Women of Faith Speaking to
Structural Change at CSW62

Our CSW speaker Dr. Veena Adige (left) with two generations of her family
and TOU Executive Director Alison Van Dyk (right)

The Temple of Understanding is back from the 62nd annual Commission on the Status of Women! We collaboratively organized a successful panel session and an interfaith service of remembrance. Scroll down for photos, reports, and more.
The NYC March For Our Lives in Images
TOU's Main UN Representative Grove Harris attended the NYC March For Our Lives. She writes:

The NYC March for Our Lives on March 24, 2018 was huge, lively and both festive and serious. So many young people, and people of all ages, came together affirming life and demanding change in the U.S. gun culture and laws. Many called for a ban on assault weapons for civilians.

I spoke with a veteran watching on the side of the march who was dismayed to see the NRA characterized as a terrorist organization, although he agreed that their marketing tactics were problematic. He thought the polarized communications on both sides needed to be toned down. In this age of social media tweets, texts, and massive personal data harvesting and manipulation, we still need to talk to people one on one about our differences of opinion.


Photo by Grove Harris

CSW62 Confronts Trafficking and FGM
A hallmark of the Temple's work is joining heart, body, and mind to learn deeply from the wide array of international speakers available at events like the Commission on the Status of Women. TOU Executive Director Alison Van Dyk reports:

There were two main concerns from women around the world at the CSW parallel events this year: the persistent practice of FGM [female genital mutilation] and the trafficking of young women. What I heard in workshop after workshop was like a déjà vu of the UN Woman's Conference in Beijing in 1995 but with the uncomfortable realization that things have gotten worse, not better.

The assassination of City Council member Marielle Franco of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil during the CSW brought home again the need to defend our women human rights defenders around the globe.


Good friends Sakena Yacoobi and Audrey Kitagawa after
the Interfaith Service of Remembrance

Despite the heavy issues raised at CSW, our speaker  Dr. Veena Adige sounded a note of hope:
Though women who live in rural areas are at a higher risk of being left behind, the 50-50 in 2030 [gender equality] can soon become a reality. I saw that there was no discrimination among the delegates, there were instant friendships made, business contacts fixed and future plans made. There was laughter in the cafes in the UN but pin drop silence during the sessions. Temple of Understanding certainly paved the way to better understanding of people and situations. 
Dr. Vandana Shiva at the 2018 Parliament
Photo by Ekabhishek via Wikimedia Commons

Photo by Ekabhishek via Wikimedia Commons
The Temple of Understanding is developing programming featuring Dr. Vandana Shiva for the upcoming Parliament of World's Religions in Toronto, Canada, Nov. 1-8, 2018.  

You can view her online giving the Bartlett Lecture at Yale University on "Earth Democracy: Peace with the Earth, Justice for All."


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