United Nations Commission on the Status of Women
School Sisters of Notre Dame delegation to participate in UN Commission on Status of Women
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A delegation from the School Sisters of Notre Dame attended the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women Feb. 27-March 9, 2012, in New York as the CSW addressed “the empowerment of rural women and their role in poverty and hunger eradication, development and current challenges.”
During the annual two-week meeting of the commission, the CSW also evaluated the outcomes of its session in 2008, which addressed financing for gender equality and the empowerment of women. Member states, as well as representatives of United Nations entities and of non-governmental organizations such as the School Sisters of Notre Dame, will participate in the session.
|The SSND delegaton at the 2012 CSW: Sister Eileen Reilly, Julie Gilberto-Brady, Sister Judy Bourg, Sister Roxanne Schares, Julie Tatlock.|
Issues relevant to SSND concerns
This year’s issue was especially relevant to the School Sisters of Notre Dame and was reflected in the congregation’s constitution, which states that SSNDs “exclude no one from our concern, but are especially sensitive to youth and women and are impelled to prefer the poor.” In today’s society, women and children in rural areas increasingly are often forgotten or neglected, said Sister Eileen Reilly, SSND, director of the SSND UN-NGO office.
“Too often programs target those in urban areas where population density makes it easier,” Sister Eileen said. “As the 2015 due date approaches for the Millennium Development Goals that the United Nations established in 2000, we are aware that in many rural areas there has been little or no progress towards these goals. We especially want to highlight the need for quality schools, with trained teachers in rural areas.”
SSND urges member states to improve conditions for girls in rural areas
The congregation of the School Sisters of Notre Dame also joined with 25 other NGOs in submitting a written statement to the CSW, urging member states to improve the condition of girls in rural areas by promoting a human rights-based approach to gender equality, supporting economic empowerment via equal access to economic resources, intensifying efforts to reduce poverty and economic inequality, investing in quality education and training, improving data collection and analysis, and launching public campaigns to create awareness.
The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is a functional commission of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), dedicated exclusively to gender equality and advancement of women. Every year, representatives of member states gather at the United Nations Headquarters to evaluate progress on gender equality, set global standards and formulate concrete policies to promote gender equality and advancement of women worldwide.
Registered NGO with special consultative status
The School Sisters of Notre Dame has been a registered NGO (non-governmental organization) with the U.N.’s Department of Public Information since 1993. In 1998, SSND received special consultative status with the ECOSOC.
In addition to Sister Eileen, the SSND delegation included Sisters Roxanne Schares, SSND, coordinator of the international SSND Shalom Network for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation; Sister Judy Bourg, SSND, advocate for battered, immigrant women, Douglas, Ariz.; Sister Maureen Fleming, SSND, pastoral minister at St. Luke, Westport, Conn.; Julie Gilberto-Brady, communications coordinator for the SSND North American Major Area; Julie Tatlock, adjunct instructor at Mount Mary College, Milwaukee; Glenance Green, a DePaul University graduate student from Chicago, and Candace Moore, a Loyola University law student from Chicago.
The congregation of the School Sisters of Notre Dame is an international community of women religious. The Sisters educate with a world vision believing that the world can be changed through the transformation of persons. The sisters and their colleagues seek to empower women, youth and persons who are poor or marginalized and strive to change systems of poverty and injustice. More than 3,000 SSNDs minister in 34 countries.