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Anglican Women gather in New York to consider Communion's advocacy efforts

Posted on: January 19, 2012 1:40 PM
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By Rachel Chardon, at the Anglican United Nations Office

Twenty Anglican women from countries1 including Australia, Bangladesh, Uganda and India are visiting the Anglican United Nations Office (AUNO) next month to engage with the UN’s 56th Commission on the Status of Women, which this year has ‘empowerment of rural women’ as its priority theme2.

“Members of the Anglican Communion have always been involved with speaking out for and with those suffering injustice and the effects of poverty,” said Rachel Chardon, Special Assistant at the Anglican United Nations Office. “Increasingly Anglicans around the world are recognising that they share particular issues common to all their Provinces: promoting birth registration, the impact of climate change and environmental degradation, the abuse of women and girls.

“One key Communion-wide initiative that has been endorsed by a range of Primates and bishops—including the Archbishop of Canterbury—is the campaign to end sexual violence. Anglicans and Episcopalians worldwide are already working with other Christian traditions and the World Council of Churches address violence against women.“

The International Anglican Women’s Network (IAWN)3 is helping to promote this initiative, one which aims to end an abuse that affects people worldwide. The International Anglican Family Network (IAFN)4 is focusing on tackling violence within families.”

At an event hosted by the AUNO the Anglican women will hear a presentation on the latest developments in the campaign by the Anglican Communion Office’s Networks’ Coordinator, the Revd Terrie Robinson. Other speakers include provincial delegate Canon Jill Hopkinson who is the National Rural Officer for the Church of England.

Another topic for discussion is the urgent need for clean, safe, sufficient water for all. Global water resources continue to be depleted due to rising global temperatures, pollution, and unsustainable extraction from rivers and deep water aquifers. Commodification of water restricts access for vulnerable communities and causes ecological harm in the name of profit. The Anglican UN Office and Anglican Communion Environmental Network5 are pursuing a programme of education and advocacy around these issues.

Other topics to be discussed at the event include IAFN’s emerging initiative to promote universal birth registration; empowering women and girls; and the scourge of human trafficking.


For more information contact Rachel Chardon on

Notes to Editors

  1. The women attending are from Australia, Bangladesh, Burundi, Canada, Haiti, Japan, Kenya, Korea, New Zealand, North India, Pakistan, Philippines, Scotland, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, United Kingdom and the United States.
  2. The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW or UNCSW) is a functional commission of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), one of the main UN organs within the United Nations. Every year, representatives of Member States gather at United Nations Headquarters in New York to evaluate progress on gender equality, identify challenges, set global standards and formulate concrete policies to promote gender equality and advancement of women worldwide. This year’s priority theme is ‘The empowerment of rural women and their role in poverty and hunger eradication, development and current challenges’.
  3. IAWN enables and empowers Anglican women to work cooperatively at national, provincial and Communion-wide levels to strengthen the ministries of women and to ensure women are influential and equal participants throughout the Anglican Communion.
  4. IAFN is one of the Networks of the worldwide Anglican Communion. It is a forum for the exchange of information about the challenges facing families in different countries and cultures and the practical work being undertaken by churches and individual Christians.
  5. ACEN exists to ensure that efforts to address environmental issues be given greater visibility and be better coordinated across the Anglican Communion.
  6. The Anglican Communion Office serves the Anglican Communion, comprising around 85 million members in 38 regional and national member churches around the globe in more than 165 countries.