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Today in the Mission Yearbook

Presbyterian delegates and church leaders attend gender-equality gathering in New York


Tech-focused #CSW67 is a global effort to empower women and girls

April 3, 2023

The 67th session of the Commission on the Status of Women is March 6-17. During that time, representatives of UN Member States, civil society organizations and UN entities gather at UN headquarters in New York.

Thousands of people from around the globe, including a contingent from the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), headed to New York City for the recent 67th Commission on the Status of Women, a gender equality gathering that was celebrated by the Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the PC(USA), both Co-Moderators of the 225th General Assembly, and the president and executive director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency.

A PC(USA) delegation and a delegation from Presbyterian Women  jointly planned for #CSW67 for months and had members participating in New York as well as online during the March 6–17 gathering. Some said they were particularly excited about being able to go to the event in person, which was not possible during the pandemic.

Sue Rheem coordinates the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations.(Photo by Rich Copley)

“It’s hard to describe what it’s like to have over 5,000 delegates congregate at U.N. headquarters during CSW,” said Sue Rheem, who coordinates the New York-based Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations. “The energy and the excitement are palpable. Delegates from all over the world gather to share their stories and to advocate for equality and empowerment of women. While (the) online platform has its advantages in providing greater access, the in-person engagement leaves an indelible impact.”

Many of the Presbyterian delegates were under the age of 30. “Our youth delegation is really strong,” Rheem explained during episode 5 of Advocacy Watch, a podcast about the work of PMUN and the Office of Public Witness.

Ivy Lopedito is a member of the PC(USA) committee planning for CSW.(Contributed photo)

PC(USA) dignitaries, including the Stated Clerk of the General Assembly, the Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II, and the Rev. Ruth Faith Santana-Grace and the Rev. Shavon Starling-Louis, Co-Moderators of the 225th General Assembly, were in New York for the gathering.

“We’re really, really honored and very pleased to have their participation,” Rheem said during the podcast.

The event is the U.N.’s largest annual gathering on gender equality and women’s empowerment. In addition to the main event, there are hundreds of parallel and side events held during the roughly two-week gathering, where people bond together and glean knowledge to use in advocacy work at their local churches and beyond. Presbyterian orientation gets the ball rolling on Friday evening.

The primary theme of CSW#67 was “innovation and technological change” as well as “education in the digital age for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.”

“The world is experiencing exponential growth in innovation and technological change in the 21st century,” Rheem noted. “It accelerated with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic as people were forced to isolate and quarantine. Innovations in technology allowed the world to connect and function in a new virtual reality; to socialize, to conduct business, and stay connected to family and friends. However, the coronavirus pandemic also revealed the vast digital inequalities that disproportionately impact women and girls in underserved communities.”

One of the goals of the U.N. is to make sure that girls and women aren’t left behind and to address pertinent topics such as discrimination in the tech sector.

Darla Carter, Communications Strategist, Presbyterian Mission Agency

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Monday, April 3, 2023, the Monday of Holy Week (Year A)

Today’s Focus: 67th Commission on the Status of Women

Let us join in prayer for:

PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Yun Kyoung Yang, Editorial Assistant, Korean, Presbyterian Publishing Corporation
Myoung Ho Yang and  Ji Yeon Yoo, Mission co-workers serving in Hong Kong, Presbyterian Mission Agency

Let us pray

Creator God, we thank you for this day. We give thanks that each of us has the opportunity to reach out to those in need around us. Help us to be particularly mindful to children in need. Guide us each and every day as we strive to serve you. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen