WATERTOWN, Mass.—From Mon., Feb. 27 to Fri., March 9, the Armenian Relief Society (ARS), Inc. will participate in the United Nations’ 56th Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) activities and events in New York.
The CSW is “the principal global policy-making body dedicated exclusively to gender equality and advancement of women.” The global community, which includes member states, civil society, and the private sector meet annually at the United Nations to discuss critical problems affecting women across the world. This year’s priority theme is “the empowerment of rural women and their role in poverty and hunger eradication, development, and current challenges.”
The ARS will participate at several levels of activities and events at CSW-56, the premier international platform for women’s issues and rights. This year, ARS initiated its involvement by partnering with Women’s World Banking on a written statement regarding the priority theme that was submitted and approved by UN Women. The statement is part of the official record of the Commission and appears on the CSW-56 website.
Additionally, the ARS has sponsored and organized two parallel events and co-sponsored a third that will be held during the first week of the Commission. On Wed., Feb. 29 from 2:30-4:30 p.m., the ARS, with Women’s World Banking, will host a workshop on “Financing Powerful Women: Integrating Microfinancing and Women’s Health.” The workshop will take place at the Church Center Hardin Room, 11th Floor, 777 First Ave. at 44th St. Discussion participants include Myrna Cunningham-Kain, this year’s recipient of the NGO Commission on the Status of Women NY’s Woman of Distinction Award; Inez Murray of Executive VP Program and Network Engagement of Women’s World Banking; and Judith Bruce, the senior associate policy analyst of Population Council. The workshop will be moderated by Stephanie Killian.
Immediately following at 4:30 p.m., the ARS will co-sponsor a workshop with the Virginia Gildersleeve International Fund, Soroptimist International, the American Association of University Women, Soka Gakkai International, Women Graduates-USA, and The International Federation of University Women titled, “Rural Women and Girls: Issues in Reproductive Health.” This workshop also takes place at the Church Center, but in the Boss Room, 8th Floor. Both events on Feb. 29 are open to the public.
On Fri., March 2 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m., the ARS has organized a high-level panel event with the Armenia’s Permanent Mission to the UN and Ambassador Garen Nazarian. Along with Mary Ellen Iskenderian, the CEO of Women’s World Banking, and Meryl Frank, president and CEO of Makeda Global, Nazarian will discuss “From Empowerment to Sustainability: Financing, Health, and Participation for Rural Women.” Killian will represent the ARS and present the organization’s decades-long efforts in advancing rural women in Armenia and the diaspora. The panel will take place on UN grounds in the North Lawn Building Conference Room B, and will be moderated by Soon-Young Yoon, chair of NGO CSW, also a co-sponsor. Because of this secure location, the event remains closed to the general public.
“NGO participation is critical to the success of the CSW. Along with the sponsored side events, ARS members will be attending meetings and plenary sessions dedicated to the priority theme of the Commission. Ultimately, ARS participation at CSW-56 will contribute to evaluating progress on gender equality and identifying challenges, setting global standards and formulating concrete policies to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment worldwide through the UN’s Economic and Social Council,” said Vicky Marashlian, chairperson of the Armenian Relief Society, Inc., who will be heading the ARS delegation to CSW-56.
The ARS Central Executive Board has placed a special 30-second promotion on one of the huge screens in New York’s Times Square, which will run once every hour until April 18. The giant screen showing the promo is located on Manhattan’s 42nd St. between the 7th and 8th Ave.