Utah Valley University will host the fourth International Women of the Mountains Conference Oct. 7-9 to raise awareness to issues critical to women and children of the mountainous nations. Studies indicate these nations are often impoverished and underdeveloped and that their women and children suffer disproportionately from the existing conditions.

More than 1,000 attendees will include officials from the U.S. State Department, UNWomen, Mountain Partnership, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, The World Bank, and ambassadors of various mountain nations.

Established in 2007, WOMC is a grassroots forum driven by Utahns and university students to promote global geneder cause as part of the sustainable mountain developed agenda advocated by the United Nations. The annual conference is held to raise awareness, to mobilize support from institutions within the U.S. mountain states and global mountain entities, and to assist in the sustainable development of the mountain communities of the world, particularly as it applies to women and children.

“I feel passionate about this conference because of the message it’s bringing to our local community and to the global community,” said Jenny Starley, public relations and fundraising coordinator for the conference. “Far too often we’re so involved with our own lives that it’s difficult to see how we can be impacted by events that occur in other parts of the world.”

Some 50 presenters will discuss topics related to women and children in the areas of education, economics, health, human trafficking and exploitation, national and foreign policies to promote gender agendas, climate change, family values, heritage and culture, leadership and public services for women.

The conference will also feature cultural performances by students from Nepal, the UVU Cultural Envoy Group, and the Gruppman International Music Institute.

The 2015 conference will feature student innovation and the creative nature of the forum to inspire international organizations to engage more youth to be a driving force for promotion of both gender and sustainable mountain development agendas.

The conference is free and open to the public. For more information or to register online, visit www.womenofthemountains.org.