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by Onleilove Alston
In America many people make New Year’s Resolutions to set goals as they go into the New Year. Most resolutions involve breaking a harmful habit or beginning a positive one. This New Year’s I want to challenge all of us to make the resolution to resurrect Beijing by supporting the advancement of women’s rights at your church, in your communities and on your jobs. If you choose to take-up this resolution review the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, adopted at the Fourth World Conference on Women in 1995. Become familiar with the document and share it within your community. One way in which you can advance women’s rights is by advocating for women’s leadership in local churches and denominations. March is Women’s History Month and you can advance women’s rights by teaching a Sunday school class on women in the Bible. On a broader level if your state or nation is considering legislation that affects women get involved by lobbying your governmental officials. Consider mentoring a younger woman in your church or community this year and encouraging her to be a leader. Individually you can make a donation to a women’s organization or ministry. Personally you can resolve to advocate for yourself and other women when faced with sexism and gender discrimination. One important way you can help resurrect Beijing is by attending the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in New York City from February 26 to March 3. Even if you can not attend the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women take-up a local cause that affects women: childcare, sexism in the workplace, women’s wages or any issue that affects women in your community.
2010 and the 15th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action gives us a unique opportunity to consider the advancements women have made since the Fourth World Conference on Women and to fight against the disadvantages we still face as a global community. The New Year always presents us with new opportunities for growth and advancement, 2010 will present women with the opportunity to advance our cause for equality. As a global community let’s unite and resurrect our rights, our voices, and our cause. Let’s Resurrect Beijing! Have a blessed, safe and prosperous New Year from Ecumenical Women!
by Ann Tiemeyer
From February 22 – 26, 2008, seven young women between the ages of 21 to 28 years old participated in the first Young Women’s Leadership Experience facilitated by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA (NCC). The group received intensive orientation about the NCC, Ecumenical Women at the UN, Nongovernmental Organizations (NGO’s) at the UN and the history of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). More>>
Photograph by Kimberly Llerena.
by Jocelyn Tengatenga
The imperative to act on gender equality and development is an integral part of the mission of God. God’s mission and vision for humanity is one of peace, prosperity and justice. We believe that because women and men are made equally in the image of God they are equal players and equal beneficiaries in God’s bounty. This is the new life as God intended it to be, a life of equality which is spelt out in Galatians 3:28, “in Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female for all are one in Christ Jesus”. It is therefore a calling on each one of us as women to be involved in the fight for liberation from all forms of oppression and marginalization. We can only do that if we are united and collectively speak out. As women of faith we have been silent for a long time and now is the time to raise our voices together and join hands in working towards a better tomorrow. As Mercy Amba Oduyoye said,
“As a woman who feels the weight of sexism I cannot go again and again to the stories of the exodus, exile and to other biblical motifs in which the “least” are recognized and affirmed, are saved or held up as beloved by God or at least are empowered to gnaw at the fundaments of the structures of injustice until these fundaments cave in on themselves.”
Read the rest of Josie’s speech here.
Ecumenical Women delegates to Commission on the Status of Women were given the opportunity to translate Ecumenical Women’s input into the agreed conclusion into prayers of confession, petition and thanksgiving during morning worship on Thursday, February 28th.
This document contains excerpts from the draft of the agreed-upon conclusions. Ecumenical Women suggested additions and changes to the draft agreed upon conclusions, followed by prompting questions. Then three short sentence prayers were created from the thought around those agreed-upon additions: a prayer of confession, a prayer of petition and a prayer of thanksgiving.
We hope you might pray these prayers with a deep and committed heart for the sake of the disproportionate number of women suffering abject poverty. On Monday, governments began to determine the language needed within the agreed-upon Conclusions. By augmenting the agreed-upon conclusions in such a way as Ecumenical Women have desired, it is just possible that we will begin to rebuild an economic system which has at its core a desire for more resources for development, more decisions for development, and less injustice in the financial mechanisms, in the hands of those who are unable to access them under the current mechanisms: the poor.
On Saturday, February 23, Ecumenical Women gathered for our orientation on the 52nd Commission on the Status of Women. On that day, we joined together as women from many different areas of the world, cultures, ethnicities, denominations, and identities of all kinds, to form a coalition of women advocating for gender equality at the United Nations, from a faith-based perspective. We worshipped together, learned together, reflected together, and ate together! And after all that togetherness… we advocated together!
Photograph by Kimberly Llerena.
Want to feel extra-prepared for Ecumenical Women’s Orientation day? Curious about the Faith-based events that will be offered during CSW? Look no further–you can download them right here:
CSW 2008 delegates, click here for even more info on the upcoming weeks!
The Draft Agreed Resolution for CSW 52 as presented by the Bureau is now available on the CSW website.
Once Jesus was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God was coming, and he answered, ‘The kingdom of God is not coming with things that can be observed; nor will they say, “Look, here it is!” or “There it is!” For, in fact, the kingdom of God is among you.’ (Luke 17: 20-21). “The Kingdom of God, on Earth as it is in Heaven.” That is what we pray for, sometimes every week, within the Lord’s Prayer. Yet, is it what we work for? Is it what we join hands for? Is it what grounds our activism and enthuses our bodies for the work we must do?
On the occasion of the 2008 session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) at the United Nations in New York, with 160 delegates representing churches within many, many countries in the world, Ecumenical Women will work from all our own cultural contexts to explore the themes and analysis from the Monterrey Consensus and how it all engages–or doesn’t–with the Biblical vision of the Kingdom of God. EW is planning a worship service – and it’s all about the kingdom: that “other” world, a world of justice, peace and community, which will come and is already amidst us, and which inspires us in our struggle for peace and justice.
Although “basileia,” the original Greek term, is usually translated in most English bibles as “Kingdom of God”, it is not the only way of translating it. Additionally, English is not the only language women and men use to speak about the basileia. Therefore, we ask you: What comes into your mind when you hear “basileia”, or “Kingdom of God”? Do you use a terminology other than “Kingdom? If so, why do you think it is more appropriate? What is the word you use in your own language? What does the translation infer? Does it identify with a (male) ruler, or rather to a community of equal people? Or, to something else? Please post your comments here or on the Theology Committee’s Page! Read the rest of this entry »
Are you sitting at home wondering how to prepare for the Commission? Make sure to read the Financing for Gender Equality paper from the UN’s Expert Group Meeting. We also really recommend AWID’s FundHER report – it answers million dollar the question, where is the money for women’s rights? Still curious? Find more advocacy resources here.
Ecumenical Women is excited to have events planned for the Commission on the Status of Women, which will take place 24 February through 7 March 2008. We hope that governments and NGOs around the world will come together and make real progress on our theme: Financing for Gender Equality.
Just as in previous years, we are planning to hold daily worship services in the chapel at the Church Center for the UN. The schedule for these worship services can be found here.
We will also host two side events:
- Ecumenical Women’s Challenge to Financing for Development
- Gender Architecture in our Religions: Walls and Windows