Women’s Voices Being Heard at the United Nations

By Kathe Schaaf

On a rainy afternoon in late February 2012, a dozen women gather in a room of a hotel near the United Nations headquarters in New York. They are activists representing women’s organizations from across the U.S. and the world, and they come rooted in diverse spiritual and religious traditions. They are participants in the 56th Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), attracted to our particular conversation by an informal grassroots invitation to join in celebrating women’s spiritual leadership and the Divine Feminine at the next Parliament of the World’s Religions.

I am one of the women anchoring this particular sacred circle and several other conversations at this session of CSW. For more than a decade, I have been part of a remarkable community of women engaged at the intersection of women’s global leadership and embodied spiritual activism. Each year we gather at CSW. While official delegates meet in general session at United Nations headquarters for two weeks to discuss global women’s issues, thousands of women converge to support women’s empowerment, exchange information, and build connections.

Photo: Agricultural Law