THE Salvation Army is playing a full role at the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) which will convene in New York, USA, at the United Nations (UN) Headquarters from 4 to 15 March. Sixteen Salvation Army representatives will be attending the event, including representatives from the four USA territories and personnel from the International Social Justice Commission.
The 'priority theme' of this year’s CSW is the 'Elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls'. There is also a 'review theme': 'The equal sharing of responsibilities between women and men, including caregiving in the context of HIV/Aids'. There will be opportunity for intervention from non-governmental organisations and and other groups from UN member states to voice their thoughts on wording and ideas that should be put into the final outcome document.
The Salvation Army will be hosting a parallel event on 'Violence and the Church: A Salvation Army Perspective', with officers and lay personnel speaking on how The Salvation Army responds to violence and what mechanisms are in place to help in this growing issue. This will be one of around 400 parallel events during the course of the CSW.
The Salvation Army will also host a new event – a 'girls' tribunal'. This will give girls from around the world opportunity to testify about violence they have experienced. For many of the participants, this tribunal will be an opportunity to raise awareness in a safe environment. The hope is that the process will lead to them finding justice back in their home countries. The sitting jurors are highly significant personnel in the international arena.
International Women's Day, on 8 March, will be acknowledged during the CSW. The theme for this event the year is 'A promise is a promise: Time for action to end violence against women.'
The Salvation Army will take part in devotions during the course of the CSW and will lead one session.
Report by Major Victoria Edmonds
Senior Representative to the UN
The Salvation Army International Social Justice Commission