UN Conference on Women's Issues to Include Local Woman

Parsippany resident and Caldwell Presbyterian ministry leader will serve as the eyes, ears and voice of young women around the world.

A Lake Hiawatha woman will be among those taking part in the 2013 gathering of the global Commission on the Status of Women at United Nations headquarters in New York City next month.

Jaime Staehle will be one of about 70 Presbyterians helping the U.N. outline its international approach to women’s issues—specifically in efforts to eliminate and prevent all forms of violence against women and girls.

Staehle, a Seattle native who moved to Parsippany with her spouse three years ago, is uniquely qualified to be among the young Presbyterian women serving as the eyes, ears, and voice of their generation. Her job as director of Youth and Children's Ministries at the First Presbyterian Church in Caldwell put her in the direct path of the international organization.  

"After taking a group of adults to the Presbyterian Mission at the United Nations last year, I became interested in how our denomination is involved in the UN," she told Patch. "In the fall, the director of the Presbyterian Mission at the UN emailed me the application to be one of the delegates for the Commission on the Status of Women." 

The annual meeting, which runs this year from March 4-15, features representatives of member states and their discussions surrounding women's issues. Attendees will evaluate progress on gender equality, identify challenges, set global standards and formulate concrete policies to promote gender equality and women's empowerment worldwide via the United Nations Economic and Social Council. 

"The women and men in this diverse and dynamic group of Presbyterians  are blessed by the opportunity to join our voices in working to effect real change locally and globally,” said Kate Carlisle, interim associate for Young Women’s Leadership Development.

"As a woman in ministry I feel strongly about working toward the equality of women in all aspects of life," said Staehle. "On a personal level, my husband and I are foster parents for young girls who have experienced violence in their lives, whether through emotional or physical abuse. We hope that God can use us to shine some light in the lives of these children during their time with us." 

She said she hopes to learn a lot about global women's issues during her time at the New York conference.

"I hope to have a better understanding of what we, as church members, can do to help these situations," Staehle said. "I feel that as someone who works with the youth of our church, I can bring back everything I am learning and share my experiences with our youth in the hopes that they will have an interest in learning."

You can follow the progress of the event as it transpires via www.ecumenicalwomen.org.


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