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Episcopal, Anglican women gather in NYC for annual UN Commission meeting

February 20, 2013
Office of Public Affairs

Women and men from the Episcopal Church and throughout the Anglican Communion will gather for the 57th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW) in New York City March 4 to March 15.

The 2013 theme of UNCSW is the elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls.

Twenty delegates from The Episcopal Church will participate, including a group of women and girls from the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia; indigenous women led by Sarah Eagle Heart, Missioner for Indigenous Ministries; and a delegation with the Office of Global Relations.

Twenty provincial delegates will represent the Anglican Communion from 17 countries, including United States, Canada, Peru, Brazil, Scotland, United Kingdom, Nigeria, Sudan, Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Central Africa, Sri Lanka, South Korea, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.  The Episcopal Church will be represented by Spencer Cantrell, a former Young Adult Service Corps missionary who served in Hong Kong and is now a law student in Virginia.


Of note for the event:

  • The Episcopal Church will host an opening Eucharist on Monday, March 4 in the Chapel of Christ the Lord, as well a closing Eucharist on March 15.  Both services will incorporate the stories, songs and experiences of the delegates.


  • Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori will host Human Trafficking: A Churchwide Conversation on March 6, designed to educate, raise awareness, collect information and resources from across The Episcopal Church.


  • The Episcopal Church Center, located one block from the United Nations, will provide hospitality space for delegates, continuous viewing of UNCSW via webcast, and will host advocacy debriefs by both the Anglican Communion and Ecumenical Women, an international coalition of UN faith-based ecumenical organizations.


  • Ambassador Anwarul K. Chowdhury, Former Under-Secretary-General and High Representative of the United Nations, will be the keynote speaker for the provincial delegates on March 5, 10 am -11:30 am in the Chapel of Christ the Lord. His topic will be “End of Violence is not the End – Ensure Women’s Equality.”   


  • St. George’s Church in Fredericksburg, VA (Diocese of Virginia) will host a delegation of 11 girls (ages 16-18) and mothers. UNCSW will be the culmination of a five-month exploration of issues girls face: education, rape as a weapon of power and in conflict situations, forced early marriage, human trafficking, and microfinance.


  • Indigenous Ministries will host a Talking Circle: “Ongoing effects of the Doctrine of Discovery through the lens of violence against indigenous women.” Delegates will participate in advocacy and blog about their experiences.

  • Anglican Women’s Empowerment (AWE) will hold its first ever Women’s Indaba with 14 participants for three days at the Church Center.


  •  A joint statement, written with the input from The Episcopal Church, the Anglican Communion and the Anglican Church of Canada, will be presented at UNCSW by Ecumenical Women. The statement’s priorities will be the foundation for advocacy, with delegates adding their own unique stories, reflections and voices.

  • Delegates will share their UNCSW experiences via a variety of communications tools, including blogs, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and posted pictures.



For complete details and schedule

UN Women:


Ecumenical Women:

Anglican Communion Office at the United Nations

Anglican Women’s Empowerment:

Indigenous Ministries:

Global Partnerships: 

St. George’s Episcopal Church, Fredericksburg, VA:

Anglican Church of Canada/ IAWN in Canada:


For more info contact Lynnaia Main at Lynnaia Main



The Episcopal Church:





Amanda Skofstad

Public Affairs Officer

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