The Women's Rights Treaty [the Convention of the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, also known as CEDAW] is a strong tool that the international community used to protect women and girls from violence, end injustices such as forced marriage and trafficking, and provide access to education and vocational training.
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.
This week's reflection on the readings is written by Sr. Rose Bernadette Gallagher, who, after decades of work in Asia, now serves as a Maryknoll representative to the UN's NGO community.
During their meetings in May at Camp David and in Chicago, the Group of Eight and NATO leaders highlighted women’s rights on their discussion agenda. The following article was published in the July-August 2012 NewsNotes.
This Sunday's reflection is written by Fr. Jim Kroeger, who has served as a missioner in Asia for many years.
Lay missioner Liz Mach, who has lived and worked in Africa, writes today's reflection.
The following piece was written by Marie Dennis, former director of the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns and current co-president of Pax Christi International.
This issue of NewsNotes includes articles on recent protests in Peru, an update on Sudan and South Sudan, a report from the Rio+20 Earth Summit, and much more ...
This week's reflection was written by Maryknoll lay missioner Heidi Cerneka, who works in prison ministry in Brazil.
Sr. Roni Schweyen writes this week's reflection, drawing on her years of mission work in Tanzania.
This week's reflection is written by Sr. Euphrasia Nyaki, who lives and works in João Pessoa, Brazil.