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National International Secretary




Thora Regan AM

The responsibilities of the National International Secretary, Catholic Women’s League Australia extend from regular communication with CWLA Inc. National Executive and Member Organisation (MO)International Secretaries, WUCWO Board Member Australia and National Convenors to travelling to far away places for meetings and attending to the many administrative matters relating to the place of CWLA as a Member Organisation of the World Union of Catholic Women’s Organisations (WUCWO) and as a Non Government Organisation (NGO) in consultative (roster) status with the Economic and Social  Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC).

I have presented my report on the Commission of the Status of Women (CSW) 52, held at the United Nations Headquarters New York 25 February-7 March 2008 to the National President and M.O. International Secretaries who in turn will share with the membership of their organisations.  The Theme of this UN Event “Financing for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women” encompassed a wide range of issues and provided an important opportunity to measure progress in relation to gender equity.  In presenting an overview of the Priority Theme, the many NGO Parallel Events, Parallel Events by UN Missions and associated activities, I reflected on the ‘big picture’ that was the 52nd Session of CSW and provided comment on Reports.  A selection of Statements together with the Final Agreed Conclusions, officially adopted 13 March 2008, formed the attachments of the Report. 

It is true to say thousands of people make an annual pilgrimage to New York in order to attend this UN Convention, to observe the formalities, to listen to and engage with women from many countries, to look at the broad and diverse range of issues focusing on the Theme and to deliberate on policies that hopefully will make a difference in time to come.   An observation on the financing and sustainability of programs, many of which have been looked at in the past, revealed that only modest progress has been made and that among the disparities are education, health and of course, salaries.

The UN Women’s International Day and the celebration of NGO’s: 60 years of work for equality, development and peace with the UN CSW,  were appropriately recognised this year.   

CWLA was an Organising NGO, sponsoring an Event titled “Charting Fertility with the Billings Ovulation Method: Australia’s Gift to the World” with Facilitator Sue Fryer.   A significant amount of my time was required to support this Event.

I was delighted to renew acquaintances made in 2004,  and particularly mention Arlene Champoux, WUCWO Delegate to the UN  and Sr. Clare Nolan, Sisters of the Good Shepherd,  who continues to chair a Co-ordination Caucus.    I did have the opportunity to spend time with WUCWO President General Karen Hurley and look forward to next meeting with her in South Korea.

WOMEN, PEACE MAKERS – United in Faith and Action is the Theme for the WUCWO Regional Asia Pacific Assembly (ASPAC) which will be held at the International Seoul Youth Hostel, South Korea from October 26-31.  A pleasing number of CWLA members are registered.   I look forward to the involvement of CWLA in this important Conference and sharing time with our WUCWO sisters.  I will be pleased to receive any inquiries.   Theresa Oh, WUCWO Vice- President for Asia Pacific Region and the Committee of the Korean Catholic Women’s Federation  are endeavouring to cater for everyone’s wishes and looking forward to welcoming all to Korea.

The WUCWO Day of Prayer is a special day when women celebrate membership of our world-wide organisation.  The Liturgy for this day has been prepared by Catholic Women’s League of the Philippines. The Theme ties in perfectly with WUCWO’s priority to “Build a Culture of Peace” and our commitment to form a prayer chain for peace around a world in such great need of Christ’s peace and our care.  Reports from all Member Organisations will be collated for WUCWO.

Congratulations to WUCWO Vice President General Brenda Finlayson and her Editorial Team on the recent edition, Issue 15, of the WUCWO Woman’s Voice.   This is the Official Newsletter of the World Union of Catholic Women’s Organisations.  It is a valuable resource and a good read.

The bestowal of a Papal Honour in the form of the Bene Merenti Medal on WUCWO Secretary General Gillian M Badcock took place on April 12.   All who have had the pleasure of meeting and working with Gillian,  will agree she is a most worthy recipient of this Honour.   Our prayers and best wishes have been conveyed to Gillian.
Thora Regan  AM




12 Resolutions
from the
2006 General Assembly