Presbyterian advocates for women at UN Commission on the Status of Women
Dora Arce Valentín, the World Communion of Reformed Churches’ executive secretary for justice and partnership, will join a delegation from the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) that will advocate for gender equity with the 58th United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. This Commission is a functional commission of the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations and is the principal global policy-making body dedicated exclusively to gender equality and advancement of women.
“Our presence, as WCRC, in this delegation will give us visibility as a Reformed family committed to gender justice and against gender violence,” said Arce Valentín.
As a member of the Presbyterian delegation, Arce Valentín will join Christian colleagues from around the world partnering with Ecumenical Women, an international coalition of church denominations and ecumenical organizations. Groups concerned for gender justice from around the world participate in the Commission.
The priority theme for the 58th Commission is “challenges and achievements in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals for women and girls.” Responding to the priority theme, Ecumenical Women is advocating for four themes to be included in the outcome document of the Commission. These are foci on 1) poverty and hunger; 2) access to quality education, employment and decision-making; 3) full access to health, including sexual and reproductive health services; and 4) transformational shifts in social norms in response to violence against women and girls.
“It is exciting to see Presbyterians from the United States and ecumenical partners from around the world come together in New York to advocate for four areas that are important parts of the development process in our journey towards gender equity,” said Ryan Smith, Presbyterian representative to the United Nations and co-chair of Ecumenical Women.
Arce Valentín agreed: “Our presence at the United Nations is an important representation of our extended community of churches around the world, caring for and supporting each other.”
Both the WCRC and the PC (U.S.A.) holds special status with the Economic and Social Council, providing access for the church to engage with the Commission.
The Commission traditionally concludes with recommendations to the United Nations and world community intended to achieve gender equity.