The Anglican Communion Office at the United Nations (ACOUN) is urging world governments and international organisations to partner with churches and other faith-based organisations to tackle gender justice and address the Covid-19 pandemic. In a submission ahead of next year’s 65th meeting of the UN’s Commission on the Status of Women (CSW65), ACOUN argue that such partnerships are of “increasing importance.”
“Faith plays a role in the lives of 80 percent of the world’s population”, the submission says. “Faith leaders have social and spiritual capital and are often trusted by communities as sources of information and support, which has been crucial during the Covid-19 crisis. Partnership with faith actors positively influencing and supporting their communities is of increasing importance.
“Rising levels of domestic abuse and economic insecurity, unaffordable or inaccessible health care and services, and the risk of misinformation is a toxic combination that marginalises further those impacted by gender injustice and other forms of oppression.
“Faith communities and places of worship are often central to communities, providing refuge, education and services that transform the lives of individuals and address harmful behaviours and attitudes.
“Churches may exist in communities isolated from other state and civic organisations, making them important partners of governments and international organisations in reaching all sections of society, achieving gender justice, and addressing the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Next year’s CSW65 meeting, from 15 to 26 March, will consider women’s full and effective participation and decision-making in public life, as well as the elimination of violence, for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls. It will also review a previous CSW theme on women’s empowerment and the link to sustainable development.
This year’s CSW64 meeting was heavily curtailed and postponed as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Anglican Communion delegation chosen to be present in New York for this year’s meeting will continue next year’s delegation; and will take part in events remotely using online conferencing tools.