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Faith and Gender Equality: Empowering Girls and Women in a Post-Pandemic World

March 8, 12:30pm2pm.

On March 8, Buddha’s Light International Association (BLIA) will host its first in-person parallel event since 2019 during the 67th Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), held in New York from March 6-17, 2023.

BLIA’s parallel event is entitled “Faith and Gender Equality: Empowering Girls and Women in a Post-Pandemic World.” The pandemic deepened gender inequalities, in which girls and women – who already bear the brunt of every crisis – experienced further setbacks during the global health crisis. This year’s CSW priority theme focuses on innovation and technological change and education in the digital age. It resonates deeply with how BLIA laypeople and monastics addressed unique challenges brought on by the pandemic in our commitment to advance gender equality. We built upon over thirty years of dedication to the education of girls and women to adapt how we work, learn, and interact with our clients and colleagues across more than 200 chapters worldwide. BLIA brought our advocacy and programming online, including education classes and volunteer activities, to foster community, continuance, and empowerment.

Following the pandemic and our lessons learned, Venerable Chueh Cheng will share the role of bhikkhunis, or fully ordained nuns, in the world – discussing BLIA works in Ukraine, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and the Philippines. Venerable Chueh Fan will share BLIA’s re-affirmed commitment to our mission of equality, respect for others, and social progress in a post-pandemic world. Venerable Miao Guang will share the concept of equality under Humanistic Buddhism as taught by Venerable Master Hsing Yun.

Venerable Hsin Bau, BLIA President, said: “In previous years at CSW, BLIA showcased our work supporting gender equality through equitable education in South Africa, the Philippines, Brazil, and India. We are pleased to return in-person to the United Nations in 2023 to engage with and promote the work of civil society organizations in advancing gender equality. Gender equality is not only a fundamental human right but a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous, and sustainable world.”


The Commission on the Status of Women is a UN organ that promotes gender equality and the empowerment of women. Each year, representatives of UN member states, UN entities, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) worldwide are invited to contribute to the session. BLIA is an international NGO that advances gender equality throughout more than 200 chapters in over 70 countries and regions by providing equitable education, environmental sustainability, and emergency and disaster relief. BLIA is also the first Buddhist NGO granted special consultative status by the UN ECOSOC.


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