From: Emily Freeburg <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, Feb 21, 2008 at 12:13 PM
Subject: [cedaw4change] Ecumenical Women launch website for advocacy at the United Nations
For Immediate Release - Feb. 20, 2008 - http://ecumenicalwomen.org.
Ecumenical Women launch website for advocacy at the United Nations
Ecumenical Women, a coalition of churches and ecumenical organizations in dialogue with the United Nations in New York, have launched a website in preparation for the 52nd Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) at the United Nations.
The website has perspectives on the biblical mandate of liberation and justice for women. It features a blog with posts, academic articles and theological resources from women and men, theologian and lay, from around the world.
"We are hopeful that this website will belong to many people; that it will become an international center for work within our faith tradition to advocate for gender equality," says Emily Dávila, chair of Ecumenical Women.
The Commission on the Status of Women kicks off February 23, when over one hundred women from ecumenical traditions will gather in New York to pray, prepare and strategize for the UN meeting. They will join more than two thousand diplomats and NGO advocates from around the world to discuss the theme of the meeting: financing for gender equality.
For gender advocates, the theme of the meeting could not come at a more opportune time, as countries discuss how the UN should restructure and increase resources for promoting gender equality. Meanwhile, the international community is preparing for the final round of trade talks of the Doha Development round, which will take place in November-December 2008, and make decisions that will affect the livelihoods of billions of people.
In order to join the debate, the organizations that are part of Ecumenical Women have submitted an official statement to the UN, emphasizing that multilateral agreements and national planning should prioritize spending on gender equality initiatives, as well as gather better data in order to understand how development financing impacts the lives of women.
"We believe that God's world was meant to be a world of abundance for all persons. However, the world that humankind has created is one in which the majority are very poor, most of whom are women" reads the statement. "Women disproportionately fail to benefit from the abundance that God has provided."
The statement makes policy suggestions while lifting up the principles of the 1995 Beijing Platform for Action. It also connects gender justice to the six themes of the 2002 Monterrey Consensus on Financing for Development. It is rooted in the legacy of economic justice developed by the ecumenical community, which has been involved in UN conferences on the status of women since the First World Conference on Women in 1975. On many occasions churches have taken the lead from UN initiatives, such as launching the Ecumenical Decade Churches in Solidarity with Women, which was held from 1988-1998 and catalyzed gender equality work in thousands of churches.
But the Ecumenical Women coalition realizes that advocacy efforts for gender equality must reach far beyond the doors of the UN. During the commission, the coalition will be launching a new gender budgeting resource toolkit and applying it to their own churches.
Sound interesting? See for yourself: http://ecumenicalwomen.org.
Contact: Catherine Bordeau, World Council of Churches
The Ecumenical Women coalition consists of representatives from within the following organizations:
Anglican Communion, Episcopal Church (USA), The Lutheran World Federation, The National Council of Churches (USA), Presbyterian Church (USA), United Methodist Church, United Church of Christ, World Council of Churches, World Federation of Methodist and Uniting Church Women, World Student Christian Federation, and World YWCA; in dialogue with Religions for Peace