As we observe Women’s History Month, with International Women’s Day celebrated on March 8, today’s Unitarian Universalist women are involved in promoting gender equity in U*U communities around the world. Here is a look at the International Women’s Convocation.
The International Convocation of Unitarian and Universalist Women, now known as the International Women’s Convocation (IWC), held its first large-scale meeting in Houston, Texas in 2009. Around 600 women from 17 different countries established an association that is now operating projects to empower women in several different countries through UU connections.
Relationships between these women have been nourished through two further international convocations, in 2012 in Romania (Transylvania) and in 2017 in Monterey, California.
- Ongoing programs emphasize building leadership skills among women, for example through training programs in Transylvania, Bolivia and the Khasi Hills of Northeast India.
- A micro-loan project in Africa established in 2012 successfully passed into local hands in 2017.
- Violence prevention programs in the Philippines, Transylvania and the Khasi Hills have been supported financially through IWC funding campaigns.
The IWC has been granted consultative status on the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). At the UN Commission on the Status of Women that meets every March, this year virtually, the IWC will host three parallel events concerning projects on violence prevention, leadership training and women’s work for the environment. https://www.intlwomensconvo.org/page/iwc-s-parallel-events-at-csw65
These panels are co-sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Association Office at the United Nations, which has held ECOSOC consultative status for decades. https://www.uua.org/international-justice/un Registration for these events is free of charge, if you are interested in attending.
Take a look at the IWC website at https://www.intlwomensconvo.org for a short video summarizing the first ten years and more complete information about all the activities it has organized.