Prior to the formal commencement, The Salvation Army held a Sunday evening service of reflection, worship and prayer in its premises close to the United Nations headquarters in New York. Prayers focused on world leaders, policy makers and representatives from civil society taking part in CSW, which for 2017 has the theme Women's Economic Empowerment in the Changing World of Work. Intercessions were also made for women and girls affected by discrimination in various ways, using stories, video and personal testimony to explore the issues.
Several of the Salvation Army delegates to the CSW spent two days the previous week in discussion at The Salvation Army's international anti-trafficking task force, chaired by Lt-Colonel Eirwen Pallant, supported by Commissioner Rosalie Peddle (World Secretary for Women's Ministries). The forum provided opportunities for learning, analysis and development of Salvation Army international strategy and policy to counter modern-day slavery, which has devastating effects on men, women and children around the world.
The Salvation Army's response to human trafficking will be featured in a CSW event at the ISJC on Tuesday, March 14, which will discuss lessons learned from a partnership between The Salvation Army and the Anglican Alliance. The partnership has increased the capacity of local church congregations to raise awareness and respond appropriately in local contexts.
A further presentation for CSW on Wednesday, March 15, puts the spotlight on Salvation Army initiatives around the world which have been put in place to empower people – especially women. Designed to improve the economic status and security of local communities, many of these projects provide women with an opportunity of income generation, leading to improved status and empowerment.
ISJC Director Lieut-Colonel Dean Pallant explains: "The CSW discussions ask: 'How do we improve the status of girls and women?' who in many parts of the world do not get a fair deal. It's a big thing for men as well – to stand up and talk about the importance of women having equality. It's something that Christians believe, that we're all made in the image of God, so it's really important."
Coinciding with the start of the CSW, the ISJC has published Go and Do Something which, using the UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a framework, explores what Salvationists and friends can practically do – now and over the next 15 years – to make the world a better, fairer place. The resource is available to download free of charge from http://sar.my/dosomething. More information about the SDGs can be found at http://www.salvationarmy.org/isjc/SDGs.
A social wall providing coverage of ISJC's CSW activities as they happen is available at http://sar.my/cswlive.