Gender Equality Crucial to World Stability, say Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur

An accredited NGO at the United Nations, the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur took an active role in championing the rights of women and girls across the globe during the recent U.N. Commission on the Status of Women.
 
 
Guest speakers at the Sisters' U.N. session spoke of their refugee experiences.
Guest speakers at the Sisters' U.N. session spoke of their refugee experiences.
 
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IPSWICH, Mass. - March 27, 2013 - PRLog -- As educators and advocates for impoverished people around the world, the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur participated in the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women March 3-14, 2013. Sister Jean Stoner, who serves as the Congregation’s NGO representative to the U.N., sponsored an informational session for U.N. policy makers about the vital importance of educating immigrant and refugee girls.

Guest speakers at the session included literacy experts, a psychiatrist and Jungian analyst and two young women who had escaped war and oppression and relocated to the U.S. with their families.

One such speaker was a 29-year-old woman who fled Afghanistan as a child and lived in a refugee camp in Pakistan for five years before immigrating to the United States. Not knowing a word of English and illiterate in her own language, she eventually walked into an American 4th-grade classroom in California. She has since graduated with honors from high school, earned a B.S. in physics and now works for a technology firm in the San Francisco Bay area.

“Educating and empowering girls and women is not ‘just’ a compassionate issue. It is not ‘just’ a social justice issue. It is a pivotal issue for securing peace and international stability as the human family moves forward in the 21st century,” said Sister Jean Stoner.

Every year since its inception in 1946, the United Nations has sponsored a Commission on the Status of Women. The U.N. Millennium Development Goals established in 2010 list gender equality as a top priority along with ending poverty and hunger and instituting universal education. The theme of this year’s Commission was “Elimination of all forms of discrimination and violence against women and girls.”

The Sisters’ “boots on the ground” experience in 17 countries on five continents gives them unparalleled insights into the needs of impoverished women and girls. Serving in an official advisory capacity at the U.N. is as natural for the international Congregation as constructing clinics and classrooms in the world’s most abandoned places. As professional women religious committed to serving those living and working in poverty, the Sisters speak with informed understanding, recognized credibility and passion.

For more information and photos about the Sisters’ U.N. Commission on the Status of Women event, visit: http://archive.constantcontact.com/fs127/1103923442549/ar...

Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur are an international Congregation of women religious, founded by St. Julie Billiart (1751-1816) in Amiens, France in 1804.  The Congregation is committed to making known God’s goodness through education in a variety of ministries. Sisters serve on five continents: Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and North America, and work to change lives by a “fundamental commitment to stand with our sisters and brothers who live in poverty and accompany them in their struggle.” Offices/centers are located in Rome, ITALY, Namur, BELGIUM and Ipswich, MA, USA.  Visit our web site at:http://www.sndden.org.
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