Justice and Peace
Links is the electronic newsletter of Presbyterian Women’s Justice and Peace Committee. Each issue explores a topic of justice and peace and offers suggestions for how to be involved and advocate on the topic. Find past issues.
United Nations Commission on the Status of Women
Every year, thousands of members of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) gather in New York City during the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UN CSW). Groups exert tremendous amounts of energy to influence the commission’s outcome document, and to enforce the resolutions and conventions on which UN member states have agreed. These advocates work to impact political processes, to tell their stories and to share their lives.
This issue of Justice and Peace Links spotlights the 57th UN CSW, and its focus on the theme of “The Elimination and Prevention of All Forms of Violence Against Women and Girls.” This resource also links to reflections from participants, resources for further study and links to the agreed conclusions of the event, which was held in New York in March 2013.
Initiatives and Emphases
Presbyterian Women has ongoing advocacy work in several areas, from food to language to gender justice. And there are multiple ways to stay connected to these topics. A bookmark lists the various emphases and resources that can help you take action. Share this bookmark with other advocates!
1,000 conversations for better health
Did you know that the 1,000 days between a woman’s pregnancy and a child’s second birthday greatly impact the child’s future? Proper nutrition for pregnant women and children in that time significantly improves a child’s mental capacity and physical development. Children do better in school, grow taller and stronger, and have better immune systems when they are well-nourished. To raise awareness of this crucial 1,000-day period, women of faith are pledging to hold 1,000 conversations about maternal and child nutrition. Presbyterian Women’s Churchwide Coordinating Team has voted to support this Bread for the World-sponsored campaign.
Ending Discrimination Against Women
Did you know that the United States is just one of seven United Nations member countries that has not ratified a treaty that works to end the oppression of women around the world? This agreement, called the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), addresses the major issues facing women worldwide, including human trafficking, education, employment, and economic and social standing.
Learn more about CEDAW, the impact it has had upon acceptance in other countries, and what you can do to promote U.S.-ratification of the agreement.
Order a pack of postcards that advocate the ratification of CEDAW. Distribute the cards at your next PW or church event. Postcards are preaddressed and come with information about CEDAW and instructions for using them.
The voting representatives to the 2000 Churchwide Business Meeting of Presbyterian Women unanimously approved a resolution declaring Presbyterian Women an antiracism organization and reaffirmed their 1997 commitment to strive to eradicate racism. The voting representatives acknowledged that “racism is imbedded in the very structure of our society and thus requires a very intentional effort to eradicate it.”
Voting delegates at PW's 2012 Business Meeting will consider a resolution to commend the 2003 Structural Review Task Group's Report to PW groups. The task group worked from 2001 to 2003 to assess PW's organizational structure, programs and resources from an antiracist perspective. Their report includes various recommendations for individuals and PW groups to proactively build diverse communities. Learn more about the recommendations and the opportunities for growth for your PW group.
Test your social justice knowledge
Did you know that many rural and agricultural problems have links to gender and racial injustice? What does the word “empire” mean to you? Do you know how many people immigrate each year worldwide? Take the social justice literacy quiz from Agricultural Missions Inc. to find out these answers and more about rural issues.
PW and the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women
The United Nations Commission on the Status of Women is an annual meeting of nongovernmental organizations committed to ensuring women’s equality and promoting women’s rights in the resolutions and work of United Nations member states. Representatives of Presbyterian Women attended this meeting in 2011, focusing on education, job training, science and technology.
PW delegates met with Milcah Lalam, a workshop leader at the event and staff at RECONCILE, a project in Southern Sudan that has received support and funding from Presbyterian Women. Watch a video of Milcah talking about the storytelling and healing made possible through RECONILE and how women are a significant part of the peace process in Southern Sudan.
Racial Ethnic Dialog
The Racial Ethnic Dialog Group consists of 21 women, including white and racial ethnic members-at-large from the Churchwide Coordinating Team of Presbyterian Women and women from each of the six racial ethnic women’s constituency groups (African American, Asian American, Hispanic/Latin, Korean American, Middle Eastern American and Native American). The group seeks to honor the gifts of all people while finding ways to dialogue and work together as an inclusive caring community. Following the success of the racial ethnic dialog on a churchwide level, Presbyterian Women established funding for synods to create their own racial ethnic dialogs.
Highlight of PW’s Involvement in Justice and Peacemaking
Presbyterian Women and its predecessor organizations have been involved in advocacy on many issues of justice and peace, including hunger, racism and domestic violence.
Theological Basis for Social Justice and Peacemaking
Presbyterian Women affirms that advocacy on issues of justice and peace is part of living out one’s faith. Scripture verses as well as church documents and statements call Presbyterian Women to be involved in working toward justice and peace for all of God’s people.
Other Offices and Organizations
Several offices of the Presbyterian Church’s General Assembly work on justice and peace issues.
Mission Responsibility Through Investment
A committee of the General Assembly that advocates for socially responsible financial investments for the denomination as well as its members
Presbyterian Health, Education and Welfare Association
A community of ministries organized around 10 networks that provide programmatic, organizational and technical assistance to justice issues having to do with health and wellness
Presbyterian Hunger Program
A ministry that works to alleviate hunger and eliminate its causes, responding with compassion and justice to poor and hungry people in local communities in the United States and internationally
Presbyterian Peacemaking Program
A ministry that provides resources, events and programs to help the church grow in its witness and commitment to peacemaking
Presbyterian United Nations Office
Part of the Presbyterian Peacemaking Office that advocates the concerns of the PC(USA) to the United Nations and also educates Presbyterians about how to put faith into action in the global arena
Presbyterian Washington Office
The public policy information and advocacy office of the General Assembly that advocates and helps the church to advocate the social witness perspectives and policies of the General Assembly
In addition to Presbyterian ministries for justice and peace, various secular and ecumenical organizations are working toward justice and peace. The following links will take you off Presbyterian Women’s and the PC(USA)’s website; neither the PC(USA) nor Presbyterian Women endorses or controls the content of the external pages.
Church World Service
A relief, development and refugee assistance ministry of 35 Protestant, Orthodox and Anglican denominations in the United States
Children’s Defense Fund
A nonprofit organization that advocates for children’s rights, including education, healthcare, economic security and other social justice issues
ECPAT-USA (End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes-USA)
A network of organizations and individuals working together for the elimination of child prostitution, child pornography and trafficking of children for sexual purposes