The 2023 UISG Advocacy Forum convened religious women from across the globe in Rome to discuss their contributions to various critical issues like climate change, poverty, human trafficking, and migration. The event, which started on Monday, 23 October, is an initiative of the International Union of Superiors General (UISG) in partnership with the Global Solidarity Fund. The forum adopts a multi-thematic approach, acknowledging the interconnected challenges affecting both society and the planet.
Experts at the forum focus on advocacy for vulnerable populations and complex global issues, such as climate change, poverty, social inequality, forced migration, human trafficking, health crises, and human rights violations. The forum serves as a platform for identifying priority areas for advocacy at national, regional, and international levels, aiming for systemic change. It also links traditional wisdom and spirituality to the emerging needs arising from the rapid transformation of societies.
Religious sisters play a vital role in bridging the gap between grassroots work and systemic change. They share their expertise and stories, including their advocacy work at the United Nations. Australia’s Ambassador to the Holy See, Chiara Porro, chaired the opening panel and emphasized the unique perspectives that religious women bring to the table, especially since they work at the grassroots level worldwide.
Sr. Jean Quinn, who represents women religious at the UN, spoke about the authenticity that sisters bring to global discussions, especially those working at the grassroots level. Sr. Wamuyu Teresa Wachira, co-president of Pax Christi International, highlighted the importance of collective action in addressing the world’s needs. The UISG Forum aims to foster advocacy and action-oriented conversations that promote sustainable lifestyles and practices, guided by spirituality, solidarity, and non-discrimination.