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By Sarah Medina, Policy Intern at The Salvation Army International Social Justice Commission
At our last meeting of Ecumenical Women, we opened up with a devotional about “power” and gave many examples from the Bible that we thought exemplified power. One statement was made about God’s power being shown through us and our relationships with the people around us. Power was also seen in the story of Rahab, when she refused to hand over the spies to the king of Jericho. We also spoke about the abuse of power and how this does not reflect how God wants us to use the power He gives us. We need to use the power God gives us in a way that allows us to give Him the glory.
The good thing about power is that we can share the power God gives us. We must give power to those around us through allowing them to use their voices to stand up against the injustices we face. However, in order for everyone to be able to stand up against these injustices, their voices need to be heard. One of the problems that arise from this situation is language barriers. Not everyone can understand everyone else’s native language, which may, in the end, limit the effect and power of a person. Ecumenical Women believes that everyone- including women- has been given power. Once we receive that power, we can share it with others, testifying wherever we go. But because some women are limited to how they can share that power with others, we must take a stand.
Everyone, no matter what his or her native language, is entitled to be heard. This is why we at Ecumenical Women are discussing interpretation options for the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) 57 Conference. We believe that every voice has power, should be heard, and has the ability to hear from others who are speaking in other languages. We need to provide interpretation where needed for our delegates in as many languages as is possible at the conference.
For more information on the CSW 57, go to http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/csw/57sess.htm
By Dustin Wright, Lutheran Office for World Community
In 2000, world leaders came together to set quantifiable goals for global development to be reached by 2015 in eight areas. Some have described the goals that came out of that summit, the Millennium Development Goals as the world’s greatest promise. The good news is that three years out from the goals’ deadline, three targets for reducing extreme poverty, improving clean water access and helping people move out of urban slums, have already been met. While there has been partial progress in some areas, such as moving toward gender equality in access to primary education, there has been little movement toward other targets like reducing the maternal mortality rate.
As the world inches closer to 2015 deadline, the United Nations is also working to analyze successes and failures of the Millenium Development Goal program overall, and most importantly, beginning to discern what’s next after 2015… and that’s where you come in. In partnership with civil society, the United Nations is currently leading a growing conversation with people all over the world who are contributed their input about how we should move forward as one global community. This conversation is happening on the World We Want 2015 web platform, and the topic for this week is gender inequalities.
How can you contribute to the conversation? First, talk with folks (especially girls and women) about gender inequalities in your local community, with a particular emphasis on how such problems are related to inequalities based on income, race/ethnicity, age, location, disability, and sexual orientation. Next, spend some time brainstorming how the post-2015 development framework could address the needs of specific groups of women, especially those from the most marginalized groups and those facing multiple forms of discrimination.
Once you’ve spent some time talking about and reflecting on the topic, you can post your input here. The conversation is currently being monitored by Emily Esplen from Womankind Worldwide, Nicole Bidegain from Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era (DAWN), and Rosa G. Lizarde from the Feminist Task Force (FTF) of the Global Call to Action Against Poverty, and they’ll also be responding to your comments. The recommendations emerging from you contributions will be included in a report presented at a high-level meeting in Denmark in February 2013 on inequalities and the post-2015 development agenda. Make sure to contribute soon though, as the comment period for this topic will end on October 24th. Thanks so much for contributing to The World We Want!