Twenty-two members of the Presbyterian Women (PW) delegation to the 54th meeting of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW) in New York last week witnessed the creation of a new U.N. entity for women March 10 in New York.

The Gender Equality Architecture Reform (GEAR) recommendations of the UNCSW were adopted March 10 as thousands came from around the world on the 15th anniversary of the Fourth World Women’s Conference held in Beijing, China.

Both the anniversary and the new structure were hailed by U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon during the U.N.’s Women’s Day event.

Members of the UNCSW and the nearly 8,000 registered representatives from nongovernmental organizations reviewed progress on the 12 planks of the Beijing Platform for Action adopted in 1995.

The Beijing document addresses solutions believed necessary for women’s advancement including poverty eradication poverty, education, health, economic justice, human rights and the environment.

The rights of the girl child and violence against women, particularly trafficking in women and girls, held the spotlight in high-level panel discussions and hundreds of CSW parallel events.

The U.N.’s Millennium Development Goals that challenge the world to solve problems of poverty and health around the world by 2015 are bound closely with progress on the challenges of the Beijing Platform.

PW’s delegation includes women from across the United States. They were joined by Ilia Snowball, a member of Racial Ethnic Young Women Together, and Philomene Mwauke, a representative of Presbyterian Women in the Democratic Republic of Congo, who was accompanied by the Rev. Nicolas Muteba of Boston, who is translating for her.