Middler Students Help United Nations Form Approach to Eliminating, Preventing Violence Against Women
Austin Seminary middler students, Annanda Barclay and Amy Wilson-Stayton were among a group of about 70 Presbyterians who took part in the annual session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) held in New York City March 4-15. They played a vital role as the United Nations outlines its international approach to women’s issues – specifically in efforts to eliminate and prevent all forms of violence against women and girls. Among the group, young Presbyterian women will serve as the eyes, ears, and voice of their generation.
During this yearly meeting, representatives from member states gather at UN headquarters to evaluate progress on gender equality, identify challenges, set global standards and formulate concrete policies to promote gender equality and women's empowerment worldwide. Through this dialog with Presbyterians and other attendees, the commission sets its global policy in regards to women’s issues under the United Nations Economic and Social Council.
“This commission is extremely important for the status of women everywhere. The Church has been silent in regards to violence against women for far too long. I look forward to applying the information I have learned about slavery, domestic violence, and systemic sexism in the practice of ministry in the Presbyterian Church USA,” said Barclay.
“The women and men in this diverse and dynamic group of Presbyterians are blessed by the opportunity to join our voices in working to effect real change locally and globally,” said Kate Carlisle, Interim Associate for Young Women’s Leadership Development.
The majority of the Presbyterian delegation is made up of members of Presbyterian Women (PW), who have long been present at these meeting to share the concerns of women from around the world. This year, thirteen young women participating in or leading Young Women’s Leadership Development programs within Racial Ethnic and Women’s Ministries/PW will join them. These young women will participate in the proceedings and provide a generational perspective to the meeting.
“As Christians, we are called to bear witness to the suffering and injustice in the world. We are also called to speak out with compassion and courage, no matter how young or old we might be,” Carlisle adds.
Young Women’s Leadership Development is a national ministry of the Presbyterian Mission Agency within Women’s Ministries. The office of Young Women’s Leadership Development provides resources and programs for young adult women ages 18 – 35 who are considering leadership opportunities in the church.