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Salvationists join delegates at UN to address gender inequality

Salvationists join delegates at UN to address gender inequality

Salvationists join delegates at UN to address gender inequality

13 May 2016

Captain Kathy Crombie with Christine Mangale, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America UN Representative, at the Commission on the Status of Women conference in New York.

Two Australia Eastern Territory officers – Captain Kathy Crombie and Major Beth Twivey – joined 20,000 delegates from all over the world at the 60th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CWS), held at the United Nations in New York on March 14-24.

Twenty Salvationists from seven countries were among the delegates, which included representatives from United Nations’ (UN) member states, UN entities and non-government organisations. A significant number of men participated, recognising the importance of men and women working together to address issues of inequality and injustice.

The CSW is a global policy-making body that meets annually and is dedicated to promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women in the political, economic, civil, social and educational fields. There were more than 700 meetings during the event, with The Salvation Army hosting 105 of the meetings at the International Social Justice Commission (ISJC) building in New York.

Delegates from faith groups were also part of daily devotions and other events organised by Ecumenical Women. During one of the devotion sessions, Captain Crombie spoke about doing mission in cities, building sustainable cities and communities, and responsible consumption and production. Having just completed two years as Senior Policy Research Analyst with ISJC in New York, Captain Crombie, is about to take up a new appointment as Projects Officer Emergencies and Disaster Relief, The Salvation Army (Mission) Nepal, India Eastern Territory.

Captain Crombie attended sessions on ensuring gender equality and sustainable livelihood in post disaster situation; emerging issues in gender, water and sanitation; several sessions on human trafficking, and many others. “I went to many discussions on trafficking, as The Salvation Army has an international taskforce focusing on the issue, so it’s important that we feed back to the Army the latest trends and practices, and share the knowledge we are receiving,” Captain Crombie said. “If we work in partnership with others, we can access their expertise and experience and can complement each other. I was also encouraged by Ecumenical Women’s teaching on advocacy – what it is and how to advocate in your own countries for the marginalised.”

Major Twivey, Area Officer for North Queensland, attended many presentations, including those discussing gender equality in the media; restoring self-protection, empowerment and worth for girls; and putting girls at the centre of development.

“I now feel more informed about the global picture, but the experience also emphasised to me the need to see the needs of the local area where God has placed me, and how I can make a difference here,” said Major Twivey. “I am more resolved to be a woman of God in my community, equipped, and making a difference here in the lives of men and women in addiction, changing the patterns for the next generation and also focusing on mental health, domestic violence and youth suicide.”

The ISJC posted daily summaries of each day’s meetings and presentations, including quotes, photos, and points of significant interest to The Salvation Army globally – to read these go to salvationarmy.org. Other links of interest: unwomen.org, and ecumenicalwomen.org

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