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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.

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New York, September 17, 2009 – As a major women’s rights anniversary approaches, women of faith are already at work, asking their governments to recommit to the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action, a milestone human rights platform agreed upon at the 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women.

“Millions of women worked for years to create the Beijing Platform, but its goals have been eclipsed by other political agendas” said Emily Davila, chair of Ecumenical Women at the United Nations, a faith-based non-profit coalition focusing on women’s rights internationally.  “We are calling on women of faith from around the world to come together in their churches and ask, ‘Have these goals for women’s leadership, education and development been met in our communities?’”

To ensure the upcoming anniversary is not forgotten, Ecumenical Women has launched the campaign: “Resurrect Beijing! Calling for a Renewed Commitment to Women’s Rights,” to inspire women around the world to gather together and ask their governments to increase their political commitments and resources towards meeting the principles of the Beijing Platform for Action.

The campaign will host advocacy gatherings in North America, South America, Europe, Africa and Asia. The first meeting in North America will be on October 7 in New York hosted by the National Council of Churches of Christ.  Faith communities were active participants in producing the landmark Beijing Platform, and now they can play a leading role again.

The campaign resources, available at http://ecumenicalwomen.org contain information about the Beijing Platform, a sample agenda for a meeting, tips on building coalitions, a sample advocacy letter for governments and a bible study.  The resource is intended to launch meetings all over the world and is also available in Spanish.

Meetings should be held prior to March 2010, the findings of which will be reported back to Ecumenical Women at the United Nations.  Earlier dates are strongly encouraged.  Conclusions from the meeting will be shared at the March meeting of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW-53) at the United Nations and with government representatives.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

Anastassia Zinke, Advocacy Coordinator: anastassia@ecumenicalwomen.org
Ecumenical Women at the United Nations: 212-808-5360

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