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Swords into plowshares

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Swords into Plowshares is the blog of the Peacemaking Program and the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations of the Presbyterian Mission Agency of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

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Posts with tag: education

April 6, 2016

Education empowers women: impacting the Commission on the Status of Women

Presbyterians at worship at Commission on the Status of WomenGiven the long and strong commitment to education within the Reformed tradition, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s focus during the 60th Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women was the importance of education for women and girls to sustainable development. The church raised this concern in our written statement to the Commission before its meeting. During the Commission, we raised this concern in our advocacy efforts with our partners in Ecumenical Women. The church was honored to be selected to make an oral statement to the Commission. Ryan Smith, Presbyterian representative to the UN, delivered ...

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April 6, 2016

Prayer is advocacy: Ecumenical Women orientation

Ecumenical Women's orientation at the 60th Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women included worship, inspiration, and organizing.

Thanks to Paul Olson for the video.

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March 30, 2016

Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) oral statement at 60th Session of UN Commission on the Status of Women

Ryan Smith reads PC(USA) statementFor the second year in a row, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) was selected to make an oral statement to the Commission on the Status of Women. The church’s statement focused on the importance of education linked to sustainable development. Ryan Smith, Presbyterian representative at the UN, read the statement on behalf of the church, which is represented within the UN community by the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations.

The statement affirms:

For 177 years, the Presbyterian Church has served as one of the greatest forces for education in the world, helping hundreds of thousands of children ...

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March 16, 2016

Naming the Need for Education

By Addie Domske

Today I participated in worship for the Commission on the Status of Women, along with other women here with the Presbyterian Church (USA).

I was fortunate enough to write part of the liturgy for our short worship time, found below. (It is partially inspired by a Presbyterian women’s history month liturgy.) May we all name what needs to be named in the world!

CALL TO WORSHIP
Leader: O God, for your Church universal, which throughout the ages has called women to serve in this world that you love,
People: we thank you.
Leader: For Mary of ...

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December 10, 2015

16 Days of Activism - Day 16: Human Rights Day

by Paul Olson

The drafters of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights specified thirty articles: rights and freedoms essential for the achievement of dignified living for all people. These rights include civil, political, social and economic liberties. The declaration represents the belief that persons can only flourish if there rights and freedoms are respected. The drafters assumed that signers not only believed conceptually in the idea of inherent human dignity, but also accepted the personal obligations that go hand in hand with peaceful development.

We have been challenged these past 16 days to consider the right of women and girls ...

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December 9, 2015

16 Days of Activism - Day 15: Militarism and Priorities

by Robert Arrington

According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), by 2015 in low and middle income countries, 100 million children, or 1 in 6, will not have completed primary school. Furthermore,UNICEF reports that half of children who are out-of-school are from countries that have been affected by conflict, with more than half the female population out-of-school. Together, the top ten countries by expenditure spent $1.28 trillion on militaries in 2013, accounting for just over 73% of the global expenditure.

When countries enter into conflict, state institutions, particularly education and internal security, are weakened ...

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December 5, 2015

December 5, 2015 - 16 Days of Activism - Day 11: Child Marriage and Education

by Paul Olson

The right to ‘free and full’ consent to marriage is recognized in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. UNICEF has reported extensively on how child marriage is a harmful and exploitative tradition. In Mozambique, some 60 percent of girls with no education are married by 18, compared to 10 percent of girls with secondary schooling and less than 1 percent of girls with higher education.

Education deters child marriage. The International Center for Research on Women reports that child marriage is associated with lower levels of schooling for girls in every region of the world. Girls ...

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December 1, 2015

16 Days of Activism - Day 7: World HIV AIDS Awareness Day

by Paul Olson

On World AIDS Day, UNAIDS calls us to get on the fast track to end AIDS.

Girls who live with a disability and who have been made vulnerable face more violence in schools than do girls who are not living with a disability. The same is true for children affected by HIV/AIDS. Misperceptions and false information about HIV/AIDS increases the stigma on those who have it and changes the nature of everyday interactions at school. Children affected by HIV and AIDS, orphans and children from families affected by HIV and AIDS are at higher risk ...

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November 29, 2015

16 Days of Activism - Day 5: Advent and the Role of Mindful Teachers

by Paul Olson

First Sunday of Advent Lectionary Readings: Jer 33:14-16, Ps. 25:1-10, 1 Thess. 3:9-13, Luke 21:25-36

On the first Sunday of advent, and on day 5 of the 16 day campaign to of activism against gender-based violence, we are reminded and instructed on the importance of teachers. One factor contributing to the violence against girl students is teacher absenteeism. Harvard and World Bank researchers conducted unannounced visits to primary schools in rural India. Due to a number of factors, they found a quarter of the teachers absent and only half of those present were ...

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November 28, 2015

16 Days of Activism - Day 4: Let’s dream: What if we educated all our girls?

by Paul Olson

Violence against girls in schools reduces the number of girls in school. Why is this important? Poverty, sickness, and sustainable development depends on education first.

The Global Education First Initiative reports that if we educated our girls…

·      12 million children would be saved from stunted growth.

·      64% fewer early marriages

·      59% fewer early pregnancies

·      10% increase in wage earnings for every 1 year of schooling

·      49% fewer child deaths if all women completed secondary school

·      66% decrease in maternal mortality if all women completed primary education

Spokesperson for girls’ education and Nobel peace prize winner, Malala Yousafza ...

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November 27, 2015

16 Days of Activism - Day 3: School Related Gender-Based Violence

by Paul Olson

While it is difficult to define the scale and scope of School Related Gender Based Violence (SRGBV), it is estimated that 246 million students experience SRGBV each year. Sexual violence against girls is extremely common and occurs while traveling to and from school, in the latrines, and during unsupervised play and results in:

-       low self-esteem
-       depression
-       school avoidance
-       low participation in class
-       inability to concentrate on work
-       drop out

Even more striking is the level of violence toward disabled girls aged 11-14 years. In Uganda, 24 percent of girls living with a disability reported experiencing sexual violence ...

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August 24, 2014

Celebrate the International Day of Peace - 2014

2014 International Day of Peace posterThe United Nations has set September 21 as the International Day of Peace. This day provides an opportunity for  individuals, organizations and nations to create practical acts of peace on  a shared date. It was established by a United Nations resolution in 1981 to coincide with the opening of the General Assembly. The focus for 2014 is The Right of Peoples to Peace

Here are some ways to celebrate the International Day of Peace on September 21 or Sunday, September 22 or at some other time:

Promote the Peacemaking Offering

Organize to address racism

Observe a Minute of Silence at ...

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November 16, 2013

Visits in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Women's group meeting in the DRCDebbie Braaksma, Africa Area Coordinator; Jeff Boyd, Regional Liason for Central Africa and I traveled to Kananga and Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo this week to meet with Presbyterian Community of Congo (CPC) and Presbyterian Community of Kinshasa (CPK) church partners. In Kinshasa, we were joined by Christi Boyd, Facilitator for Women and Children’s Concerns for the PC(USA) in the region.

We had the opportunity to visit Presbyterian schools, hospitals supported by the PC(USA) and meet with church leaders about community development, health, evangelism, education and many other issues.

We also had the opportunity to speak ...

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November 8, 2013

Visiting partners in South Sudan

I’ve had the  privilege of visiting Presbyterian partners in South Sudan over the past week.  Presbyterians have been engaged with South Sudan for a long time and the strength of our partnerships was certainly evident this week. 

Photo of Ryan in South SudanFrom meeting with ACROSS and learning about the work they do with Ethiopian refugees in South Sudan and their role as a primary health service provider for UNHCR in South Sudan to the Presbyterian schools across the country, it is clear that Presbyterians are hard at work in South Sudan.

I had the opportunity to meet with leaders of the Presbyterian Church ...

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September 24, 2013

Orange Day: September 25 - Safe Schools for Girls

From the Say No UNiTE to End Violence Against Women Campaign

Say No UNiTE logoIn July last year the Secretary-General’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign proclaimed every 25th of the month as Orange Day. Initiated and led by the UNiTE campaign Global Youth Network, worldwide activities implemented on this day by UN country offices and civil society organizations strive to highlight issues relevant to preventing and ending violence against women and girls, not only once a year, on 25 November (International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women), but every month.

Under the heading ‘Safe spaces for women and ...

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August 9, 2013

Celebrate the 2013 International Day of Peace

2013 International Day of Peace LogoThe United Nations has set September 21 as the International Day of Peace. This day provides an opportunity for  individuals, organizations and nations to create practical acts of peace on  a shared date. It was established by a United Nations resolution in 1981 to coincide with the opening of the General Assembly. The focus for 2013 is Education for Peace

Here are some ways to celebrate the International Day of Peace on September 21 or Sunday, September 22 or at some other time:

Promote the Peacemaking Offering

Observe a Minute of Silence at Noon in your time zone

Ring your ...

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March 8, 2013

Advocacy for women at the UN

On FridDelegation with Ambassador Shinay afternoon, an advocacy delegation from Ecumenical Women visited the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Korea to the United Nations.

The delegation met with Ambassador Shin Dong-Ik, the Deputy Permanent Representative of the Republic of Korea to the United Nations. From the ambassador, they learned about Korea's work on the Security Council. They shared Ecumenical Women's talking points for the 57th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women:

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October 15, 2012

The MDGs and World Poverty Day

End Poverty 2015 Millennium Campaign logoA one-day social media action for

International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

#EndPoverty – 17 October, 2012

At the 2000 UN Millennium Summit, world leaders from rich and poor countries alike committed themselves - at the highest political level - to a set of eight time-bound targets to help fight extreme poverty worldwide by 2015. These targets came to be known as the Millennium Development Goals, MDGs.

Over the last decade, millions have overcome extreme poverty and attained better access to health care and education. Despite the significant progress, challenges remain. With just 3 years left till the MDG deadline, we have ...

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March 5, 2012

Intersections: CTAUN and CSW: education and sustainability

Written by Grace Bickers

After advocacy training at both the Presbyterian and Ecumenical Women’s orientations for the Commission on the Status of Women and a week’s worth of insight from the remarkable women making up these delegations, I was excited to learn how the information I learned during a previous opportunity to attend the annual CTAUN (Committee for Teaching About the United Nations) conference on the theme of “Education IS a Human Right” could be put to work. Much of the information shared at the conference is directly relevant to the Ecumenical Women’s advocacy talking points: access ...

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February 9, 2011

Coming in February ... the Commission on the Status of Women

The Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations is preparing to welcome Presbyterian participants for the Commission on the Status of Women from February 22 through March 4. Presbyterian Women is a key partner in this event. The Commission on the...

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November 8, 2010

Achieving the Millennium Development Goals: Teaching for Action

The Committee on Teaching about the United Nations invites you to register for their 2011 Conference. The event, Achieving the Millennium Development Goals: Teaching for Action will be held on Friday, January 14, 2011 in the North Lawn Conference Building...

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October 28, 2010

Mary Emma Allison - Presente!

Presbyterian United Nations Ministry Word was received this evening that Mary Emma Allison died today. She and her husband, the Rev. Clyde Allison, helped start Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF sixty years ago. Children around the world are alive this evening due...

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October 14, 2010

Trick or Treat for UNICEF

Presbyterian United Nations Ministry It has been a long time since I have attended a Halloween party. I did so tonight, joining nearly 200 adults and children to celebrate the sixtieth anniversary of Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF. This program began in...

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March 23, 2010

30 ideas for 30 years

Download 30 Ways to Mark 30 Years to find 30 ideas to celebrate 30 years of peacemaking. This year marks the 30th anniversary of Peacemaking: The Believers’ Calling, the General Assembly statement that called for a new emphasis on peacemaking...

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October 31, 2009

American Indian Perspectives on Thanksgiving

We are making plans to celebrate Thanksgiving at our house - selecting the menu, sending invitations, renewing traditions. The Education Office of the National Museum of the American Indian offers a teaching poster that presents "American Indian Perspectives on Thanksgiving."...

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July 1, 2009

Addressing gun violence - PC(USA) efforts

As on many issues, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has a mixed record when it comes to working on gun violence. Good statements have been made; we have not always lived up to those statements, but some good work has also...

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March 8, 2009

HIV/AIDS and peacemaking

"Where there is sickness and where there is suffering, there can be no peace." So the Rev. Kondwani Gondwe of the Matiki Presbyterian Church in Malawi reminded a group of Presbyterians on a travel/study seminar last March. The Biblical understanding...

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