United Methodist Women and Edge Coalition Launch

( [email protected] ) Jul 31, 2004 05:19 PM EDT

Members of the Washington-based Women’s Edge Coalition met on July 20 to launch the “Million Women Challenge for a Better, Safer World” in Washington D.C. The coalition, a joint effort by some 40 organizations including the United Methodists Women group, seeks to motivate “a million American women to urge their elected officials and political candidates to make women’s issue a priority” in U.S. policies.

“It will mobilize women to find solutions to violence and other issues and presents an opportunity for women and their families to live full lives to bring peace to the world,” said Susie Johnson, an executive with the Women’s Division in the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries.

The United Methodist Church (UMC) is the second largest denomination in the states with some 8 million adherents. According to Johnson, the new campaign will ask United Methodist women to actively take part in calling for justice in the world.

“We know that investing in these women brings incredible payoffs,” said Ritu Sharma, co-founder and executive director of the Women’s Edge Coalition. “Women put any money they have back into their family’s education, health, and well-being—helping to end the cycle of poverty.”

During the July 20 gathering, the coalition produced a citizen’s action guide, entitled, “A Safer, Better World Begins with Women” to hand out to its members. The guide covers issues from education and health to rebuilding Iraq and Afghanistan and offers questions for women to raise with their elected officials and candidates.

“It gives a whole spectrum of issues to challenge policymakers to invest in women for them to be free and full human beings in the world,” said Johnson, who added that the UMW will be given a copy of the guide.

For more information on the campaign, visit the Women’s Edge Coalition website at (www.womensedge.org).