Monday, March 16, 2009

Apartheid At Home

The worldwide Anglican Communion sent delegates to the 53rd meeting of UN's Commission on the Status of Women this month in Washington. Today's statement by our delegates reads in part:
The clear statement made at a plenary session by the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon that 3 million girls are still undergoing female genital mutilation each year requires urgent further action by all concerned. Multiple presentations highlighted the association of this, other acts of violence against women and girls, and the spread of HIV. The lack of sexual and reproductive rights and education puts women and girls at increased risk of HIV and in some areas of the world married women are at highest risk. Innovative prevention measures are desperately needed. The vulnerability of women and girls in areas of armed conflict and the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war is an area of deep alarm. The delegates also recognize the challenges faced by migrant and indigenous women and girls; work is required throughout the world to support and empower them.

It is evident that gender stereotyping is a major hindrance in moving ahead and now needs to be addressed by clear action throughout the world. Work must be done with men and boys as well as women and girls to address harmful societal norms and practices. We ask churches across the Anglican Communion to examine how they can champion the equality of men and boys, and women and girls particularly with regard to caregiving.

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