A quote for Irish Ambassador Geraldine Byrne Nason at closing of the Commission on the Status of Women from the Irish Poet Seamus Heaney. ‘Walk on air against your better judgement” and from Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women quoting Mary Robinson quoting Nelson Mandela on another occasion during the commission – “We are prisoners of hope” sum up some of the experience of the commission. The Lebanon Representative quoted Simone Beauvoir ‘never forget it will be enough for one political, economic or religious crisis for women’s right to be questioned. These rights can never be taken for granted. You must remain vigilant your whole life.’
I reflected on the above quotation against the backdrop of the parable on the fig tree Luke 13:6-9. ‘…for three years I have come in search of fruit …but have found none.’ The Commission on the Status of Women has just completed its 63rd session. See https://winifredd.wordpress.com for more reflections on the outcome. Susan Daily, an Australian Sister of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin (Loreto), an artist gave us this piece of art for Sunday’s reflection. I was struck by the color and the fruit. This reflects my vision for gender equality and the full recognition of the human rights of girls, women and children, indeed for all people to be in relationship of respect in the face of diversity and difference.
There is an Ethiopian Proverb that says ‘little by little the egg walks’. The Direction Statement of the Congregation (2015) states ‘We struggle to find a way to address global issues. We identified the most pressing needs of today as poverty, human trafficking, migration, refugees, gender equality, violence towards women and children and religious intolerance.” All of these issues are in one way or another part of what the two weeks of CSW and the Agreed Conclusions were about. I/we who attended CSW on your behalf were struggling to address global issues through the framework of the Commission on the Status of Women.