Presentation of 2017 Woman of Courage Award at CSW Event
One of the highlights of CSW61 was an event co-sponsored by UNANIMA, the Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd, the Sisters of Mercy, the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the NGO Committee to Stop Trafficking in Persons, and the U.S. Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking entitled Inherent Dignity, Real Choices. Before the panel discussion on the relationship between economic empowerment of women and human trafficking, UI Executive Director Jean Quinn had the opportunity to open the event with the presentation of our 2017 Woman of Courage Award to panelist Marietta Latonio. Jean commended Marietta for her relentless pursuit of justice for trafficked women in the streets of Cebu in the Philippines and acknowledged the personal sacrifice it required. A representative of the Filipino government and a friend of Marietta’s was also present to make remarks of admiration and gratitude for her contribution to the anti-trafficking effort in Cebu. As a panelist, Marietta spoke not only of the substance of her work as an officer at the Good Shepherd Welcome House for trafficking survivors in Cebu, but also of the challenge of balancing her trafficking interventions with her responsibilities as a mother and caregiver.
The panel was rounded out by Winifred Doherty, RGS (see article below) and Mariana Vanin of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women, and it drew roaring applause from the audience. (Pictured, clockwise from top left: Angela Reed, RSM; Cecilia O’Dwyer, IBVM; Jean Quinn, DW; Marietta Latonio; Winifred Doherty, RGS; Mariana Vanin)
Spotlight on the 61st Commission on the Status of Women
The theme of this year’s Commission on the Status of Women (CSW61) was “economic empowerment of women in the changing world of work.” UI Staff were joined by 11 delegates from our member congregations. Over the course of the two-week Commission, UNANIMA co-sponsored two side-events as an organization, supported two events as a member of the NGO Committee on Migration, and supported three more as a member of the NGO Mining Working Group. Executive Director Jean Quinn found that attending CSW61 offered her a fresh, global perspective on the gender-based obstacles women face to achieving financial independence or economic security. Here are a few of the powerful points she took away from her experience at the Commission:
As we know, the world of work has changed dramatically. Jobs are less likely to be life-long careers, technology has taken over in positive and challenging ways, and many people are creating their own businesses – but sadly the gender gap remains.
According to UN Women, 76.1% of working-age men are in the work force, but only 49.6% of working-age women are. 61.5% of women are engaged in the service sector and 25 percent in the agricultural sector, while just 13.5% work in industry. Globally, women make 77 cents for every dollar earned by men for work of equal value. Only 63 countries comply with the International Labor Organization’s minimum maternity leave standards, which recommend that mothers be granted at least 14 weeks of paid maternity leave. Only 67 countries have laws against gender discrimination in hiring practices. In 18 countries, husbands can prevent their wives from working.
Women and girls typically spend more than double the time spent by men and boys on household responsibilities such as looking after siblings, older family members, caring for the sick, and managing the household.