Trafficking, sexual slavery, child prostitution ... all are gross violations of human dignity and demand urgent attention.
Maryknoll missioners’ work overseas with women is extensive and diverse, in areas including, but not limited to, refugees; HIV and AIDS victims and prevention; domestic violence; prostitution; sexual exploitation and trafficking; women in jail; income generation; agriculture; indigenous rights; nutrition; health and mental health; human rights; and formal and informal education.
The Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns (MOGC) follows issues affecting women because in most societies, in general, women endure a lower status than men. Since women comprise half of the world’s population, this gender inequality remains one of the major challenges for global justice and peace. Gender inequality and the lack of implementation of women’s rights is based mainly in cultural traditions, but is reinforced by poverty, lack of opportunities, armed conflict, and migration, among others. Full recognition of women’s rights and dignity brings positive effects to communities.
Our framework for this work are the UN Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), adopted in 1979, along with its Optional Protocol adopted in 1999; and the Beijing Platform for Action, adopted in 1995.
The CEDAW is legally binding, meaning that countries that ratify this treaty have to review their legislation to match CEDAW’s provisions. (The U.S. has not ratified CEDAW, despite being a major player in the drafting process of this treaty.) The Beijing Platform for Action is not a treaty, but is a major agreement on actions to which governments committed in order to advance the status of women worldwide.
The MOGC links Maryknoll work’s in the field with global issues and promotes the direct participation of Maryknoll members and their local coworkers in UN gatherings: global meetings and regular sessions, especially the annual session related with the UN Commission on the Advancement of Women. To reverse gender inequality, we give special attention to the girl child through the UNICEF/NGO Working Group on the Girl Child.
Learn more at UN Women, the United Nations entity for gender equality and the empowerment of women.
Maryknoll Father Paul Masson has served as a missioner in Chile and on the U.S.-Mexico border.
Maryknoll Father David Schwinghamer recalls a chance encounter with someone who, like the Samaritan woman at the well, demonstrates that even ordinary folk, once baptized, are meant to be messengers of the good news.
Bob Short, who served as a lay missioner in Ecuador in the 1980s, now coordinates the Maryknoll Affiliates, an international community.
In this reflection, Maryknoll Sister Theresa Baldini remembers women she encountered in South Sudan.
This week's reflection is written by Kathleen Bond, a Maryknoll Lay Missioner who lives with her family in São Paulo, Brazil.
Send a letter to President Obama to tell him to stop the new round of immigration detention raids against Central American children and families.
This week's reflection is written by Maryknoll Sister Euphrasia Nyaki, who lives and works in João Pessoa, Brazil.
Opening on April 1 in theaters across the U.S. Based on the best selling novel by Patricia McCormick, an unforgettable account of sexual slavery as it exists today in Nepal and India.