Young women from Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America participate at the UN

(Photo: GOA)Archbishop Elpidophoros of America welcomed the GOA Girl Delegates to New York City in March 2024. Photo: GOA

A group of 13 young women from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America have participated in advocacy for rights and beliefs at the United Nations in New York in conjunction with the Commission on the Status of Women.

The National Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America Girl Delegate Program, drawing girls from all over the United States, provides a platform for girls to address issues related to the rights of girls all over the world.

This includes their individual rights, and their beliefs and they do this through the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese at the United Nations in New York, the World Council of Churches reported on its web site.

Welcoming the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese girl delegates, Archbishop Elpidophoros of America stated: "I am proud to say that we are the only organized faith community represented at the United Nations in this way.

 "Your enthusiastic participation in advocacy work at the UN exemplifies the teachings of our church. We are proud to have you represent not only your Greek Orthodox sisters at this pinnacle of international collaboration at the United Nations but all Greek Orthodox faithful."

The initiative also works with other non-governmental organizations centered on young women and participates in advocacy in different ways, including observation, written and oral statements, and direct advocacy to member states.

During their time in New York, the young women spoke with representatives from Permanent Missions to the UN representing: Greece, Cyprus, the Holy See, Ireland, and the Sovereign Order of Malta.

They participated in official side events hosted by member states, as well as parallel events hosted by members of civil society.

"Through their participation in CSW68 and surrounding events, the girls will not only learn more about what they can do to correct systematic poverty, but also take what they have learned back to serve their communities and work towards their individual spiritual growth," said Niki Devaris-Morgulis, who coordinates the program.

The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese young women delegates explored issues such as human trafficking; as well as policies and good practices that contribute to recognizing care as a social good, a right, and a work essential to economic growth and social wellbeing.

They also discussed fostering the social redistribution of care between individuals, families, communities, and the State, according to the WCC release.


They explored measures to overcome the gender division of labor and move towards a fair social organization of care, to reduce women in poverty and to promote women's economic autonomy through a social development model that fosters gender equality in the economic, social, and environmental dimensions of sustainable development.

They also heard firsthand accounts from Indigenous girls on the link between poverty and the climate crisis, and how the Indigenous girls are responding.

This allowed the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese delegates to reflect on how they can respond in their own cities and towns.

"Being a girl delegate representing the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese has given me so many opportunities to learn about and share my ideas on women's advocacy, gender-related poverty, and environmental challenges Indigenous women face," said Eve Feles, one of the delegates.

"I am so blessed to have been given the opportunity to attend CSW68 and I hope to continue participating in events like these in the future."

The sixty-eighth session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) took place from Marc 11 to 22, 2024.

Representatives of UN Member States, UN entities, and ECOSOC-accredited non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from all regions of the world have engaged in person and online.

According to the WCC, the CSW is the largest United Nations gathering on gender equality and women's empowerment.


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