United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW)

Episcopalians have participated in annual sessions of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW), along with their wider Anglican Communion family, since at least the United Nations’ Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, China in 1995. Read a brief overview about the history of Episcopal/Anglican engagement with UNCSW and how you can get involved on the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) sheet below.

Preparing for UNCSW 66 – March 14th – 25th, 2022

The United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW)’s 66th session will be a hybrid session for member states with some limited civil society in-person presence to deliver statements. However, nearly all civil society activities will be virtual, including the work of the Presiding Bishop’s delegation. Read more about UN Women’s plans for UNCSW 66 here.

Looking to get involved? Want to know what is happening with our Episcopal and Anglican presence at UNCSW 66? Joining us for virtual events? Following remotely? Details below – please check frequently for updates:

How can I participate? Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Looking to get involved more generally? These UNCSW 66 FAQs will answer many of your questions.

Presiding Bishop’s Delegation

The application process to become a Presiding Bishop’s delegate closed on January 28th. Congratulations to the Presiding Bishop’s delegates, who are formally announced in this Public Affairs press release. See the recording for our March 10th event to meet the Presiding Bishop’s delegation:

  • Province I: The Reverend Marissa Rohrbach, Episcopal Church in Connecticut
  • Province III: Ms. Theodora Moyse-Peck, Diocese of Central Pennsylvania
  • Province IV: Ms. Destinee Bates, Diocese of North Carolina
  • Province V: Mr. Talique Taylor, Diocese of Northern Indiana
  • Province VI: Ms. Cynthia Katsarelis, Episcopal Church in Colorado
  • Province VII: Ms. Cheri Gage, Diocese of Kansas
  • Province VIII: Ms. Joie Zhang, Diocese of Los Angeles
  • Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe (Province II): Ms. Anita Urassa

UNCSW 66 Presiding Bishop’s written statement

In October 2021, the Presiding Bishop submitted the CSW66 written statement to UN Women in preparation for the conference. Based on General Convention resolutions, existing churchwide priorities related to the UN’s work and a churchwide data survey in conjunction with the Ecumenical Women coalition, it outlines three advocacy priorities:

  • Addressing the climate emergency and implementing gender mainstreaming across climate, environmental, and disaster risk-reduction policies and programs.
  • Prioritizing responses and protections for women and girls marginalized by environmental racism.
  • Accelerating women’s and girls’ empowerment and gender equality and eradicating violence against women and girls.

UNCSW 66 Fact Sheet

Up-to-date description of the Anglican and Episcopal presence that will participate in CSW66 alongside our faith-based and civil society partners:

Episcopal Church events and joint Anglican/Episcopal events

You are warmly invited to join Episcopal Church-hosted virtual events, with the participation of our wider Anglican family and the UN faith-based community. Below is a list of CSW66 events sponsored by The Episcopal Church and Episcopal Relief & Development. If you or your church are hosting a virtual event, please share your event listing to the Episcopal News Service Events page.

February 28, 2 – 3 pm EST: CSW66 Information Call for Episcopalians. Information Call for all Episcopalians about the upcoming UN Commission on the Status of Women 66th session (CSW66). First-timers, returning participants, individuals and groups. All welcome. Recording.

March 4, 2 – 3:30 pm EST: CSW66 Episcopal Church Thematic Dialogue. The CSW66 priority theme relates to gender equality and environment, climate and disaster risk reduction: “Achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls in the context of climate change, environmental and disaster risk reduction policies and programmes”. The cross-cutting theme brings together critically important communities of ministry, advocacy and action across The Episcopal Church that might not normally connect in the day to day. This panel event presented an overview of the theme and the Presiding Bishop’s written statement to CSW66 in its role as focal point for representation and advocacy on the part of the Presiding Bishop’s delegation to CSW66. The conversation then continued with a panel discussion between groups of experts and former delegates for joint learning, the newly appointed CSW66 Presiding Bishop’s delegates and interested Episcopalians.

Recording and video message from The Right Reverend Marc Andrus, Bishop of California

March 10, 2 – 3:30 pm EST: “Welcome to UNCSW 66: Meet the Presiding Bishop’s Delegation.” Spanish interpretation provided / Se proporciona interpretación en español. Recording, program and delegation biographies:

March 14, 12:15 – 1 pm EDT: CSW66 Opening Worship. Spanish interpretation provided / Se proporciona interpretación en español. Recording.

March 15, 8 – 9:30 am EDT: NGO CSW parallel event: “PURPOSE: Examining faith-based responses to SGBV in emergencies” featuring Dr. Chiseche Mibenge, Director of Gender Initiatives, Episcopal Relief & Development. Event sponsored by the World Council of Churches. Flyer here. Recording.

March 16, 10 – 11:30 am EDT: NGO CSW parallel event: “Women as Storytellers, Educators, and Stakeholders for Faith-based Climate Action” sponsored by Episcopal Relief & Development. Spanish, French and Portuguese interpretation provided. Recording.

March 18, 8 – 9:30 am EDT: NGO CSW parallel event: “Do ecofeminism and ecowomanism change the advancements of gender justice?” sponsored by The Episcopal Church. Recording here, and livestreamed recording on The Episcopal Church and the United Nations Facebook page.

March 21, 8 am EDT: NGO CSW parallel event: “Contextual Learning Exchanges: Elevating gender empowerment through online platforms” sponsored by Episcopal Relief & Development. Recording.

March 25, 12:15 – 1 pm EDT: CSW66 Closing Worship. Spanish interpretation provided / Se proporciona interpretación en español. Recording here, and livestreamed recording on The Episcopal Church and the United Nations Facebook page.

March 31, 2 – 3:30 pm EDT: “Taking It Back Home: Report Back from the Presiding Bishop’s Delegation”. Spanish interpretation provided / Se proporciona interpretación en español. Recording.

Generation Equality Forum #GenerationEquality

In 2021, UN Women launched a new campaign, Generation Equality Forum, to accelerate progress towards gender equality and justice over five years. The Forum launched officially in Mexico City in March followed by follow-up pledges committed at a second event in Paris in June/July. The Forum’s 5-year action journey plans to realize irreversible progress towards gender equality, founded on a series of concrete, ambitious and transformative actions, including $40 Billion in financial commitments. Read more about GEF’s outcomes here.

The Episcopal Church’s #CSW65 Presiding Bishop’s delegates Tatiana Hoecker (Dio West Texas, Prov VII), Maria Gonzalez (Dio Olympia, Prov VIII) and The Reverend Annalise Castro Pasalo (Dio Hawaii, Prov VIII) attended virtually the Mexico launch and hosted “Generation Equality: Lifting Up Young Women’s Voices”, a follow-up webinar to share their experiences representing the Church at GEF in Mexico and the importance of mentoring and identifying opportunities for developing young women’s leadership. They were joined during the webinar by a representative of the Social, Economic, Human Rights and Humanitarian Section of the Permanent Mission of Mexico to the UN. Recording.

Join us via social media

Follow the action and contribute your own experiences/stories/thoughts via hashtags #CSW66 (official UN hashtag), #GenerationEquality, #EpiscopalUN (all things Episcopal Church and the UN) and #EpiscopalCSW (our Episcopal Church involvement at CSW, continuous reporting from year to year). More information about social media channels will be available in the FAQs and Fact Sheet.

Share Your Story

What is your connection to UNCSW, Generation Equality and the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action? Episcopalians have been involved with Beijing since before the Fourth World Conference on Women in 1995, adapting the Platform for use in their churchwide, diocesan and local ministries. They also have been involved in attending UNCSW for decades. If you are one of them, or know of one, you are invited to share your story as part of documenting our collective Episcopal and Anglican achievements and reflecting on the state of women’s and girls’ empowerment 25 years after Beijing. Share your story, photos, videos and other materials here.

Beijing Noonday Prayer

Join in praying the Beijing Noonday Prayer. By praying this prayer at noon in each of our time zones, we pray not only for those who will be gathering, we also join in a tradition born during the Fourth World Conference on Women in 1995:

Beijing Noonday Prayer  [updated for Beijing +25]

Dear God, Creator of the heavens and the earth, we pray for all who gathered in Beijing and for all those attending and supporting the sixty-fourth session of the Commission on the Status of Women Meeting. Bless them.

Help us to see one another through eyes enlightened by understanding and compassion.
Release us from prejudice so we can receive the stories of our sisters and brothers with respect and attention.
Open our ears to the cries of a suffering world and the healing melodies of peace.
Empower us to be instruments in bringing about Your justice, peace and equality everywhere.

Questions? Feel free to contact us at EpiscopalUN@episcopalchurch.org.

Please join us in celebrating and praying with all those who have been involved with Beijing and UNCSW, for our delegations who will represent and advocate on our behalf, and most especially for women and girls worldwide.

Ms. Lynnaia Main

Episcopal Church Representative to the United Nations

The Rev. David Copley

Director of Global Partnerships and Mission Personnel

The Rev. Cn. Dr.
Chuck Robertson

Canon to the Presiding Bishop for Ministry Beyond The Episcopal Church

Ms. Lynnaia Main

Episcopal Church Representative to the United Nations