The Anglican Church of Canada sent its largest delegation – 13 women from various dioceses across the country – as delegates to the 52nd session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women scheduled at the UN headquarters in New York from Feb. 25 to March 7.
The delegation joined more than 60 other representatives from other provinces of the Anglican Communion. Anglican women are accredited through the office of the Anglican Consultative Council’s Observer at the U.N.
The theme for this year’s conference was “Financing for gender equity and the empowerment of women.”
Aside from the regular sessions, Anglican women met at a caucus of faith-based delegates co-sponsored by the Anglican Consultative Council and other groups.
Among the concerns raised by ecumenical women were that “economic growth patterns increase inequalities and representation of women in trade and financial institutions is needed,” said Elizabeth Loweth, co-chair of the Canadian branch of the International Anglican Women’s Network, who represented the Canadian church as a provincial delegate. She said there were also calls to “strengthen global regulatory frameworks” to ensure that international institutions, governments and corporations adhere to human rights, labour standards and environmental agreements.
This year’s meeting was meant to focus on “how different groups and government agencies finance programs for women and what role financing plays in either allowing things to happen or preventing them from happening,” said Bishop Sue Moxley in an interview prior to the conference, which she attended for the first time. “It’s all very well to say ‘we’re going to increase the number of women,’ but if nobody puts any money into that, it’s not going to happen.”
The Canadian delegation also included Alice Medcof, co-ordinator of the International Anglican Women’s Network; Archdeacon Ellen Clark-King (diocese of New Westminster); Rev. Joanne Mercer, of Queen’s College, St. John’s, Nfld.; Rev. Margaret Dempster (Moosonee); Canon Joyce Sanchez (Montreal); Rev. Sharon Towne and Judy Dickson (Toronto); Karen Hogg (British Columbia); Rev. Wendy Murray and Diane Dance (Huron) and Janet Edwards (Fredericton).