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The United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is the principal global intergovernmental body exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women. United Methodist Women is an active participant in this annual global gathering, especially through its Church Center for the United Nations. 

Education, Gender and Maternal Health

United Methodist Women co-sponsor “Education, Gender and Maternal Health: Social and Public Good” as part of the 58th session of the U.N. Commission of the Status of Women.



New York—In a panel session March 12 in the Tillman Chapel at the Church Center for the United Nations, United Methodist Women and co-sponsors Dianova International, General Board of Church and Society and Healthy Families, Health Planet hosted a discussion on education, gender and mental health.

Moderated by Susan Greer Burton, Director for Women’s and Children’s Advocacy of the General Board of Church and Society of The United Methodist Church, panelists included Mercedes Acevedo, Nicaraguan student speaking on behalf of Dianova; Shannon Trilli, director of global health initiatives with the United Methodist Committee on Relief; and Elizabeth Ketels, Goldman Sachs and Freedom From Fistula Foundation ambassador.

The panel shared their understandings of the importance of women’s education and health rights. Acevado, the youngest of five children living in rural southwest Nicaragua, attends Dianova’s Esther del Rio-Las Marías Educational Center in the Carazo region of Nicaragua. According to Dianova, only 7 percent of rural women in Nicaragua are able to complete secondary education. With plans to gain employment and support herself independently, Acevedo knows education is a key factor to obtaining these goals, an opportunity most women in similar situations cannot access.

UMCOR’s Trilli shared her experiences with community-based health care around the world and the importance of women not having only physical access to doctors and hospitals but eliminating societal barriers to women obtaining care, health education and understanding of their health rights. Trilli talked about the significant and unique role churches and faith-based organizations can play in empowering women and working for health care and health rights. Ketel discussed obstetric fistula and the unnecessary suffering and death women in Africa face because of lack of proper facilities and trained professionals, sharing Freedom From Fistula Foundation’s goals.  

Education, gender and maternal health are important concerns as we move from Millennium Development Goals to post-2015 sustainable development goals.
| 3/14/2014 11:39:47 AM | 0 comments
Filed under: CCUN, CSW, CSW58, Maternal and Child health, united nations

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