Gender-just lens needed for COVID-19 recovery

LWF’s delegation to the 65th Commission on the Status of Women brings vital voices of women and girls to ensure a gender just lens on COVID-19 response and recovery. (File photo taken before the start of COVID-19) Photo: Life on Earth photos/Sean Hawkey
LWF’s delegation to the 65th Commission on the Status of Women brings vital voices of women and girls to ensure a gender just lens on COVID-19 response and recovery. (File photo taken before the start of COVID-19) Photo: Life on Earth photos/Sean Hawkey

LWF delegation to bring local faith perspectives to UN’s Commission on the Status of Women

(LWI) - The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) will be taking part in the 65th session of the United Nations’ Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) from 15 to 26 March 2021. A delegation of over seventy lay and ordained women and men from different parts of the globe will participate in the largely online event, giving a vital voice to all those working for equality and for an end to sexual and gender-based violence.

This year’s CSW, which brings together governments and civil society organizations, including many faith-based groups, will focus on women’s full and effective participation and decision making in public life. LWF delegates will work closely together with the Lutheran Office for World Community in New York, advocating with government delegations and taking part in many public events in collaboration with ecumenical and interfaith partners.

LWF’s Advocacy Officer for Gender Justice, Ms Sikhonzile Ndlovu, noted that delegates will be prioritizing three key areas which include women in leadership, ending gender-based violence and responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. She said: “The lockdowns and other restrictive measures have provoked an alarming increase in domestic and gender-based violence, often described as the shadow pandemic.”

The COVID-19 pandemic “has eroded hard-won rights for women and girls and pushed them further into poverty or economic insecurity.
Ms Sikhonzile Ndlovu, LWF’s Advocacy Officer for Gender Justice

In many places, she added, the global crisis “has eroded hard-won rights for women and girls and pushed them further into poverty or economic insecurity.” Faith leaders and organizations, Ndlovu insisted, play a crucial role “in tackling these inequalities and ensuring a gender-just response and recovery from COVID-19 in the coming months and years.”

Highlights at this year’s CSW include two parallel events, one on ‘Women of Power: leading together for a better future’, organized by the LWF and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and another on ‘Faith Forward: women brokering peace in conflict and crisis’, organized by the LWF in partnership with the World Council of Churches and Religions for Peace.

A side event, sponsored by several government delegations in partnership with the LWF and other faith-based organizations, will feature Dr Musimbi Kanyoro, recently retired President and CEO of the Global Fund for Women and a former head of LWF’s Women’s Desk. The event is entitled ‘In search of a Round Table: Gender, Religion and Decision-making in Public Life’.

LWF/P.Hitchen