Statement from the Anglican Consultative Council delegates’ gathering at the 48th Session of the United Nations Commission on the status of women
The Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) delegation to the 48th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) meeting in New York, 1-12 March, 2004 examined two themes from the 1995 Beijing Platform for Action, “Men and boys in gender equity” and “Women’s equal participation in conflict prevention, management, resolution and post-conflict peace building." The delegation comprising members from 11 provinces claimed the Anglican Communion as an unbreakable bond. The 55 Anglican delegates experienced communion as the reality of women working together for justice and peace in the name and power of Jesus Christ. Women rejoice in God’s gift of the Anglican Communion and claim their call to strengthen that Communion.
We are convinced that women hold society together during times of natural disaster, illness and war. Women’s experience of holding, healing and sustaining families and communities will not be relegated to the private sphere but will become a public voice heard and acted on in places of power and decision making in the Church and around the world. Just as the United Nations calls for women’s presence in all processes of conflict resolution and peace building, so should the Church seek women’s participation at every level.
We were proud to participate under the auspices of the Anglican Observer to the United Nations and are privileged to carry forth the work of the ACC and its commitment to preventing and eradicating HIV/AIDS (Resolution 2 of ACC 12). The ACC delegation hosted a public forum on “The Cross-Generational Spread of HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa and its Effect on Girls”, recognizing the feminization of the disease in the faces of the young girl, the wife and the widow.
We call on the Anglican Consultative Council to continue its affirmation of the International Anglican Women’s Network and we challenge the ACC to adopt the goal of a 30% representation of women in all decision-making bodies in our Anglican Communion.
We commit ourselves to communicating with women at the grass roots level, the empowering learning of this gathering established in the Beijing Platform for Action and the Millennium Development Goals (MDG). We embrace and work to implement those goals particularly 3) “Promote Gender Equality and empower women.” We deplore all forms of violence against women, and commit ourselves to expose and correct these violations of human rights: war, sexual abuse, poverty and trafficking. We invite boys and men to join us in this critical work.
We commend those provinces who sent delegates to the 48th Session and challenge all 38 provinces to send delegates to the 49th Session of the CSW meeting in March of 2005, where we will join with women of faith to be an even stronger voice for women’s empowerment.
We affirm our love and passion for the work of Jesus Christ and invite our sisters and brothers to a life of mission in Jesus’ name. "Glory to God whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine" Ephesians 3:20
12 March 2004