The Ecumenical Women’s Statement and What It Means for Me.

The Ecumenical Women (EW) is a coalition of Christian Non Government Organizations (NGOs) made up of several denominations and groups (including the Anglican Consultative Council, Association of Presbyterian Women on Aoteaora New Zealand, Church Women United, Presbyterian Church (USA), Society of Catholic Medical Missionaries, United Methodist Church/General Board of Global Ministries, World Federation of Methodist and Uniting Church Women, World Student Christian Federation, United Church of Christ/Board for World Ministries, and the World Young Women’s Christian Association).

Each year the EW submits a statement to the CSW with their recommendations on the theme.  Our job as delegates is to learn more about and advocate for one of the points outlined in the EW’s statement.  I have not yet chosen which point I will be focusing on.  I would love to hear your thoughts and opinions on the statement and it’s points in the comments section!

There are three statements from the EW this year – I will put them up separately, they are a bit much to take in all at once….

The first statement (and its sub-points) is as follows:

Cultural, structural and economic violence are underlying factors that must be addressed.

– EW recognizes that underlying all forms of violence are cultural, structural and economic root causes.  Structural imbalances demean and diminish the full dignity of women and girls and increase gender discrimination and the risk of violence directed against them.

– Cultural values and practices determine the roles of women and men in society and the degrees of acceptance of discrimination subservience and superiority.  Acceptance of discrimination in some cultures may mean that it is not openly recognized.  Women and girls also fall victim to culturally acceptable traditional practices that violate their human rights.  Societies in many countries sow the seeds of violence against women and girls by portraying them as objects and sexual commodities  by downplaying their value, by glorifying a culture of violence in general, and by failing to report incidents of violence against women and girls.  

– The cultural acceptance of discrimination leads to structural discrimination whereby basic social structures form a bias against women and girls.  A lack of representation in leadership and governance means that women cannot effectively represent themselves and their needs.  Many governments adopt national legislation to end violence against women and girls but fail to implement it.  We recognize such implementation to be especially important when violent acts occur in private.  States must work actively to ensure that law enforcement and judicial systems prevent and punish violence against women and girls.  

– Economic discrimination prevents women from contributing fully as economic agents.  Although they contribute skills and economic output to their families and communities, they are often not acknowledged for their contributions and are hindered from participating in local, regional, and international economies.  In many societies, women are either unpaid or receive unequal pay for equal work compared to men.  Women’s lack of financial stability and their financial dependence on men affect their ability to provide for their families and make them vulnerable to violence.  This economic violence often puts women at risk to forms of physical violence including, but not limited to, domestic violence, human trafficking, rape, and other forms of violence.

PHEW!  Would love to hear your thoughts!


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