The Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns endorses the recently introduced End Modern Slavery Initiative Act, sponsored by Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN).
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.
The following reflection was prepared by Sr. Efu Nyaki, who works with women in Brazl.
Lay missioner Liz Mach writes about her work in Tanzania, where the holiday time means the closing of schools and the return home of girls in order to undergo female genital mutilation (FGM).
Pope Francis’ address for the World Day of Peace, January 1, 2015 was a strong condemnation of the various systems of slavery that deny our shared humanity.
Sr. Ellen McDonald, who served as a Maryknoll missioner in Panama, wrote the following reflection; this piece is also published in A Maryknoll Liturgical Year: Reflections on the Readings for Year B, available from Orbis Books.
The following reflection, prepared by Maria Montello, a Maryknoll lay missioner serving in Cambodia, was published in A Maryknoll Liturgical Year: Reflections on the Readings for Year B, available from Orbis Books.
The following request for action and support was circulated by the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, based on information from the Sisters of Loretto Nazareth.
Fr. Paul Masson has served as a missioner in Chile and on the U.S.-Mexico border.
The following article, published in the September-October 2014 NewsNotes, was prepared by Cathy Rowan, who is the Corporate Responsibility Coordinator for the Maryknoll Sisters.
The following article was written by Eben Levey, who worked with the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns from September 2013 through August 2014.
Bob Short, who served as a lay missioner in Ecuador in the 1980s, now coordinates the Maryknoll Affiliates, an international community.
This week's reflection is written by Angel Mortel, who served along with her family as a lay missioner in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Sr. Meg Gallagher, MM attended the 58th Session on the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), held in March at UN headquarters in New York; its priority theme was "Challenges and achievements in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals [MDGs] for women and girls." Following are excerpts from her report.