Date of Meeting: 8 March 2018

Meeting Organizer: CSW - Commission on the Status of Women

ISJC Staff Present: IMASIC, Captain Aron Wambua, Jacob Hevenor, Major Victoria Edmonds, Major Joseph Muindi, Major Mary Muindi, women from the USA Eastern Territory

Reporters: Major Joseph Muindi and Jacob Hevenor

Which SDG does this topic cover? 5

Type of meeting: General Assembly meeting with Keynote Address and Panel Speakers

Brief summary of presentation of information made

Today’s meeting was in recognition of International Women’s Day, 8 March.

The moderator was Sade Baderinwa of WABC News. She opened the event by recapping recent events:

  • Over the last century, society has made monumental progress towards gender equality.
  • The social media movements of #MeToo and #TimesUp have shown that we have reached a tipping point – universal gender equality is attainable.

Address from UN Secretary-General António Guterres:

  • The step to take now is to shake the pillars of entrenched patriarchy by forcing necessary conversations
    • It shouldn’t be too difficult – every sensible man and boy should want this, for humanity’s flourishing. Investing in women is a proven way to raise up developing countries.
  • Gender equality comes down to being a question of power. Power needs to be fairly shared.
  • The UN has taken steps to achieve complete parity in the upper committees. It is time for other organisations and companies to follow.

Miroslav Lajcak, President of the General Assembly, spoke on three major components of women's empowerment:

  1. We are doing more.
    1. There are more laws to protect women and strengthen their agency.
    2. People are not afraid to raise awareness. Marching more, speaking out more.
  2. What we are doing is not enough.
    1. Too many women are still living in fear and forced into silence. One in three still experience abuse, and 700 million girls have been forced into child marriage.
    2. Women make up only 23% of parliamentarians worldwide.
  3. We have to reinvigorate our focus on gender, mainstreaming it throughout all we do.

Hon. Julie Bishop, Australian Foreign Minister

  • It may be International Women’s Day, but we should celebrate women 365 days a year.
  • Gender parity will raise up the global economy – studies have shown that gender bias and female exclusion are serious drags on economic growth.
    • Unpaid female work is worth over $10 trillion.
    • Gender-based violence decreases global GDP by about 4% every year.
  • Responses: programs to let women take part in the economy, and more women in leadership positions.

Geraldine Byrne-Nason, Chair of CSW62

  • A unique forum such as CSW presents a unique opportunity.
    • It is not a celebration of the status quo, but rather an opportunity to set the stage for access to health, education, justice, economic growth and peace.
    • We must capitalize on this moment, where the world is paying attention, to give women a platform for their voices to be heard.

Mónica Ramírez, Board President of Alianza Nacional de Campesinas (National Alliance of Women Farmworkers)

  • 400 million women work in agriculture. Their work is the source of our life, but their lives are under constant threat.
  • Rural women are lagging behind in every gender and development indicator, more so than their urban counterparts are. Worse still, society often views them as powerless and disposable.
  • The main message for today is that women are not waiting to be saved. It is time to stand up and save ourselves, by reaching out across borders to send an unequivocal message: leave no one behind.

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Director of UN Women

  • If progress towards gender equality is a pendulum, all of us must ensure that the pendulum swings one way only and never goes back.
  • CSW brings everybody into one room, from Hollywood to the farm

Danai Gurira and Reese Witherspoon, Actresses

  • Witherspoon runs an organisation that advocates for more female leads in Hollywood. Her motives have gained traction this year with the revelation of pervasive assault in the industry.
  • Women in Hollywood gathered together this fall to talk about actions and solutions, when they got a call from Mónica Ramírez hoping to unite the actresses with the farmworkers.
    • This unlikely combination led to the start of the #TimesUp movement.
  • Gurira remarked that only 3% of UN Peacekeepers are women. Making progress towards parity could be an important step to a more peaceful world.
  • Issues of gender equality intersect with the vestiges of colonialism: how can women step out of the legacy of colonisation and into their own stories and identities?
  • We must remember that outspoken women exist, but are not being amplified. They have stood up, but are not heard.

Karen Yelick, CEO, Indego Africa

  • The fickle artisan sector makes it hard to bring products to market and earn a steady income. Establishing a system with fair and consistent pay is important, helping children with health and education.

Marai Larasi, Executive Director, Imkaan

  • Women are far from voiceless; others just do not listen very well.
  • Women need to organise and make sure that they are dealing with oppressive structures in their own sectors: get your own house in order before you try to tell others what to do.

Mónica Ramírez, Board President of Alianza Nacional de Campesinas

  • Women are facing great need, but have very limited access to resources.
    • As individuals, we can be selective about our financial support and investment. Invest on the ground, by picking out the sector or group where your heart lies.


Women can change the world; they should take the earliest opportunity now for the time has come. The rural women need empowerment to achieve full potential and reach the SDGs.


What was of particular significance to share with The Salvation Army globally?

By empowering (capacity building) women we are saving ourselves from the shame of having a poor humanity. The rural women should be assisted in order to achieve gender parity.

Our part as we preach the gospel of Christ is we should talk of gender parity as the plan of God. Male and female God created them; therefore, we should honour God’s creation.

There is need to build the capacity of women in order for us to achieve the purpose of Jesus’ Gospel. Loving a neighbour as one loves oneself. Being created in the image of God allows us to see each other as important and valuable.

Discrimination towards human beings is not the intent of God.


Web links for more information The National Alliance of Women Farmworkers Website for the #TimesUp Movement of Hollywood women Official page on the 62nd Commission on the Status of Women

Tags: United Nations, SDG5: Gender Equality, Events