Empowering the Women of the Church

The delegates to the 48th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in New York brought together female-activists from all social spheres, March 1-12, 2004, to discuss gender equity and equal participation in public peace building. Representing the Christian-religious sector were 55 Anglican women from 11 provinces.

The meeting generally examined two themes from the 1995 Beijing Platform for Action, “Men and boys in gender equity” and “Women’s equal participation in conflict prevention, management, resolution and post-conflict peace building."

The Christian delegation, however, focused upon calling on all churches to allow women’s participation and representation at every level of office and service.

“We call on the Anglican Consultative Council to continue its affirmation of the International Anglican Women’s Network and we challenge the ACC to adopt the goal of a 30% representation of women in all decision-making bodies in our Anglican Communion,” said the women in a statement released on March 12.

“We commit ourselves to communicating with women at the grass roots level, the empowering learning of this gathering established in the Beijing Platform for Action and the Millennium Development Goals (MDG). We embrace and work to implement those goals particularly 3) “Promote Gender Equality and empower women.” We deplore all forms of violence against women, and commit ourselves to expose and correct these violations of human rights: war, sexual abuse, poverty and trafficking. We invite boys and men to join us in this critical work,” they said.

“We commend those provinces who sent delegates to the 48th Session and challenge all 38 provinces to send delegates to the 49th Session of the CSW meeting in March of 2005, where we will join with women of faith to be an even stronger voice for women’s empowerment,” the statement wrote.

And finally, “We affirm our love and passion for the work of Jesus Christ and invite our sisters and brothers to a life of mission in Jesus’ name. "Glory to God whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine"