SGI News: Global activities for peace, education and culture

Event on Women's Leadership in New York


On March 17, the SGI organized a parallel event on women's leadership during the 59th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) held at the UN Headquarters in New York from March 9 to 20. The theme of the event, "Living Women's Leadership, Living Global Citizenship--Strengthening the Beijing Platform for Action," marked the 20th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women held in Beijing in 1995. The event was held at the Church Center for the United Nations, and 75 people attended.

Cosponsors of the event were the Bahá'' International Community, the Salvation Army, Soroptimist International, the Global Movement for the Culture of Peace and the United Religions Initiative.

In his keynote speech, Ambassador Anwarul K. Chowdhury, former UN Under-Secretary-General and High Representative, stressed that to achieve gender equality it is necessary to dismantle patriarchy. He called for more women in decision-making positions, starting at the UN, and for a female UN secretary-general. He stated that the world has a lot to learn from the leadership of African women who have faced the heaviest odds and have great energy, creativity and initiative.

Other speakers included Lopa Banerjee, chief of UN Women's Civil Society Section; Jean Krasno, lecturer in the Department of Political Science at the City College of New York; and Selamawit Adugna Bekele from Ethiopia, global youth ambassador for A World at School.

The presentations were followed by small discussion groups where participants discussed women's leadership and the culture of peace.

On March 9, as part of the SGI-USA Culture of Peace Distinguished Speaker Series, Ambassador Chowdhury gave a talk titled "Equality of Women's Participation: Essential Foundation for the Culture of Peace in Today's World" at the SGI-USA New York Culture Center.