March 14- Faith Communities Unite to Tackle Gender Inequality at the 60th Session of UN Commission on Status of Women Speakers from across different faith communities and faith-based NGOs will come together at the 60th Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women taking place between 14th – 24th March in New York at the UN to discuss the role that faith can play in achieving gender justice at this year’s Commission on the Status of Women (CSW60).

Islamic Relief, along with the Lutheran World Federation, US Federation for Middle East, World Vision and the YWCA , will be discussing Sustainable Development Goal Five (SDG 5), achieving gender equality and empower all women and girls on Wednesday 16th March at 11:30am – 12:45pm US local time in Conference Room 11 in the Conference Building.

The side event titled ‘Engaging faith-based communities to implement the SDGs – achieving gender justice and eliminating violence against women and girls’, is just one of a set of side events at CSW. Speakers on the panel include Jesca Mnari from World Young Women’s Christian Association, Pastor Cibele Kuss of the Lutheran World Federation, Sharifa Abdulaziz, Senior Gender Policy Advisor for Islamic Relief Worldwide and a representative of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.

Faith based organization coming from different religious traditions share a common vision to protect the dignity and rights of women and girls and end all forms of gender-based violence. They recognize that religious beliefs and practices can become obstacles, but also resources for addressing gender based violence and promoting justice for all.

Ahead of the UN Commission on the Status of Women, Sharifa Abdulaziz, Islamic Relief Worldwide’s Senior Gender Policy Advisor says: “Islamic Relief and our colleagues from across the different faiths at this panel are in a unique position to discuss and implement programs which can accomplish gender equality. Success in this area needs partnerships and cooperation from across a wide variety of group alongside NGOs, governments and faith leaders, whose potential contribution to achieving the SDGs shouldn’t be overlooked or understated. We hope that this platform will affirm the importance of gender justice and the importance of faith communities as active partners to realize this.”

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Islamic Relief USA, based in Alexandria, Va., is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) humanitarian organization. Its mission is to alleviate suffering, hunger, illiteracy and disease regardless of color, race, gender or creed, and to provide aid in a compassionate and dignified manner. Islamic Relief USA aims to provide rapid relief in the event of human and natural disasters and to establish sustainable local development projects, allowing communities to better help themselves. Its programs benefit millions of people each year around the world, including in the United States.

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