United Nations Commission on the Status of Women
Salvation Army delegates attend 51st session of Commission on the Status of Women.
One vital subject dominated the United Nations 51st Session of the Commission on the Status of Women, held at UN Headquarters, New York: “The elimination of all forms of violence and discrimination against the girl child.” The issues were urgent and the abuse far-reaching.
To demonstrate its commitment to the task, The Salvation Army sent an international delegation of 10 women under the leadership of Commissioner Janet Street (world secretary for Women’s Ministries) to further identify needs, network with other agencies and assess strategy for the future.
Under the umbrella of the main topic, a multiplicity of global issues was debated—education, poverty, health, human trafficking, slavery, abuse, forced child marriage, infanticide and abortion of the female fetus, rape and female genital mutilation. Girls who had been victims of one or more of these, shared their experiences to enable delegates to hear firsthand the effects of discrimination and violence. These girls were among those who had been rescued—but representative of the many who still remain in tragic situations.
The Secretary General of the UN, Ban Ki-Moon, addressed the conference on International Women’s Day. He pledged to do all he could to ensure the UN is at the forefront in working towards changing values and attitudes to bring about lasting change and address gender inequality and imbalance.
For The Salvation Army, the participation of an international delegation was a significant step forward. This year marks the centenary of the commencement of Salvation Army Women’s Ministries, and the adopted logo “www” is based on William Booth’s words: “While women weep as they do now, I’ll fight. While children go hungry as they do now, I’ll fight. While there is a poor lost girl on the streets, I’ll fight. I’ll fight to the very end.” Tragically, women are still weeping. Significantly, the Army is still at the forefront of the fight against social evils. The 10 women delegates represent many others making vital impact for good around the world.
In July of this year, an International Social Justice Commission is being established under the leadership of Commissioner Christine MacMillan, to ensure the Army’s voice is heard on behalf of the abused and marginalized. It will work tirelessly for justice and to eradicate social evils. This new arm of IHQ will be based in New York, where its work alongside the United Nations can be enhanced.
From an international news report by Commissioner Janet Street