Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns

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Go here for more information: UN Women: A global champion for change

UN Women: First draft of strategic plan released, April 2011


Take action: Thank the Senate for passing VAWA; urge House to pass best version

International Women's Day 2012

Congratulations to the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize recipients -- Liberia's President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, fellow Liberian Leymah Gbowee and Tawakkul Karman of Yemen. Each have made impressive contributions to women's empowerment in their own countries, and gives hope to all fighting for gender equality globally. Read UN Women Executive Director Michelle Bachelet's statement here.

Enabling rural women's economic empowerment: Institutions, opportunities and participation, the theme of the 56th session (2012) of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW)

World leaders draw attention to central role of women’s political participation in democracy (link to UN Women), September 2011

Tell senators to protect victims of trafficking, September 2011

Action alert on human trafficking (Christian Brothers Investment Services)

Beijing+15 Call to Action, from NGOs at UN, March 2010. This document was written during the 54th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women, held March 1-12, 2010 in New York.

Liliana’s story: A reflection on the trafficking of human persons (Way of the Cross) (PDF file)

Maryknoll missioners’ work overseas with women is extensive and diverse, in areas including, but not limited to, refugees; HIV/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.


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