March 01, 2022

International Women’s Day and the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women

Women’s History Month is celebrated every March to commemorate women’s contributions to society, culture, and history.  In tandem with the month-long celebration, Mercy Global Action recognizes and honours International Women’s Day and participates in the United Nations Commission on The Status of Women. 


International Women’s Day  

International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated every March 8 and was first observed in 1911 when thousands of women marched for workers' rights, voting rights, and an end to discrimination. Although great progress has been made, women around the world are still fighting for equal rights. As the Earth adapts to the contexts of climate change, social, political, and economic disruption, women are not only repeatedly left bearing the greater effects of these issues but also left in increasingly dangerous situations.


This year, UN Women are honouring IWD with the theme “gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow.” This theme recognizes the contributions of women and girls around the world, with specific emphasis on women’s work on climate change. This year, Mercy Global Action and Mercy International Association will be collaborating with Sister Magdalene Musau, RSM. Sr. Magdalene is a Sister of Mercy from the Kenyan Province of The Congregation who taught at St Bakhita from 1999 to 2010. She holds a Master's Degree in Counselling Studies from the University of Manchester and a Diploma as an International Radical Aliveness Practitioner among other competencies. She currently works as a Counsellor and lecturer at Chemchemi Ya Uzima Centre in Nairobi (under the Sisterhoods of Kenya), A.O.S.K Sister Magdalene also has a private practice where she sees individual clients, offers group workshops as well as online counselling services


During the event, Sr. Magdalene will use a reflective, critical lens, to explore challenges that many women and girls face in Kenya. In sharing these stories. Sr. Magdalene will highlight women’s leadership and resilience. She will draw on excerpts from her book, ‘The Change You Want is Within You and invite participants to reflect on their own journey as women. 

This event will also inform participants of the upcoming UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) and how we can become involved. 

To register for this event, click here.

United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW)

The UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) takes place from March 14 to 25 2022. CSW is a functional commission of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and was established as a body to promote gender equality and the empowerment of women. This is the 66th year of CSW with a theme of “Achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls in the context of climate change and disaster risk reduction policies and programmes.” 


As Degradation of the Earth is one of MGA’s thematic areas, we released an official CSW Statement in response to this year’s theme. Not only does MGA focus on Degradation of Earth in this year’s statement but we also highlight the disproportionate effects climate change has on women and the importance of women’s knowledge in combating climate change, with a deep analysis of the role women play with regards to water. 


In addition to women bearing the brunt of climate change, many women also experience a lack of access to technology, financial resources, and political decision-making. This infringes upon their abilities to contribute to and make an impact in tackling climate change. Furthermore, women are often designated with the majority of domestic tasks, like water collection. As water becomes increasingly scarce and inaccessible, women are often going to great lengths to collect water for their families, this is at the expense of their education, income-generating activities, and cultural and political investment. Despite this, women are essential to tackling climate change and must be included in the conversations, policies, and decisions in climate change mitigation, disaster reduction, and adaptation strategies. 


MGA understands the importance of raising women's voices in these conversations, which is why MGA is hosting a CSW Parallel Event on 14 March from 6-8 PM NYC Time. This event features speakers throughout the Mercy world who will speak to how women’s participation drives creative and sustainable solutions to both the climate change emergency and social injustices. All of these women have on-the-ground experiences and stories, which are some of the most essential to hear. (More information here.)


We not only encourage the Mercy World to attend the MGA event but to also attend other CSW Parallel Events, all of which are virtual. To view the schedule and register to watch  Parallel events held by Non-governmental Organisations, click here


To register for our event, click here.

Read More about MGA's UN Advocacy
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