CSW 2008

2008 United Nations Commission on the Status of Women

Ecumenical Women 



The theme for CSW 2008 was “Financing for gender equality and the empowerment of women;” the meeting was 25 February – 7 March 2008 at United Nations headquarters in New York City. Ecumenical Women welcomed 150 faith-based delegates from around the world to participate in advocacy for gender equality on the theme.



Ecumenical Women submitted an official statement to the United Nations prior to the 2008 CSW called Justice for the poor and care for life and creation continue to be at the heart of the matter. This statement provided specific recommendations and alternative policies from a faith based perspective that prioritize and promote just relationships in financing for development. The statement closed with a strong call for the democratization of global economic governance structures, including through women’s participation and representation, as well as with a call for strengthened gender equality during the United Nations System-Wide Coherence review process. The statement is also available in Spanish: La justicia para los pobres y la preocupación por la vida y la creación siguen siendo la cuestión fundamental.


This statement translated into recommendations for the outcome document of CSW 2008, the so-called Agreed Conclusions. The recommendations for the agreed conclusions from Ecumenical Women advocacy team are also available. The Ecumenical Women delegation members spoke with a number of government delegations regarding these recommendations. Additionally, the delegation members worked hard to successfully put forward these recommendations through the various NGO caucus groups.


Theology Discussion:

The Theology Committee compiled information and resources gathered at the worship services and bible studies during CSW. This committee focused on an overall theme which was described in the original Greek term in the New Testament as the basileia of God (cf. Luke 17: 20-21), a world of justice, peace and community, which will come and is already amidst us.

In many English bibles this is translated as “kingdom of God,” but this is not the only way of translating basileia. With this in mind, the group surveyed colleagues and theologians around the world by asking: What comes into your mind when you hear basileia, or “kingdom of God” or another translation? Do you have any alternative ideas? If so, why do you think it is more appropriate? What’s the word for basileia in your own language?

The Theology Committee also hosted a strategy group session at the Ecumenical Women orientation.  The group spoke about a theological approach to Financing for Gender Equality. One of the members of the theology committee, Rev. Kathleen Stone, submitted this paper “Theology at Risk” as a thought-provoking impulse.

For more information about the activities of Ecumenical Women at CSW 2008, please see the schedule of Faith Based Parallel Events and the Red Tent events. We especially highlight the ongoing morning prayer services each day before we begin our work. 


2008 Opening Worship Photos and 2008 Orientation Photos
Photographs by Kimberly Llerena