Global symposium will look at 2021 as defining year for gender equality
Church and Society will co-host a virtual gathering with diverse faith and UN partners to develop stategies to accelerate advocacy for gender justice.
On January 26 at 8:30am EST, Church and Society will co-host a virtual gathering with diverse faith and UN partners to develop stategies to accelerate advocacy for gender justice. Participants will explore how faith actors and institutions can work with governments, the United Nations, and civil society to achieve gender equality, equity and justice.
The event will take place on Zoom and broadcast on YouTube. More information is available here, including registration, which is free and open to all. As of this writing, some 600 participants have registered.
The event is the seventh annual installment of the Annual Symposium on the Role of Religion and Faith-Based Organizations in International Affairs which Church and Society helped launch in 2015.
This year’s focus on gender equality, equity, and justice is timely because of how the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated existing gender inequalities. Domestic abuse has increased in lockdowns, because women and girls are trapped with abusers. Schools and other services that women and girls rely upon have also been closed due to the pandemic. In addition, the symposium will gather information and advocacy points to present to the sixty-fifth annual session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women happening this March and the Generation Equality Forum, expected to be held in the first half this year.
Church and Society has hosted the symposium each year since 2015 when it led its launch with two other partners. This year’s installment is organized by the World Council of Churches, ACT Alliance, General Board of Church and Society of The United Methodist Church, Islamic Relief, Seventh-Day Adventist Church, Soka Gakkai International, United Religions Initiative, and the United Nations Inter-agency Task Force on Religion and Development, represented at this symposium by the UN Women and the United Nations Population Fund.
Rev. Liberato Bautista, who heads Church and Society’s UN and international affairs ministry, will moderate the closing panel. “My panel will aim to show how international norms on women’s rights and gender justice are present or absent in national and local settings, and how religious actors are enhancing these norms or impeding them”, he said.