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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. 

Race, Class and Gender and the Millennium Development Goals

United Methodist Women host “What do Race, Class and Gender Have to Do With the Millennium Development Goals?” as part of the 58th session of the U.N. Commission of the Status of Women.

New York—What do race, class and gender have to do with the Millennium Development Goals? This is the question United Methodist Women posed to U.N. Commission on the Status of Women side event attendees Wednesday, March 12, at the Church Center for the United Nations.

Janis Rosheuvel leads discussion at the Church Center for the United Nations during CSW58

United Methodist Women executive for community action Carol Barton noted that United Methodist Women has been working to ensure that race is part of the global conversation on gender rights for 10 years, hosting workshops on the topic at the Commission on the Status of Women and other civil society and women’s gatherings. Race is an immensely important factor when determining policy and action to further women’s well-being.
The discussion workshop was facilitated by Janis Rosheuvel, United Methodist Women executive for racial justice and joined by retired former executive for racial justice elmira nazombe and retired executive for global justice Esmeralda Brown. Brown set the tone for the group discussions by stating that women who are struggling to survive one day at time have little opportunity to help set policy for the future, and that his needs to change. “I hope women from poor, marginalized communities can be part of the post-2015 conversation,” Brown said. Rosheuvel asked attendees to discuss their experiences as either someone who has been directly impacted by or as an ally of persons impacted by racial marginalization.
The U.N. Commission on the Status of Women allows for a world of voices in one room. In groups speaking Spanish, French and English, workshop attendees discussed what factors they believe kept people in their countries and contexts marginalized. Some of the factors the group presented were:
  • Laws and policy that are not enforced.
  • Development that helps business not people.
  • Overlooking indigenous peoples.
  • Militarism.
  • Unjust trade policy.
  • Lack of services and resources for rural women.
  • Child marriage.
  • Aging women.
  • Women with disabilities.
  • Mental illness.
  • Women not having a safe place to come together.
  • Incarceration of women of color, particularly extended sentences for minor offenses.
  • Lack of equal access to education, even in developed countries.
  • Lack of transportation.
  • Lack of employment opportunities.
  • Insufficient definitions of success.

nazombe then asked attendees to pick one of the marginalized groups and imagine policy that could help create positive change for that group—and ensure their seat at the table for future policymaking in an effort to make the world a place in which all thrive.
| 3/12/2014 8:11:28 PM | 0 comments
Filed under: CSW, CSW58, Development, gender, race


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