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Delegates chosen for United Nations Commission on the Status of Women

[Episcopal News Service]  More than 80 Anglican women from across the U.S. and around the world have been selected to participate in the 51st United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW), announced the Rev. Margaret Rose, director of the Episcopal Church's Office of Women's Ministries. The Anglican delegation is the largest non-governmental delegation to the UNCSW, which will meet February 26 through March 9, 2007 at the United Nations headquarters in New York City.

"This delegation's essential work is the empowerment of women in the church and in their own countries," said Rose. "The tools of the UN combined with the face to face gathering in February support our ongoing work of reconciliation and justice for women."

This year's theme is "the elimination of all forms of discrimination and violence against the girl child." Delegates will attend plenary sessions at the UN and engage in discussions with other delegates, as well as select particular areas of focus, such as child prostitution, human trafficking and girls' education.

The participation of 50 international delegates, including six girls, from around the Anglican Communion has been organized through the efforts of Anglican Women's Empowerment (AWE), an international grassroots movement founded in 2003 to use the power of women's voices and presence to pursue a humane agenda for women worldwide, said Rose, convener of AWE's board. This year, delegates from five African nations and six southeast Asian countries, as well as South America, Canada and Wales, will attend.

The annual meeting brings thousands of women from around the world to New York in part to address the challenges raised by the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), especially Goal 3 which calls for the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women.

One of this year's newly-named delegates is particularly eager to apply what she learns. "I want to be able to connect the dots at home," said Saundra Johnson, director of Housing for the state of Delaware, a cabinet-level position. "There is something so special about sharing in this information, and bringing these gifts back."

Further information and resources relating to the UNCSW are available here.