Grace and Peace to you!

As the 54th Commission on the Status of Women draws near, the members of Ecumenical Women are hard at work preparing to welcome delegations from around the world.

In recognition of the 15th Anniversary of the Beijing Platform for Action, Ecumenical Women is preparing a series of devotions on the 12 areas of concern highlighted in the Beijing Platform for Action and the 4 institutional barriers to women’s advancement included in the Ecumenical Women statement.

We need your help to make this devotional possible. Perhaps you have a talent for writing. Or maybe you know of someone who does. Or maybe you know someone who attended the Beijing Conference in 1995 and would have a story to share. Maybe all of the above! The mission is simple:

·   Choose one of the 12 areas of concern or 4 areas of institutional barriers that grabs your attention. They are conveniently listed below.

·    Find a passage in scripture that mirrors the area of concern or institutional barrier.

·    Share a brief reflection or personal anecdote that captures the relationship between the scripture and the area of concern/institutional barrier that you have chosen.

·     Finally, include a short prayer and a suggestion or two for taking action on the issue you have chosen.

We look forward to including your work in the Ecumenical Women devotional. Contact Jessica Hawkinson at the Presbyterian UN Office with any questions you may have by e-mail jessica.hawkinson@pcusa.org or phone at 212-697-4568. Submissions or questions should be e-mailed to jessica.hawkinson@pcusa.org by December 1, 2009.

Please share with all who might be interested.

12 Areas of the Beijing Platform:

The 12 areas of concern recognized in the Beijing Platform for Action are:

1. The persistent and increasing burden of poverty on women

2. Inequalities and inadequacies in and unequal access to education and training

3. Inequalities and inadequacies in and unequal access to health care and related services

4. Violence against women

5. The effects of armed or other kinds of conflict on women, including those living under foreign occupation

6. Inequality in economic structures and policies, in all forms of productive activities and in access to resources

7. Inequality between men and women in the sharing of power and decision making at all levels

8. Insufficient mechanisms (institutional barriers) at all levels to promote the advancement of women

9. Lack of respect for and inadequate promotion and protection of the human rights of women

10. Stereotyping of women and inequality in women’s access to and participation in all communication systems, especially in the media

11. Gender inequalities in the management of natural resources and in the safeguarding of the environment

12. Persistent discrimination against and violation of the rights of the girl child