BLIA Echoed CSW68 in Consistent Efforts on Gender Equality and Women Empowerment.

On March 22, 2024, 45 member states and NGO representatives attended the closing ceremony of the 68th Annual Commission on the Status of Women in United Nations. Ven. You Lin, Director of the United Nations Office of BLIA, Ven. Zhi Qun and Ven. Neng Xian of Fo Guang Shan New York Temple, Ms. Helen Leongg, Board Director of BLIA New York Chapter and Ms. Eunice Shih President of Sung He Sub-chapter, represented BLIA to attend the closing ceremony. 

At the CSW68 closing conference, representatives of countries addressed concerns about the challenges and difficulties faced by women and girls. These includes discrimination against AIDS patients, child marriage, domestic violence, poverty, women and girls facing the impact on climate changes and other crises that cause the social problems. They expected that local governments and world organizations should emphasis the issues, accelerate the process of setting up regulations for rescue programs and measures to protect gender equality and safety. 

Ven. You Lin handed a copy of introduction and commentary of the India’s Hope Village to Mr. Antonio Manual Revilla Lagdameo, the host and the Chairman of Asia and Pacific countries. Ven. You Lin emphasized that Buddha’s Light members uphold the basis of equality, regardless of religious, race, color and gender. They concern about vulnerable groups with  their compassion, and make every effort to promote global peace.

Ms. YEunice expressed that she had gained a lot at the CSW68. The Buddhist ,monastics and followers of Fo Guang Shan and BLIA have been participating and continuing their efforts in gender equality. They took advantage of this opportunity to improve not only women’s rights and but also children’s education. She hoped that the world can see that Buddhism is not only emphasizes gender equality, but also realizes that education is the basic factor of equality. 

Mr. Gordon Tapper, Chairman of United African Congress and founder of Give Them a Hand Foundation, addressed that the world is still facing the situation of women’s inequality. People realize that global government and civil organizations have paid attention and tried to solve the problems. Following Mr. Tapper’s speaking, Ven You Lin shared Venerable Master Hsing Yun’s explanation of equality: Equality does not mean forced compliance through extreme methods, but to put oneself in other's shoes and think of others as oneself.

Ryu Dan Youth Empowerment Foundation Goodwill Ambassador Maya shared their experiences of the courses they designed for the local youth groups in a South Africa. She hoped that she has more power to drive young people to change, and to build self-confidence and self-determination.