Week of March 18, 2016
Events and Statements from the Commission on the Status of Women
Week of March 17, 2016


On March 18, Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the UN, gave an intervention during the deliberations of the 60th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women of the United Nations dedicated to “Women’s Empowerment and the Link to Sustainable Development.”

In his statement, Archbishop Auza cited the commitment of Member States in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development that “no one will be left behind” to ensure that women in vulnerable situations, “whose potential is often the least appreciated and realized,” are not forgotten. He mentioned the situation of women and girls who face violence in situations of war, who are trafficked for sexual exploitation or forced to convert, marry, or abort their children. He also called on the international community not to leave elderly women, mothers, or girls at the very start of life behind and to ensure women have adequate access to education and adequate health care.  

Read the full intervention here.

This Week's Events

The United Nations is holding the 60th Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), a two week event for United Nations Missions, Entities, and NGOs to discuss the status of women throughout the world. This year's themes are women's empowerment and its link to sustainable development, and the elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls. The Holy See is hosting several side events during the CSW to give witness to the dignity of women and girls through in light of Catholic social teaching.

Best Practices in Maternal Healthcare in Africa

On March 17, the Permanent Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations in New York hosted a panel discussion entitled Best Practices for Maternal Healthcare in Africa to inform the group of advocates and diplomats present at the 60th Commission on the Status of Women of the maternal healthcare needs on the ground in Africa.

Experts summoned the international community to broaden maternal healthcare services for African women, and to incorporate local cultures and deeper respect for life at UN event.

Read the full article here or watch the event on UN Web TV.

Research and Education for Reproductive Health

New technologies in sexual and reproductive healthcare give women greater access to choose holistic and affordable options to manage an array of medical issues, including fertility, according to women’s healthcare professionals at a UN event.   

On March 17, during the 60th Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations collaborated with Fertility Education and Medical Management Foundation (FEMM) to share women’s health technologies that allow a woman to gauge her health through natural occurrences such as her menstrual cycle, hair growth, and skin conditions as a means to diagnose and manage anything from diabetes to fertility, according to the panelists.

Read the full article here or watch the event on UN Web TV.

Upcoming Events

You are most cordially invited to join us for the following events. Please note you will need a UN pass, so please RSVP to each event you would like to attend through the provided links to obtain your pass. To view live video feed of the panel, please check our Facebook and Twitter page for a link at the start of our event.

Women’s empowerment and its link to sustainable development - See more at:

Women’s empowerment and its link to sustainable development - See more at:

Women’s empowerment and its link to sustainable development - See more at:

March 22, 3:00-4:15
Women and Girls: Victims of Sexual Violence in Conflict
Conference Room 1    

This event will feature the stories of women and girls who have been victims of rape and other forms of sexual violence in conflict situations in Iraq, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, from the survivors themselves and from those who are caring for them.


March 21, 11:30-12:45          
The Pastoral Care of Women and Girls on the Street
Conference Room 11

This event will share the experiences of helping women and girls living and working on the street and, with the help of the Action Plan of the International Symposium of the Pastoral Care of the Road/Street, discuss the best practices to enable women and girls to exit prostitution. This event is co-sponsored by Women at the Well.

April 7, 3:00-6:00               

Ending Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking by 2030; The Role of Global Partnerships
Conference Room 4

This event is a collaborative effort of the Holy See’s Mission to the UN and the St. Marta Group, which brings together senior law enforcement chiefs from over 25 countries with senior representatives of the Roman Catholic Church and civil society organizations to strengthen and coordinate the global response to modern slavery and human trafficking. It will focus on the coordination necessary to implement target 8.7 of the Sustainable Development Goals, committing the nations of the world to “take immediate and effective measure to eradicate forced labor, end modern slavery and human trafficking and secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labor, including recruitment and use of child soldiers.” Among its objectives are to promote the commitment to end modern slavery and human trafficking by 2030; make efforts to end modern slavery a central focus in multi-lateral action over coming years; ensure clear leadership and strategic coordination provided by the UN system to support Member States to deliver Target 8.7; ensure that such leadership addresses tackling modern slavery and human trafficking holistically as a human rights, lob or rights, criminal justice, development and humanitarian issue; reframe action against modern slavery as smart development policy; promote new and existing global partnerships and multi-stakeholder alliances working in a coordinated and complimentary way; share best practices among Member States and build partnerships between source, transit and destination countries; leverage support and engagement from the private sector, particularly around supply chain transparency. Among the confirmed keynote speakers will be Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster (UK) and Commission Kevin Hyland, Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner (UK).