The Episcopal Women’s Caucus and The Episcopal Church Women are pleased to announce a joint initiative to support our Episcopal Delegates to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women to be held this year, March 14-24. Of the eighteen delegates selected by then Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, seven have responded to our invitation to assist them in raising the funds needed to attend, each anticipates needing about $4000.00 to attend the two weeks event.
Over the next several weeks we will post stories from previous delegates to the UNCSW and the stories of our delegates this year.
We invite you to send in donations, in any amount, the “EWC Margo” Fund found on the Episcopal Women’s Caucus Website: EWC Margo Fund
What is the UNCSW?
The United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW) is held every year for two weeks in late February or early March. The Commission on the Status of Women was formalized in 1946. “The CSW is instrumental in promoting women’s rights, documenting the reality of women’s lives throughout the world, and shaping global standards on gender equality and the empowerment of women.” UN Women
Representatives of UN Member States, civil society organizations and UN entities gather at UN headquarters in New York for the two week session. “They discuss progress and gaps in the implementation of the 1995 Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the key global policy document on gender equality, and the 23rd special session of the General Assembly held in 2000 (Beijing+5), as well as emerging issues that affect gender equality and the empowerment of women. Member States agree on further actions to accelerate progress and promote women’s enjoyment of their rights in political, economic and social fields.” UN Women CSW
One does not need to be a delegate from a member state or an NGO in order to attend the UNCSW because there are many parallel events that take place during the two weeks the commission meets. Here are some guidelines for preparing for the conference:
- Acquire the NGO event and workshop schedule, available on line at the UNCSW website approximately a week before the event begins. Review the schedule and preplan the workshops and events you want to attend.
- Be sure to pre-register for the Ecumenical Women’s Orientation (usually held on the Saturday before the opening session) and the NGO orientation (usually held on the Sunday before the opening session).
- Workshops begin at 8:00am and end at 7:30pm, running for 90 minutes with 30 minutes in between. Workshops are offered in two or three primary locations including the United Nations Church Center on 44th Street and 1st Avenue (across from the UN).You will find the locations listed in the NGO workshop guide. Attending workshops is free of charge.
- Wear comfortable clothing that can be layered to adjust to NYC weather, which can change quickly. Remember to bring an umbrella.
- Bring several pairs of shoes as you will walk a lot and your feet will need the variety.
- If you are ordained wear your clerical collar, it helps to make the statement that ordained people care about this event and these issues, and are willing to be present.
- Take the time to watch the opening session of the UNCSW, usually on Monday morning of the first week. Viewing is available via webcam at the UN Church Center Chapel and at various NGO sites.
The Episcopal Church is considered an NGO and in 2015 received NGO delegate status for the UN. This means that the Episcopal Church is be able to send 20 delegates to the UN to lobby our UN representatives on issues we are concerned with.