POWERFUL UN COMMISSION EXPERIENCE: COMING TOGETHER TO ADVANCE GENDER EQUALITY

BodengravenBarbara Bodengraven writes: “When I attended the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) under the aegis of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, my world was expanded and my understanding of the scope of the work of the Congregation increased. Listening to and interacting with women – both religious and not – from across the globe who had come together to advance gender equality was powerful. Not only did I learn about the Sisters’ work and the workings of the UN, I learned how to live my own faith more effectively. Perhaps equally as important, I realized that my own story is an integral part of the stories of all women – including those of Zarmina Kochi and Rosario Campos, guest speakers who held the overflow crowd spellbound at the Sisters’ informational parallel event on March 6.

I’m not sure what I expected when I made the commitment to attend CSW-57 as part of my job at the Sisters’ Congregational Mission Office. What would be the point of traveling down to New York City in order to, I thought, listen to a lot of speeches and mind-numbing discussions about an issue that I already consider to be paramount? The point, as it turns out, was for me to reflect on my own life as a “Heroine’s Journey” and to consider how I may help other women and girls recognize the validity and dignity of their own. I found the words to more clearly articulate my own stance in the world. And, as one working in a limited capacity to promote the mission of the Sisters, I found the words to more clearly articulate theirs. In short, it was a fascinating and worthwhile experience.”

To read Barbara’s description of our CSW parallel event “Moving the Immigrant Girl from Violence of Cultural Uprooting to Empowerment of Creative Expression”, go to http://conta.cc/110toox

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