VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 3/22/11)—The fifty-fifth session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, or UNCSW, met February 22 through March 4, 2011, in New York, New York. UNCSW is the principal global policy-making body addressing the advancement and equality of women. Each year, member states of the UNCSW meet to assess global progress, identify challenges, and set concrete policies to promote gender equality worldwide towards the advancement of the Millennial Development Goals accepted by the member states of the United Nations in the Beijing session of the General Assembly in 1995.
American Baptist Women’s Ministries national president Barbara Anderson, executive director Virginia Holmstrom, associate executive director Rev. Sandra Hasenauer, and convenor of the national leadership team for AB GIRLS, Jasmine Turner, attended parallel events hosted by non-governmental organizations during the second week of UNCSW. Attending workshops on such issues as human trafficking, access to education for girls in Africa, the voice of women in politics and culture in the Middle East, assistance to refugee and migrant women in Southeast Asia, and more, participants gained information and inspiration to resource American Baptist Women’s Ministries’ focus on the oppression of women and girls worldwide through its “Break the Chains and Stop the Pain” national mission project.
“UNCSW was absolutely amazing,” said Turner. “It was one of the greatest experiences, and came at the best time in my life. As I will be going to college next year as an aspiring International Studies major, I am beginning to educate myself in a great way.”
Anderson said, “I came away encouraged and with a new sense of energy that I need to continue to use my voice and resources to touch the lives of women and girls in this country and around the world. I hope to attend next year and bring my daughter too.”
Holmstrom noted the presence of the faith community at the event. “We caucused with leaders from the Baptist World Alliance Women’s Department and with ecumenical women. As church women, we bring the added dimension of our Christian faith to these critical issues. Our learnings at UNCSW deepened our resolve to engage American Baptist women and girls to be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ in efforts to empower education, leadership development, healthcare, and economic justice for women and girls in the U.S. and worldwide.
To hear more about their experiences at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, listen to episode 10 of “In Their Shoes: Women Walking with Women Worldwide,” American Baptist Women’s Ministries’ podcast series on global issues impacting women and girls, at www.intheirshoespodcast.org or through iTunes.
American Baptist Churches is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with 5,500 local congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world