While flocks of men will gather in Rome to choose the next Pope, a very different meeting will be held at the same time in New York at the United Nations Headquarters.
From March 4-15, the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) sessions will bring together representatives of U.N. Member States to evaluate progress on gender equality, identify challenges, set global standards and formulate concrete policies to promote gender equality and advancement of women worldwide. The two-week session will include a high-level round table, interactive dialogues and panels, and parallel events. The sessions will focus on the Primary Theme of the elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls.
The irony is not lost on those who know how powerful the Roman Catholic hierarchy is and can be in influencing women’s lives around the world. Luckily, the Women’s Ordination Conference will bear witness at (or just outside!) both meetings.
The Women’s Ordination Conference will join Saint Joan’s International Alliance (SJIA) in presenting a Parallel Event panel on the topic: Violence Against Women: Will the Churches Help?: “Our churches present themselves as dedicated models and teachers of compassionate and ethical behavior. They usually have stable administrations in place and a cohesive membership. They are self-funded, or in some countries are subsidized by the government. Will they implement their own best teachings?” Saint Joan’s has held Special Consultative Status at the U.N. since 1971, and is the world’s oldest women’s ordination organization, founded in London in 1911.
Commission on the Status of Women
A global policy-making body, the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is a functional commission of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), dedicated exclusively to the promotion of gender equality and the advancement of women. Every year, representatives of Member States gather in New York to evaluate progress on gender equality, identify challenges, set global standards and formulate concrete policies to promote gender equality and advancement of women worldwide. Read more about CSW
Non-governmental (NGO), non-profit, public or voluntary organizations may formally contribute to the work of the United Nations after being granted consultative status with the Economic and Social Council under Article 71 of the Charter of the United Nations and on Economic and Social Council Resolution 1996/31. There are over 3,500 NGOs in consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and over 23,000 other NGOs working with the United Nations overall. These accredited organizations may participate in meetings of the Council and its subsidiary bodies, including the functional commissions, in accordance with the rules of procedure of those bodies.
Saint Joan’s International Alliance
Saint Joan’s International Alliance seeks to “ensure that the practical equality of rights between women and men is recognized in all fields and on all continents.” It is the only Catholic feminist organization that is recognized by both the U.N. and the Vatican (as an associate member of’ the Conference of International Catholic Organizations). SJIA focuses its efforts on promoting U.N. Resolutions throughout all of its programming, research, and publicity, especially the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), of which the United States and the Holy See have not ratified. SJIA continues to lobby the Holy See to accede the Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others. Under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, SJIA campaigns against female genital mutilation; denounces Rome’s obscurantism with regard to population problem and family planning; and lobbies for women’s rights education courses in African nations. Read more about the History of Saint Joan’s International Alliance.
Please look for updates from WOC’s Membership Director, Kate Conmy, at the U.N. here at The Table, and sign up on Twitter to follow @OrdainWomen for live tweets from Parallel Events. #CSW2013