Salvationists participate in Commission on the Status of Women

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20,000 delegates meet at U.N. in New York to address inequalities experienced by women and girls

Twenty Salvation Army representatives joined over 20,000 delegates from around the world at the 60th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) at the United Nations (U.N.) in New York. The session included more than 700 meetings organized by the U.N., member states’ permanent missions to the U.N., and civil society organizations including faith groups.

The Salvation Army hosted 105 of the meetings at the International Social Justice Commission building in New York. Salvationist delegates in attendance represented New Zealand, Canada, USA, Australia, Norway and Switzerland.

The CSW is a global policy-making body that meets annually and works to promote gender equality and the empowerment of women. Established in 1948, it has a mandate to prepare recommendations on promoting women’s rights in the political, economic, civil, social and educational fields. The Commission also makes recommendations to the council on urgent problems facing women that require immediate attention.

This year’s theme was “The Empowerment of Women and the Link to Sustainable Development.” In September 2015, all 193 U.N. member states agreed on 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs present a vision of a world that is fair, just and equitable for all people. Women and girls form half the world’s population and are often among the most vulnerable and marginalized.

The overarching message of CSW 60 was that women are essential to achieving the SDGs and women have both the right and the responsibility to participate in the achievement of not only Goal 5–to achieve gender equality–but all 17 goals. The meeting addressed the many intersecting issues related to the empowerment of women and sustainable development, including gender-based violence, women’s health, human trafficking, women’s legal and property rights. Delegates also reviewed less recognized concerns such as challenges faced by women in law, media and parliament; unequal income generation opportunities; and the disproportionate impact of climate change and humanitarian crises on women and girls.

Presenters came from all parts of the world, representing the global diversity of the issues. Delegates shared perspectives that reflected both secular and different faith viewpoints. A significant number of men participated in the CSW, recognizing the importance of men and women working together to address issues of inequality and injustice.

The Salvation Army delegation reported that this was a stimulating and encouraging experience, enriched by the fellowship experienced within the group and with other like-minded delegates.

Report by Lt. Colonel Dean Pallant

International Social Justice Commission, New York

Look here for further information and summary reports of the meetings.

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