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Ms. Lakshmi Puri, Deputy Executive Director of UN Women speaking to a group of about 175 Ecumenical Women delegates to the 57th Commission on the Status of Women on 2 March, 2013.
Nearing the end of our first amazing day of the 57th Commission on the Status of Women at the UN, we absolutely needed to post the following video of a powerful worship experience we had as Ecumenical Women this past Saturday evening.
I believe in the sun even when it’s not shining.
I believe in love even when I don’t feel it.
I believe in God even when God is silent.
by Isatu Ville, World Student Christian Federation Delegate, Chair of Student Christian Movement of Liberia
The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is here again! The convergence of great women and men of the Christian faith under the umbrella of Ecumenical Women to participate along with other Civil Society organizations as well as Governments and Political Parties in presenting what becomes a final copy of the agreed conclusions on the theme of the conference.
This year, under the theme “eliminating and preventing all forms of violence against women and girls”, the World Student Christian Federation (WSCF) has brought a delegation of ten women to advocate at the CSW, including its General Secretary and representatives of affiliate student Christian Movements from each of the WSCF’s six regions (first time ever) and a partner from the Council for World Mission.
For the next two weeks, we’ll be sharing stories around our many different experiences and information on violation against girls and women and strategies that can be employed in our local contexts to addressing the epidemic, and advocating for governments to take these issues seriously.
In 2005, a chief in a remote village in West Africa went on his usual tour of the village and saw a young girl named Massa and became attracted to her at once. He then took her home and asked her to go to bed with him. The teenager named Massa refused and was butchered to death by the Chief. Her body was wrapped and disposed by the Chief. Being missed by her family, an announcement was sent around the town and a drunkard who unnoticeably was following the chief narrated the story of what had happened.
Nothing was done to the Chief on grounds that he was the “chief” and the matter was settled traditionally. Everyone in that town was asked not to speak about the matter ever after.
There are many Massas across the world! We need to stand up as women to ensure that their anguishes don’t go with impunity. I admonish all of us to learn and share our experiences to make the world a safe place for women, challenging those harmful traditional and cultural beliefs that only allow us to violate the rights of ourselves.
May God Help was these two weeks here at CSW and give us sound ideas as we all work towards a violent free world.
This morning a group of young adult delegates to the 57th Commission on the Status of Women led worship on behalf of Ecumenical Women in the Church Center for the United Nations’ Tillman Chapel. The title of the worship service was “Breaking Open the Jar,” which focused on the woman who anointed Jesus’ feet in Mark 14. In sharing the good news of eliminating violence against women and girls, we remember this woman. Check out complete video footage of the service below:
Ecumenical Women will be hosting service in the Tillman Chapel every morning during CSW57 at 8:00am, so be sure to come worship with us if you’re in New York City!
In a broken and fearful world
the Spirit gives us courage
to pray without ceasing,
to witness among all peoples to Christ as Lord and Savior,
to unmask idolatries in Church and culture,
to hear the voices of peoples long silenced,
and to work with others for justice, freedom, and peace.
- A Brief Statement of Faith, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
Participants in March 3 Ecumenical Women’s orientation for the 57th Commission on the Status of Women remembered our sisters whose voices are and have been silenced.
In worship, we remembered.
In prayer, we remembered.
In art, we remembered.
As we marched in silence from The Salvation Army International Social Justice Commission to the Church Center for the United Nations, we remembered.
Remembering, may we act.
Photo by Andrew Nam Chul Osborne
Peng Leong from Presbyterian Women just came to the EW Communications Team’s office hours to report about a powerful experience she had in the Human Rights Conversation Circle this morning organized by the NGO Committee on the Status of Women. Peng had a great conversation with four other delegates about how “cultural values” cannot be used as an excuse to ignore the human rights of girls and women. They also talked about how education about human rights is needed across all generations and how military and law enforcement officials have the obligation to protect women. Be sure to check back here at http://www.ecumenicalwomen.org for more stories from #CSW57. And if you’re already here, definitely come down to the EW Communications Team’s office hours everyday from 12p – 3p to share your story with the world!
Pictured above: Dr. Marilyn Porter of University of Newfoundland; Veryl Obodi, Program Associate at iLEAP, the Center for Critical Service; Dawn Marie Lemondes, International Program Director for Global Voice for Women; Connie Chow of Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.
For all those that can’t be there in person, click the logo below to view the live webcast of the opening of the 57th Commission on the Status of Women. It begins in just a few minutes at 10am. Thanks so much and be sure to keep checking back here at http://www.ecumenicalwomen.org for further updates!