As newly elected president of the ICW, I will continue to build on the tradition of the ICW, while attempting a great leap forward in the history of global women’s movement.
It has been 127 years since the ICW was found in the midst of anti-slavery and women's suffrage movement in the U.S. and Europe. The visions that inspired women at that time were to liberate women from oppression and discrimination, asking for equal voting rights for women.
Since then, ICW has impacted the lives of billions of women in the world. ICW was there when the United Nations was formed out of the disaster of WWII to reflect women's concerns at the international level through the establishment of the UN Commission on the Status of Women. ICW was there when women leaders decided to declare the year, 1975 as the International Year of Women. ICW has been there to firmly establish the value of gender equality as central norm of international law. Through the United Nations Decade for Women and four world conferences including the Beijing Conference of 1995, ICW was always at the center of global women movement improving the lives of women all over the world. We will continue to build on that tradition, while trying to make a great leap around the triennial theme of “Transforming Society through Women’s Empowerment”.
Let us unite our efforts to promote the political, economic and social empowerment of women through which we can transform society. Women should be represented equally in politics, on the boards of companies, and decision making positions of society, and stronger measures should be taken in each society to eliminate trafficking and violence against women. We will develop and provide leadership training programs for women of the world so that we women could be the transformation that we envision in the world. Transforming a society starts from transforming women, through women’s empowerment.
We want a world where inequality based on gender is absent from every country, and from the relationships among countries. We want a peaceful world without the threat of nuclear weapons. We want a transparent society without corruption. We want the Human Rights to the highest attainable standard of health and the dignity of all human beings. We want sustainable development and access to clean energy. We want a world where basic needs become basic rights and where poverty and all forms of violence are eliminated. We want to eliminate gender pay gap and discrimination against women in work place. We want an international community concerned with the rights of asylum seeking women and children. Each person will have the opportunity to develop her or his full potential and creativity, and women's values of nurturance and solidarity will characterize human relationships. They can be achieved together through the self-empowerment of women.
Let us be the transformation that we wish to see in the world. And let us empower the ICW. Let us develop and expand stronger networks. Let us be united for our vision for transforming society through women’s empowerment. As the gender that bears, gives birth to, and nurture life, women can transform the society through nurturing and caring women's leadership. We will support more women to advance into politics and economic activities, and eliminate obstacles against women's empowerment.
Together with our board members, I will make all my efforts for the greater revival of the International Council of Women that all of us are proud of. I look forward to the coming years of friendship and cooperation with you with great expectation and enthusiasm. Now as we go back to each of our countries, let us be the little sparkles that can make a big fire of women's empowerment. I thank you again for your support, and your continued support for our goal is essential in realizing the vision we have for ourselves and for the world.
Dr Kim Jung Sook
ICW-CIF President 2015-2018