ph.D.

Dearest Starland: I was so pleased to hear from you, especially when I heard your heart's voice about your life, through your comment. Yeah, as an Afghan women, I am always ready to listen and talk to you. It is because we together can make change, if I do my best in this part of the world, you do it in that corner of the wilderness. Thanks for wishing the New Year of 2011, Enshallah US Forces will bring peace for us, because the light of the last hope still burning inside each Afghan fellow's heart and mind under sky of Afghanistan.

I will be there to support each woman around the world because I, my mothers, sisters, and other women fellows in Afghanistan need your voice to get up and live with joy without war. This time, we need to hear the heart's voice not the money.

Also, your name brought a spark of hope for me through your story on it. Today, you are proved that this is individuals, who can live the life that they have decided to live by their choices, and I love it. Thanks Bests and loves Parwana Fayyaz