New York, September 17, 2009 – As a major women’s rights anniversary approaches, women of faith are already at work, asking their governments to recommit to the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action, a milestone human rights platform agreed upon at the 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women.
“Millions of women worked for years to create the Beijing Platform, but its goals have been eclipsed by other political agendas” said Emily Davila, chair of Ecumenical Women at the United Nations, a faith-based non-profit coalition focusing on women’s rights internationally. “We are calling on women of faith from around the world to come together in their churches and ask, ‘Have these goals for women’s leadership, education and development been met in our communities?’”
To ensure the upcoming anniversary is not forgotten, Ecumenical Women has launched the campaign: “Resurrect Beijing! Calling for a Renewed Commitment to Women’s Rights,” to inspire women around the world to gather together and ask their governments to increase their political commitments and resources towards meeting the principles of the Beijing Platform for Action.
The campaign will host advocacy gatherings in North America, South America, Europe, Africa and Asia. The first meeting in North America will be on October 7 in New York hosted by the National Council of Churches of Christ. Faith communities were active participants in producing the landmark Beijing Platform, and now they can play a leading role again.
The campaign resources, available at http://ecumenicalwomen.org contain information about the Beijing Platform, a sample agenda for a meeting, tips on building coalitions, a sample advocacy letter for governments and a bible study. The resource is intended to launch meetings all over the world and is also available in Spanish.
Meetings should be held prior to March 2010, the findings of which will be reported back to Ecumenical Women at the United Nations. Earlier dates are strongly encouraged. Conclusions from the meeting will be shared at the March meeting of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW-53) at the United Nations and with government representatives.
Anastassia Zinke, Advocacy Coordinator: email@example.com
Ecumenical Women at the United Nations: 212-808-5360