By April 14, 2016 Read More →

CSW60 Side Events

Community Discussion

Thursday, March 17, 2016  3:00pm – 4:30pm

Bahai’s Office

The Values Caucus at the United Nations organized a Community Discussion during CSW60 which was led by co-chairs Carl Murrel and Julia Grindon-Welch. The participants were welcomed into a warm and informal setting, with cookies and tea. As is customary of the Values Caucus the meeting started with a moment of silence in which the participants were asked to connect to their deepest values. For this meeting during the silence Julia read out loud the values that are foundational to the UN Charter and Human Rights Declaration. The participants were then asked to introduce themselves by sharing one value that best described what was most important to them in their work. This intimate group then proceeded to discuss the following questions:

  • Have you observed the value that you expressed emerging in any of the meetings and events that you have been attending this week, or perhaps it was a conversation or an informal moment?
  • How can we cultivate – ‘bestow attention and care” – on this values or a similar value in our individual lives and the work that we do?

As values such as compassion, unity, care, courage, etc. were highlighted; participants shared stories of courage and faith they had come across during the first week of CSW and how women had used these qualities to free themselves from various mal-practices and violence. It was seen that women are often the strength that hold communities together and if given the opportunity can empower a village/town to transform and flourish. It is extremely important to respect, empower, and educate women and girls if we are to fulfill the new Sustainable Development Agenda.

Another highlight for many present was the fact that there was 3 minutes of silence held in the General Assembly Hall during UNFPA “The Time is Now” event on Wednesday, March 16 evening. Ashley Judd, the Goodwill Ambassador for UNFPA, called on those present to “convert this great hall from a political space to a sacred space”.

Personally, it was a lovely opportunity to sit among like-minded people and openly reflect on some of the deeper areas of concern which were not necessarily mentioned or addressed during sessions.

To learn more about the Values Caucus, you are welcome to visit:


Spiritual Empowerment of Women through Yoga

Friday, March 18, 2016, 4:30pm – 6:00pm    Thai Cultural Center

The International Day of Yoga Committee together with the SMVA Trust hosted an event at the UN CSW 60th session – “Spiritual Empowerment of Women through Yoga”, which was Moderated by Denise Scott, Co-chair of IDY Committee.

This session drew yoga practitioners from around the world as well as women who wanted to learn more about the fullness and richness of yoga and how it can be a sustaining principle in one’s life leading to empowerment.

Blanche Manago, yoga teacher and longtime practitioner, led us in modified chair asanas connecting us to the deep seat of the soul with the awareness of how it is ‘I’ the soul who makes the body move. We also discussed how yoga (union) connects us to the somewhat uncharted territory of our inner resources and how with attention and care these can be cultivated and naturally expressed in our lives.

Julia Grindon-Welch, of the Brahma Kumaris, re-iterated the importance of the awareness we hold in our minds and how it affects our lives; it affects our attitude and how we see and act in the world. We should ask our selves what our awareness is connected too (in yoga with)? Is it connected to difficulties and problems, or to the source of solutions and restorative narratives ,which lead to human flourishing.

Part of the fullness of yoga is the service we do within our communities – ‘seva’ or karma yoga. In this regard the SMVA Trust which celebrates the joy of giving – sited many instances in which their organization participates in ‘Seva’ by alleviating poverty and providing food, homes, education, healthcare and emergency relief. Women in the audience shared the impact that yoga had had in their lives and particularly how it helped during pregnancy and during the early years of family life.

Sabita Geer concluded by bringing all present together in united awareness through guided reflection/meditation in service to all the women of the world.

The enthused audience left with the understanding that yoga is a way of life and a sustaining principle in one’s life leading to empowerment. They also learned that yoga can advance gender equality and the SDGs in creating a better world for all.


CSW60 Event with Int'l Day of Yoga Committee and SMVA Trust-scaled

Posted in: Values, Women, Yoga

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