Suzette Clark rsc (Aus) and Pat Kenny RSC recently attended the Board meeting of Unanima International (UI) in New York. Seventeen Congregations of women religious are represented on this board and it was amazing to see on the map of the world that UI is represented on every continent.
Each sister reported on her community’s involvement in promoting the aims of UI, that of promoting the rights of women and children, justice and respect for migrants and refugees and the care and safeguard of our planet. With such a spread of culture, experience and energy the reports were remarkable. There is much networking with various agencies so that together they make a difference.
UI is running a project where sisters are invited to spend some time as interns at the office in New York. The two present interns, Jan csb and Michelle osu gave us a full picture of their experience so far. They are working in areas of sustainability and women’s issues which often take them into the United Nations as they lobby and advocate at various group/meetings. Michelle had even taken the opportunity to present an intervention at the UN/ Commission on the Status of Women (CSW55) on education.
Other topics up for consideration at the Board meeting were the current project on access to water as an essential right for all life forms; Stop the Demand anti human trafficking project and the effect of mining on local communities around the world. All so important and needing our responses to speak up and act!
The CSW 55 was an extraordinary experience. It was held over a period of two weeks. Some events were held within the UN while others (over 200) were held at locations nearby. Sponsored events covered many issues around education for women and girls; maternal and child health; female genital mutilation; gender based violence; child marriage and widow poverty and many more. It was wonderful to be part of it all and inspiring to listen to women speaking on behalf of women with such passion and conviction.
Srs. Pat Kenny & Suzette Clarke at UI meeting in New York