This past week, March 9th-15th, I had the honor and privilege to attend the CSW at the United Nations.
Background of CSW
Beginning in the year 2000 the members of the United Nations gathered to discuss how to continue into the new millennium building a peaceful and equatable future for people all over the world. Developed was the Millennium Developmental Goals (MDG). These goals are to serve as a guide for all nations to strive for in order to effect change. The changes aspired for were addressing inequalities by developing programs and policies. Although women had taken part in creating the MDG’s; ending violence against women and girls where missing from the MDG development. Therefore, the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), established in 1946, took up the role to ensure that gender equality and advancement of women were being addressed in the MDG’s. This is done by a membership committee that includes around 200 national and international non-governmental organizations (NGO) who wish to promote the status of women.
Who I Represented
I was invited to the CSW 58 by Molly White and as a representative of Endeavor Forum. This organization believes in outlawing abortion and their broad aim is to prevent economic forces such as high taxation which is destroying families. They believe the rights and interests of the family must be the cornerstone of economic policy. I also represented Crowns of Hope which I am the founder. Crowns of Hope helps females who struggle with the effects of sexual abuse afford counseling. But, first and foremost, I came to the United Nations as a representative for God because without Him I would not be who I am today.
What Was Accomplished at the United Nations
With me was a team of many women who raised their own funds and spent their own money to attend this conference. Our mission was to meet delegates and ambassadors to offer our help, knowledge and resources which could better protect pregnant and also trafficked women. On our last day we held a parallel event which brought awareness of violence that is happening to pregnant women around the world and healing solutions for women who suffered from this kind of trauma. It was an honor and a privilege to have personal meetings with delegates and ambassadors from Bulgaria, Portugal, Hungary, and Slovakia. We also had divine appointments, meaning we met in hallways and in various meetings, with delegates, ambassadors, and NGO presidents from Nigeria, Ghana, Sudan, Mongolia, Canada, Bangladesh, Mexico, Sweden, India and many more. We were able to offer aftercare solutions for working with women who suffer from all kinds of trauma. We gave information on prevention ideas to reach the children and adults of their nation. Most importantly, we made connections on an emotional heart felt level with these women and a few men leaders.
Our parallel event had a packed audience. Our meeting was so full that people where lining up along the walls and sitting in the isle on the floor. We began with a wonderful powerful speaker, Reggie Littlejohn, who is the president of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers. Her organization is an international coalition that opposes forced abortion and sexual slavery in China. Her presentation was on forced abortion in China and the one child policy. It was powerful and heartbreaking. The violence that pregnant women endure in China is unimaginable. Click here to watch this 4 minute video about China’s one child policy.
Vinita Shaw was the second speaker at the event. She is from India and spoke on the problems of gender selection and forced abortion in India. She showed a powerful presentation on the hurts that Indian women are suffering from. Vinita is the author of Unveiled. Her powerful book explains, through short stories, the mindset that fuels hatred for the girl child in India. You can find a copy of her book on Amazon. Vinita’s organization, the Disha Foundation, sponsors education for disadvantaged children, promotes awareness through a radio and you tube broadcasting show, provides vocational training for women and girls, and is dedicated to the vision of ENCOURAGING and EMPOWERING the economically weaker sections of the Indian Society.
I, Toni McKinley, was the next speaker at this CSW event. I told my story of forced abortion in the United States. My purpose was to bring awareness that forced abortion is happening in the land of the free where choice is suppose to be given, according to the law, to each woman and girl in our country. You may read my story here. I speak as much as I am asked to spread awareness to women and to let others know that they are not the only one who has experienced a forced abortion in America. Many of my engagements have been recorded and you may listen and watch them at this link. I also have a passion to help women and girls who have been trafficked and sexually abused. Read more about my nonprofit, Crowns of Hope, to find out how you can join me in healing women.
Our final speaker wrapped up the meeting speaking about aftercare for women who have been forced to abort their child. Millie Lace is the founder of the National Helpline for Abortion Recovery. She is also the founder of Concepts of Truth which is a non-profit professional counseling center based in Arkansas. She is a licensed professional counselor and spoke about the effects of forced abortion on women and what resources are available to help those who want healing.
My Summary on the CSW 58
I attended several side and parallel events during my week at the United Nations. These meetings discussed the successes and improvements still needed on gender equality and violence against women. Many of the events I attended were about trafficking of girls, reproductive health and rights of women, domestic violence, early marriage practices, unplanned pregnancies, empowering women, and women leaders of change. I heard a recurring solution in every meeting I attended that was bothersome for me. This solution was to increase government regulations and rules. I feel that government regulations and rules can be good but it is not the end all solution. There is another solution that I have seen work yet it was not discussed in the meetings I attended. This solution is the transformation of hearts and mind sets. I believe that this was not discussed because government cannot regulate or create laws to change the hearts of people. Yet, until this happens, there will not be gender equality. There will always be violence against women. The homicide rate for pregnant women will always be high. The number of women and girls trafficked will always be apart of every country. Domestic violence will always be happening in homes around the world. Women and girls will continue to be coerced and forced into abortion. Laws and regulations can only help so much to protect women and girls.
Part of me felt that the CSW was a waste of time. “We need more regulation. We need this law. We need that law. We need to incarcerate more perpetrators.” How long will we have to regulate the sins of man and woman? Will we be able to govern every action that hurts another and be successful? Is it worth it to meet year after year to discuss what laws curbed violence and what laws need to be created to continue curbing violence? There were at least 1000 women attending his event at the United Nations. It is around $200 per night and more to stay in New York City. Cab rides are from $10 – $15 one way. Food is at least $40 per day at the very least. An airplane ticket is a minimum $500 – over $1000 depending on what country you are flying in from. All this is spent to discuss violence against women to come up with the same resolution year after year which is more government regulations.
When are we going to get to the heart of the issue?
When will we decide to discover why husbands beat their wife’s? When will we decide to discover why men buy women and girls for sex? When will we stop de-moralizing men by saying things such as, “Women Rule” and really focus on equality? When will we decide to discover why men and women are drawn to music that prides itself in calling women hoe’s and prides itself in being a pimp? When will we discover why others molest and rape girls and boys? When will we take time to discover why, and then work on the hearts of girls, boys, men, and women? Violence against women is a heart issue. People need help. Not a single man or women said when they were young, “I want to grow up to traffick women and girls.” Not a single women said as a girl, “I want to sell myself for sex when I am older.” No boy has ever said, “When I grow up I want to beat my wife.”
I propose that the next Commission on the Status of Women focus on the heart of the matter. We need to heal the people in the whole world. We are a sick world who needs a heart restoration. Let’s talk about how we as nations can come together, collaborate and discuss healing the wounds that the “John’s” are holding inside. Let’s talk about how to heal the wounds of a man who was molested and now struggles with temptation to hurt other young girls and boys. Let’s talk about reaching the hearts of men who beat their wife’s while we work on restoring the dignity to the wife’s who where beaten. Let’s teach others how to be happy with who they are so they can be content with themselves and what they have. Let’s work on being a blessing to each other instead of trying to always take for ourselves even when we have less. Let’s talk about how the hearts of women who are trafficked and sold can be restored to be great leaders, mothers, daughters, and sisters. This, the heart, is the center and focal point of the status of women.
You want to to increase the status of women?
Then lets increase the status of the nations hearts!
Disclaimer: The people, countries, NGO’s, CSW, ambassadors, or delegates mentioned in this article do not endorse the views written in this article.