As usual, UNCSW was a great time to meet women from around the world who are trying to make the world a better place. AWE sisters participated in parallel events and provided hospitality.. Here are some of of our UNCSW highlights:
Presiding Bishop Katharine credited AWE with being instrumental in holding the Anglican Communion together. At a very well attended AWE lunch in the PB’s honor, she remembered how, at a time when so many of the men in the Communion were fighting, AWE had the Anglican women write a letter calling for unity — and it made a big difference! She also noted that there are now two African female bishops, one of whom (from Swaziland) was at the lunch.
Archbishop Sir David Moxon talked about how a personal alliance between the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and Pope Francis has resulted in bringing together leaders of all the major faiths to fight human trafficking through the well-funded Global Freedom Network. Afterwards, Beth Adamson was given an ACOUN award for Global Service — only the second time the award has ever been presented.
At a meeting with the US Delegation, representatives told us about some hopeful changes for women’s rights in the last twenty years: “there is not a commission or study that doesn’t look at gender differences, not just at the UN but also at the World Bank and Economic Development Fund;” the Security Council is getting more women involved in peace efforts, “every day, every hour, a lawyer in some country is using CEDAW to help women” and even though the US government has not ratified CEDAW, a number of US cities are making it the law. Caroline Christie, Marge Christie’s granddaughter, was present at this meeting and many others, carrying on Marge’s AWE tradition!
Yvonne Lodico was one of the Global Faith Perspectives on Sexual and Gender Based Violence panelists. She talked about how her organization, UNITAR, is working to get more women at the peace tables. The Anglican representative to the UN in Geneva showed pictures of Anglican women around the world helping with these efforts, including Mother Harriet Bakka in South Sudan, who has been with us at several past UNCSWs.
Rosemary Williams organized a well-attended parallel event about Women’s Economic Empowerment.
Once again, AWE was happy to be an active part in supporting the Episcopal and Anglican delegations at UNCSW. We hope everyone reading this message will join our efforts next year!
- Reported by Dr. Jacqueline H. Plumez, AWE