Anglican women to meet at United Nations

Posted Jan 19, 2012

[Anglican Communion News Service] Twenty women from countries including Australia, Bangladesh, Uganda and India are visiting the Anglican United Nations Office (AUNO) next month to engage with the UN’s 56th Commission on the Status of Women, which this year has “empowerment of rural women” as its priority theme.

The women attending are from Australia, Bangladesh, Burundi, Canada, Haiti, Japan, Kenya, Korea, New Zealand, North India, Pakistan, Philippines, Scotland, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, United Kingdom and the United States.

“Members of the Anglican Communion have always been involved with speaking out for and with those suffering injustice and the effects of poverty,” said Rachel Chardon, special assistant at the Anglican United Nations Office. “Increasingly Anglicans around the world are recognizing that they share particular issues common to all their Provinces: promoting birth registration, the impact of climate change and environmental degradation, the abuse of women and girls.

“One key Communion-wide initiative that has been endorsed by a range of Primates and bishops — including the Archbishop of Canterbury — is the campaign to end sexual violence. Anglicans and Episcopalians worldwide are already working with other Christian traditions and the World Council of Churches address violence against women.”

The International Anglican Women’s Network (IAWN) is helping to promote this initiative, one which aims to end an abuse that affects people worldwide. The International Anglican Family Network (IAFN) is focusing on tackling violence within families.”

At an event hosted by the AUNO the Anglican women will hear a presentation on the latest developments in the campaign by the Anglican Communion Office’s Networks’ Coordinator, the Revd Terrie Robinson. Other speakers include provincial delegate Canon Jill Hopkinson who is the National Rural Officer for the Church of England.

Another topic for discussion is the urgent need for clean, safe, sufficient water for all. Global water resources continue to be depleted due to rising global temperatures, pollution, and unsustainable extraction from rivers and deep water aquifers.

Commodification of water restricts access for vulnerable communities and causes ecological harm in the name of profit. The Anglican UN Office and Anglican Communion Environmental Network are pursuing a program of education and advocacy around these issues.

Other topics to be discussed at the event include IAFN’s emerging initiative to promote universal birth registration; empowering women and girls; and the scourge of human trafficking.

The UN Commission on the Status of Women is a functional commission of the United Nations Economic and Social Council, one of the main UN organs within the United Nations. Every year, representatives of Member States gather at United Nations Headquarters 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.