Women religious meet at Synod to discuss most pressing challenges of our time

The first-ever UISG Advocacy Forum is set to take place on 23rd-24th October in Rome under the title: Religious Women: Leadership and Development.

The International Union of Superiors General (UISG) will host Catholic women religious from all over the world, joining in dialogue with representatives of governments, intergovernmental agencies, Vatican institutions, faith groups, civil society, private sector organisations, academia, and the press.

As a contribution to the synodal process of the Catholic Church, the Forum aims to outline a collaborative action plan for advocacy that can help to create systemic change and tackle key challenges for the sustainable development of our societies and our planet.

Topics will include impacting the harmonious development of our societies and our planet, including climate change and biodiversity loss, poverty, unemployment and social inequality, forced migration and human trafficking, health crises, and violations of human rights.

“Catholic sisters are on the frontlines of the world’s most urgent humanitarian and development challenges,” according to Sister Patricia Murray, Executive Secretary at UISG.

“Through centuries of supporting marginalized and vulnerable communities, accompanying their suffering, and sharing in their struggles for empowerment and justice,” she said, “sisters have developed an exceptional model of community engagement, making their grassroots networks a key piece of the international development puzzle.”

“UISG believes those networks must be connected with decision-makers at the global level, in order to channel their potential and foster truly sustainable, systemic change: this is the vision that guides advocacy at UISG and underpins our first-ever Advocacy Forum,” says Sr. Murray.

600,000 Catholic sisters worldwide

UISG is the umbrella organization for leaders of Catholic women’s congregations, which counts 1,903 member groups with headquarters in 97 countries, and represents over 600,000 Catholic sisters worldwide.

This event, delivered in collaboration with the Global Solidarity Fund, will be held at the Jesuit Curia in Rome.

The Forum represents the culmination of a process that began over three years ago, in July 2020, when the UISG launched Sisters Advocating Globally in collaboration with the Global Solidarity Fund.

The initiative aims to create a network of Sisters committed to social and environmental advocacy, facilitate communication and collaboration with partners, and establish spaces for reflection on key themes of international development.