Be aware. Do good. International Women’s Day 2012

March 8th is “International Women’s Day, a day of remembrance and reflection celebrated around the world since 1913,” according to Episcopal News Service.

Here are a few of the posts on our blog that have sought to increase awareness of the needs and issues of women and girls throughout our world and right in our own neighborhoods. As always, my hope and prayer is that with increased awareness of need and the whisper of the Holy Spirit, individual and collective action to meet these needs will result. Blessings on this International Women’s Day. ~dan

Episcopal Women’s Caucus and Anglican Women’s Empowerment – introduced on the Seventh Day of Christmas, this post includes links to other organizations by and for women and girls

Two Against Gender Violence – introduced in our Advent Calendar Day 14, this post links to ECS Julian’s Housing Program for Women and Children and Shelter from the Storm

Anglican Women gather in New York to consider Communion’s Advocacy Efforts – a post linked to an Anglican Communion News release in January. The post indicates how the Anglican Communion is addressing the issue of empowering women in rural settings.

charity: water – posted in our Advent Calendar, Day 24, this post raises awareness about how women and girls are adversely impacted by doing the work of obtaining water for the household (“women’s work”) and how charity: water by bringing water to a village (via wells, or filtration and storage systems) positively impacts the lives of these women and girls (Recommended: Water Changes Everything video)

Image 1 from the International Women’s Day website | Image 2 from 3 inspiring french women

Seventh Day of Christmas: EWC and AWE and girls’ rights

Episcopal Women’s Caucus (EWC) and
Anglican Women’s Empowerment (AWE)

For centuries Mary, the Mother of God, has been remembered, celebrated, and adored. In art and music, prayers and meditations, Mary has become the model of faith. Within the glow of Christmas let us pause and recall that Mary’s journey began as an unwed, pregnant, teenager. Her story could easily have ended in destitution, estrangement, abuse, violence, and desperation. Her child, if born at all, would likely have died in infancy; Mary herself may have died in childbirth. Not the Christmas picture we want to contemplate.

Our scripture tells us, and we have come to trust its testimony, that Mary was delivered from this grim future by God’s grace, mediated by God’s angels, including Joseph and Elizabeth. How many young girls today, some of them pregnant and unwed, could use an angel (like you perhaps) to initiate a different, a better, future?

Within the Episcopal Church members (both male and female) of EWC and AWE find inspiration and direction for their work in the story of Mary, in the teaching and ministry of her son, Jesus, and in the grace of the Holy Spirit within community. Today, God’s angels look a lot like you and me.   ~dan rondeau

Quote . . .The Episcopal Women’s Caucus (EWC) is a justice organization dedicated to Gospel values of equality and liberation and committed to the incarnation of God’s unconditional love. (EWC Mission Statement)

Anglican Women’s Empowerment (AWE) is a membership movement of Episcopal/Anglican women and girls with a broad diversity of backgrounds, interests and skills.We work for gender equity and social justice around the world. (AWE Mission Statement)

About EWC | Home Page

About AWE | History

The Twelve Days of Christmas Calendar in one place
About the Twelve Days of Christmas Calendar

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For further reflection

Working Group on Girls Empowering the Women of Tomorrow!

by Beth Adamson

AWE has consistently held a seat at the Working Group on Girls. Board member Beth Adamson, is co-convener of WGG.

Put yourself in the shoes of Linea, a young girl whose mother has HIV/ AIDS, a disease she contracted from your father before it took his life. Because you are the oldest daughter, you are the person expected to care for your two older brothers (when they show up) and your three younger siblings. National laws have given no property rights to women, so you live day to day in fear that your father’s family will take your house and your goat, the only source of income. You have never been to school because even when your parents were well, you took the long walk to the river to procure fresh water and wash clothes for the family. You are not even registered in a national registry.

These are the issues that face girls across the globe, and the purview of the Working Group on Girls, a coalition of over 80 NGO’s who are deeply interested in the fate of the girl child. Like AWE, which has a seat at the table, these NGO’s are aware that the empowered girls of today are the empowered women of tomorrow – but it takes vigilance to bring this empowerment to life.

Thus, WGG is committed to assuring that policies are in place via the legislative bodies and working entities of the United Nations. We follow each session of the General Assembly as well as several commissions from the Status of Women to Social Development to A World Fit for Children. Whenever possible, we provide Parallel Events sponsored by 2 or more of our member organizations and develop Fact Sheets on girl-specific topics such as: the Right to Health, Protection from Trafficking, or the Right to Education. WGG sponsors a strong Advocacy Committee that makes a point to visit Missions of member states of the Commission on the Status of Women, providing specific talking points on the Priority & Review Themes of the CSW.

Beyond that, the WGG is privileged to have 80+ NGO’s that are “on the ground” in many countries around the globe, giving an opportunity to support governments and civil society in enacting the UN policies on site. A Missionary in Malawi might use guidelines on Education for Girls to support her cause on creating a private restroom for girls, thus allowing a better chance that they can attend schools. Or an international representative in Brazil can use Fact Sheets from the WGG web-site to advocate on behalf of young women and girls who are the victims of human trafficking.

But the Working Group on Girls also makes every effort to work alongside girls by providing opportunities for girls (age 14 and above) to be involved as delegates in events at the UN that pertain to them. Girl Advocates are involved in our general meetings and as well as Mission Visits. We rely on our coalition of NGO’s to bring girls to Commissions

For instance, AWE’s own Caroline Christie, granddaughter of Marge, was a Girl Delegate in 2007 and 2011, has been on various mission visits, and was the presenter of the Girls Statement to CSW 55 in March, 2011. She continues to serve as an active WGG Girl Advocate.Please view our website and look at our quarterly Newsletter “Action for Girls”!

Source: AWE Journal Nov 2011

MORE? Read the story of Lungowe Mufungulwa a young girl from Zambia who was a girl delegate to the UN Commission on the Status of Women meeting in 2011

Acronyms and links for more information

AWE – Anglican Women’s Empowerment

CSW – United Nations Commission on the Status of Women

EWC – Episcopal Women’s Caucus

NGO – Non Governmental Organization. NGO Global Network: “This site is the home page for our global NGO community (Non-governmental organizations associated with the United Nations). Its aim is to help promote collaborations between NGOs throughout the world, so that together we can more effectively partner with the United Nations and each other to create a more peaceful, just, equitable and sustainable world for this and future generations.”

WGGWorking Group on Girls an NGO Committee working at the United Nations

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