The Commission on the Status of Women can be a difficult place to be.  Not only are we overwhelmed with a deluge of information, but that information can be pretty tough to hear.  Statistics on domestic and intimate partner violence, climate change figures, the challenges rural women face just to meet their daily needs – it can all pile up and exhaust you with the amount of work that remains to be done.

And so today I was encouraged to hear stories of hope.  The Rev. Terri Robinson spoke on the work the Anglican Communion is doing to combat gender-based violence throughout its Provinces.  In 2011, the Primates of a number of Provinces wrote a letter pleading with dioceses to make the elimination of domestic violence a priority.  They called upon the 80 million Anglican voices throughout the world to speak out against the distorted mythologies about gender-based power in which both men and women are trapped.  Networks and organizations within the Communion, such as One Man Can and We Will Speak Out are working to end the silence and demand that our society do more.

I was also excited to be part of the Ecumenical Women Delegation to the US Mission to the UN.  Being able to advocate for change in this country and worldwide with other committed women and men was incredible.  I couldn’t believe how seriously the panel took our concerns, and how strongly they encouraged us to continue advocating as American citizens, voters, and constitutents.  I’d better go compose my letter to my elected officials!  And I hope that you will too.

There is hope.  As Leymah Gbowee says, “I have never seen women come to an event [like this] and just sit there.”  We are an active people.  So let’s get out there and act!

Jordan Melissa Haynie
Episcopal Young Adult Delegation
Yale Divinity School ’13
RPCV Ukraine ’08