WCCI’s Participation in the 57th UN Commission on the Status of Women

March 4 – 15, 2013

Every spring for nearly six decades the United Nations has convened the Commission on the Status of Women.  The Commission assesses the global situation of women, focusing particularly on member states’ achievements in fulfilling UN policies and standards, adopted to advance women’s equality, a founding principle of the world organization. The 2013 theme for the interstate discussions and the parallel NGO sessions carried on at and around the UN headquarters in New York was “Violence against Women.” WCCI was represented in the NGO sessions and events by Jessica Kimmel of Incarnate Word University and Betty Reardon of the International Institute on Peace Education.


Betty focused on programs organized by peace organizations intended to illuminate the violence women suffer as a consequence of war and armed conflict and achievements and needs in the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security (http://www.un.org/events/res_1325e.pdf). She presented on two panels one on the economic violence women suffer as a result of the resource wars that plague many world areas; the other on sexual violence frequently perpetrated by fellow soldiers against women service members. These panels were collaboratively organized by other NGOs with which WCCI is building cooperative relationships as the organization takes up a more active role in the global civil society represented in the United Nations affiliated NGO community. These organizations were the Global Network of Women Peace builders, United Methodist Women and Voice of Women Canada.


In both cases she referred to the systemic nature of military violence against women as it is described in a statement (http://www.i-i-p-e.org/csw) that was addressed to the CSW and is still being circulated for additional endorsements which will later be presented to UN Women in the observation of the installation later this year of the new Under Secretary General will preside over that body that draws together all realms of the UN working toward gender equality through the advancement of the status of women and the full realization of their human rights.


Another CSW event in which WCCI collaborated with many other NGOs was the March 9th Symposium entitled “Avenues to Accountability” which explored crimes of sex trafficking and the possibilities for holding traffickers legally accountable. This symposium made possible by Fordham Law School who provided a beautiful auditorium and the Biosophical Society who provided funding for the promo flyers, programs, audio-visual services and refreshments. Betty opened and closed the program with thanks to Biosophical and Fordham and the collaborating NGO organizers. A more detailed report on this symposium is on the website of the International Institute on Peace Education.


Jessica concentrated on programs involving issues related to Asian and African women.