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Ms. Michelle Bachelet
Under-Secretary General
UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women

October 28, 2010

We, as Ecumenical Women at United Nations, celebrate your appointment as the head of the new United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women – UN Women.

Ecumenical Women is an international coalition of church denominations and ecumenical organizations which have status with the Economic & Social Council (ECOSOC) at the United Nations. We were created in the context of Beijing +5 to draw attention to the fact that women of faith stand for the advancement of women’s rights, equality and peace. We affirm the promotion of gender equality and justice from a human rights perspective.  We maintain that the contributions and empowerment of women and girls of all ages are fundamental, enshrined in the Beijing Platform for Action and international law, and necessary to meet all of the Millennium Development Goals.

Through our global membership, which includes representation and partnership in Chile, we followed your political commitment for gender equality. Now we welcome the opportunity to support your worldwide outreach to women and young women, especially the ones who have been historically excluded from development as well as from promoting peace and economic justice.

We call upon UN Women to embrace an inter-generational approach and to strengthen partnerships with faith based organizations and building on existing best practices such as the UNAIDS faith-based organizations (FBO) or UNFPA FBO partnerships. We acknowledge that, at times, religion has been and is an obstacle to advancing gender equality, but we also firmly believe that it has been and can continue to be a great resource toward advancing the status of women.

As we have for many years, we will be actively participating at the upcoming 55th session of the Commission on the Status for Women and we are looking forward to that opportunity to work with you as well.

With your leadership at UN Women, we look forward to cooperating in partnership with you to advocate for a better world that we believe is possible!

Be assured of our prayers and continuing support for the changes that empower women and girls for lives free of violence and participation in efforts to eradicate poverty and all forms of discrimination.

Anglican Women’s Empowerment
Association of Presbyterian Women Aotearoa New Zealand
Church Women United
International Anglican Women’s Network
Lutheran Office for World Community
Medical Mission Sisters
National Council of Churches, USA – Women’s Ministries
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
The Salvation Army
United Methodist Women
United Methodist Church, General Board of Church & Society
World Council of Churches
World YWCA
World Federation of Methodist and Uniting Church Women
World Student Christian Federation

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