“Woman, why do you weep?” Gender Equality and the United Nations
(excerpt) Ten years after the close of the World Council of Churches Ecumenical Decade in Solidarity with Women (1988-1998), we continue to learn from the lessons gathered. We continue to struggle. Although it was before my time as an international ecumenist, I have read that much of the progress made during the decade was largely due to the “solidarity of women with other women.” This was a time where we looked within, affirmed one another in the image of God and recognized gender inequality in our own house.
During this time of renewal and repentance; we set many goals to achieve greater equality for women. Part of the call during this Decade, indeed a recommendation, was for churches to create programmes, educational materials, networks and opportunities that specifically supported and empowered women.
Today, a similar call is happening within the United Nations. Ecumenical Women has been working with other women worldwide to support an initiative to create a single women-specific independent entity within the United Nations system and led by an Under-Secretary General at the highest level.