NEW YORK (PNS) – Marvella Lambright didn’t realize that some women use dried cow dung to absorb their monthly flow of blood until she attended her first Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) session at the United Nations several years ago. There she learned that women in some countries don’t have access to the sanitary products that are available in the United States and other parts of the world. This surprised her and helped her realize that the best way to find out what is really happening in the world is to talk with people from other countries.
This year, Lambright is joining 18 women of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) as well as thousands of others from around the world for the 62nd session of the CSW. The PC(USA) participants hail from farms in Ohio, neighborhoods in New York and from as far away as Florida and Alaska. The CSW brings together women (and a few men) of different backgrounds to set an agenda for empowering women and girls around the globe.
This year’s event focuses on rural women, and addressing their needs is particularly urgent. Research by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has found that rural women across the world fare worse than rural men and urban women in every gender and development indicator for which data is available.