The Congregations of Saint Joseph at the United Nations are committed to fostering the empowerment of women, insuring the rights of all women and girls. From their beginnings, the sisters themselves have sought to live this by engaging in all the spiritual and corporal works of mercy of which women are capable.

As a member of the NGO Commission on the Status of Women, the Congregations of Saint Joseph place special emphasis on Sustainable Development Goal #5: gender equality and the empowerment of women. Recognizing that some progress has been made on this goal, the Congregations of Saint Joseph will continue to monitor and advocate on this issue.

The SDGs and the 2030 Agenda was initiated at the 2012 Conference in Rio de Janeiro in the outcome document “The Future We Want.” To build on the Millennium Development Goals 2000-2015, all the world’s countries came to a consensus at UN Headquarters on August 2, 2015 on the document “Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.” On September 25, 2015 the 2030 Agenda with 17 Sustainable Development Goals was formally adopted. Each of the 17 goals has specific targets to measure achievement. The 2030 Agenda contains recommendations on how to achieve the 17 Goals.

SDG #5 is Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment. There are 5 targets:

5.1. End all forms of discrimination against women and girls everywhere.

5,2. Eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls in the public and private sphere including trafficking and several types of exploitation

5.3 Eliminate all harmful practices such as child, early and forced marriages and female genital mutilation

5.4. Recognize and value unpaid care and domestic work through the provision of public services, infrastructure and social protection policies and the promotion of shared responsibility within the household

5.5 Ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making…

5.6. Ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights.

For more information go to: UN Commission on the Status of Women

With NGOs in the preparation process and the annual Session of the Commission on the Status of Women, the Congregations of Saint Joseph work to address vital concerns such as an end to the violence against women, which was addressed in 2013.

The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), is an expert body that monitors state parties who have rarified CEDAW compliance with the Treaty. As NGO, the Congregations of Saint Joseph interact with other NGOs and the Committee of Experts during the sessions in which country reports are reviewed by CEDAW experts.

To learn more, click on these links:

UN Women

Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)