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This Press Release may be read online at: http://www.unitedsikhs.org/PressReleases/PRSRLS-27-02-2007-00.htm

Press Release: 23th February 2007

UNITED SIKHS speaks at the 51st session on Commission on the Status of Women: Eliminate All Forms of Discrimination Against Girls

Manhattan, New York: At a forum organized by multi-religious panel constituting of Religions For Peace, ecumenical women 2000+, and the Office of the UN Church Center, UNITED SIKHS spokesperson Miss Arvind Kaur spoke out to eliminate all forms of Discrimination and Violence against the Girl Child. The event was held at the Tillman Chapel of the Church Center of the United Nations.

The audience constituted of Women sponsored by NGOS who attend and advocate at the yearly Commission on the Status of Women from different religions to end discrimination against women.

  The invitees included Hindu panelist, Dr. Vinu Aram, Shanti, INDIA, Muslim panelist Honourable Fatumata Shariff, LIBERIA, Jewish panelist: Devorah Zlochower, Rosh Beit Midrash, Drisha Institute . The discussion topic included “Deep Reflections of Religious Texts in their lives and their impact”
UNITED SIKHS women representative (4th from left) Arvind Kaur, with other women Panelist speaking at the CSW's theme “Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination and Violence against the Girl Child ”    

Ms. Judith Hertz facilitated the panel, Co-Chairs of the Commission on Interreligious Affairs of Reform. The forum discussion opened with a discussion on how religious education forms and informs our identities, our courage, our empowerment and our refusals to be victims. The important point of discussion was as to how we pass on the message, of the most empowering of our texts, to girls growing up in this extraordinarily patriarchal society.

Often, religion has been one of the ways by which this has been justified and reinforced. But as many women know or have come to know the deep empowerment of their religious texts in their own lives, they have risen above this imposition of rituals and norms.

The aim of the forum was to bring forward living examples of women who had attained empowerment through religious texts. All the panelists reflected on their life instances and covered various questions including how they overcame the disempowerment tactics.

Ms Arvind Kaur from UNITED SIKHS observed that Sikh texts were not the problem, it was the cultural discrimination instead. She spoke on how young Sikh girls were educated to be empowered in their culture as an alternative to cultural dis-empowerment and what have Sikhs seen as current most effective practices.

Ms Midrash from the Drisha Institute, spoke on how her mother helped her to bring a personality change by re-learning her religious text. Other panelists expressed views on the consequences of these re-envisioned interpretations that have occurred within traditional institutional structures.

The forum concluded with the observation that there was a similarity in all that cultures do interpret the religion in a way that it somehow serves the male dominant society.

Contact: Arvind Kaur
Phone: 888-243-1690
Fax: 810-885-4264
Email: arvind.kaur@unitedsikhs.org | contact@unitedsikhs.org

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