From the Worldwide Faith News archives


Date 05 May 1996 08:38:15


                         By Julian Shipp 
LOUISVILLE, Ky--Sponsored by the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program and 
Women's Ministries Program Area of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), 30 
participants will depart for China Aug. 28 to attend the Non-Governmental 
Organization (NG0) Forum, a parallel event to the Fourth World Conference 
on Women in Beijing. 
     The group will also travel to China, speaking with men and women in 
the Christian community about their ministry in churches and ecumenical 
     "At the NGO Forum, 40,000 women and men from around the world will 
gather to discuss their ongoing work related to global women's concerns, 
celebrate women's achievements and examine strategies for working together 
to realize the goals of equality, development and peace," said the Rev. 
Richard Kilmer, coordinator of the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program. 
     "Many diverse activities will take place at the Forum, including daily 
plenaries for critical reflection and assessment of current global forces, 
workshops, theatre, marketplace and regional and issue caucuses," Kilmer 
said, adding NGO participants will also examine how to work with 
governments to shape and implement policies regarding women. 
     The NGO Forum itself is not a policy-making body, but at the United 
Nations-sponsored Fourth World Conference on Women Sept. 4-15, governmental 
representatives will examine the continuing obstacles facing women 
globally. Part of their work will be to produce a Platform for Action that 
will provide the basis of action to be carried out nationally, regionally, 
and internationally for the advancement of women to the year 2000 and 
     Kilmer said the world's governments will agree to work toward 
strategic goals and objectives in such areas as poverty, education, health, 
violence against women, human rights, armed conflict, economic structures, 
decision-making, the advancement of women, human rights, the media, the 
environment and the girl child. 
     "The Platform for Action seeks to support and empower women in their 
diverse cultures and roles in their public and private lives," Kilmer said, 
adding the PC(USA) will send several observers to the governmental 
conference to monitor and report on its proceedings. 
     Following the Forum, seminar participants will travel to the cities of 
Zian, Nanjing and Hangzhou to explore the life of the church in China and 
the accomplishments and challenges particularly of women as they work in 
the Chinese Christian community. Participants will also examine China's 
rich and diverse history and culture. 
     The Presbyterian Church, through its programs, General Assembly 
actions and ongoing involvement in the "Ecumenical Decade: Churches in 
Solidarity with Women," has been actively involved in efforts to overcome 
discrimination and to seek justice and equality for women worldwide.  This 
concern for global women's issues is in part exhibited in the church's 
ongoing involvement at the U.N. as a NGO. 
     The General Assemblies of the Presbyterian Church have commended the 
U.N. for its past women's conferences and affirmed the goals of those 
consultations. Additionally, the church, through General Assembly policy 
and programs, has addressed nearly all the areas of concern to be discussed 
at the Fourth World Conference on Women. 
     Upon returning home, participants will share their experiences in 
China within their congregations, presbyteries and synods. 
     Kilmer said participants were chosen on the basis of their active 
involvement in the life of the church, its peacemaking efforts and women's 
constituencies and are responsible for their own funding. 

For more information contact Presbyterian News Service
  Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Louisville, KY 40202
  phone 502-569-5504            fax 502-569-8073  
  E-mail   Web page: 


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