Salvation Army participates in UN Commission on the Status of Women

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Salvation Army personnel from India, Kenya, Kuwait, Italy, Sri Lanka, Belgium, Mexico, UK and the U.S. are taking part in more than 100 meetings at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) from March 13-24. Staff from The Salvation Army’s International Social Justice Commission (ISJC) are hosting more than 80 meetings arranged by the UN, non-governmental organizations and other faith-based organizations at the ISJC building in Midtown Manhattan.

Photo: UN Women/Ryan Brown

“The CSW discussions ask: ‘how do we improve the status of girls and women?’ who in many parts of the world do not get a fair deal,” said ISJC Director Lt. Colonel Dean Pallant. “It’s a big thing for men as well—to stand up and talk about the importance of women having equality. It’s something that Christians believe, that we’re all made in the image of God, so it’s really important.”

Prior to the formal commencement, The Salvation Army held a Sunday evening service of reflection, worship and prayer in its premises close to the United Nations headquarters in New York. Prayers focused on world leaders, policy makers and representatives from civil society taking part in CSW, this year themed “Women’s Economic Empowerment in the Changing World of Work.” Intercessions were also made for women and girls affected by discrimination in various ways, using stories, video and personal testimony to explore the issues.

Several Salvation Army delegates to the CSW spent two days the previous week in discussion at The Salvation Army’s international anti-trafficking task force, chaired by Lt. Colonel Eirwen Pallant, and supported by Commissioner Rosalie Peddle, World Secretary for Women’s Ministries. The forum provided opportunities for learning, analysis and development of Salvation Army international strategy and policy to counter modern-day slavery, which has devastating effects on men, women and children around the world.

The Salvation Army’s response to human trafficking will be featured in a CSW event at the ISJC March 14, which will discuss lessons learned from a partnership between The Salvation Army and the Anglican Alliance. The partnership has increased the capacity of local church congregations to raise awareness and respond appropriately in local contexts.

A further presentation for CSW on March 15 puts the spotlight on Salvation Army initiatives around the world to empower people, especially women. Designed to improve the economic status and security of local communities, many of these projects provide women with an opportunity for income generation, leading to improved status and empowerment.

Coinciding with the start of the CSW, the ISJC published “Go and Do Something”; using the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a framework, it explores what Salvationists and friends can practically do—now and over the next 15 years—to make the world a better, fairer place.  

See the ISJC’s CSW activities as they happen at sar.my/cswlive.

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