The focus of the discussion was on the impacts of homelessness on women
Last March 21, the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul (SSVP) participated in another side event within the scope of the United Nations, to discuss about “Climate Change: Multiple Risks for Homeless Women and Girls”. The event also took place in commemoration of the two years since the publication of a United Nations special resolution on the issue of homelessness.
The initiative came from the “Working Group to End Homelessness”, created by the Vincentian Family in 2017, and which has been carrying out various activities since then, in partnership with the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW66).
The Council General International attended to this event, in New York (United States of America), through the presence of the 16th President General, brother Renato Lima (who is in New York on the way to Boston for various Vincentian gatherings), accompanied by the sister Pattie Hughes and brother Ed Keane, both members of the General Council delegation to the United Nations (CGI UN Team).
The conversation was very interesting, as it brought together experts from several countries and from different entities concerned with the social impact that climate change and poverty have on everyone, especially women and girls. The event was moderated by Sister Jean Quinn who focused on the solutions that need to be sought to alleviate the suffering of women in this scenario of homelessness impacted by natural disasters and the harmful effects of climate change.
Balakrishnan Rajagopal (India) presented a very realistic diagnosis of the problem, indicating new ways of approaching this reality. Jennifer Bhuiyan (St. John’s University, New York) focused her presentation on the issue of women’s health. Dr. Minnie Oseji (Nigeria) presented a series of concrete actions that can be taken to reduce the harmful impact of climate change.
Sister Aisha Kavalakattu (Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, Nepal) recalled the plight of refugees and those affected by natural disasters. Dana Marlowe (NGO “I Support the Girls”) presented measures that are being taken to give more dignity and medical support to girls and young women. Finally, Leilani Farha (NGO “Canada against poverty”) appealed for governments to become definitively involved in this issue with greater commitment.
At the end of the discussion, there was space for questions and answers. In addition to the SSVP, the Vincentian Family was present through other branches. Several other Catholic entities engaged in the cause of women also attended the debate. All these actions are connected with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially topics #1, 2, 5 and 10.
“Whenever invited, the Council General International will make its contribution to the theme, because there are many forms of poverty, and Vincentians need to be prepared to face and overcome them, together with the poor. This matter is urgent and a priority, because a good part of humanity suffers greatly from the natural disasters that generate migrations and more refugees”, emphasized our President Lima de Oliveira.