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Why the UN? Why Us? Why Now? featured img
Category: Global Sisterhood

Why the UN? Why Us? Why Now?

February 29, 2024

Many have asked us, “Why has Big Ocean Women been involved at the UN?” It’s a fair question that deserves a clear and honest answer, after all, we’re getting ready to attend our 15th UN event next month!

In 2014, one year prior to Big Ocean Women becoming an official 501C3 nonprofit, I attended the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW), in hopes of connecting with some sort of women’s organization that reflected my burgeoning ideas around maternal feminism. I was lucky enough to be connected to an outstanding organization, United Families International. Their incredible team took me under their wing and showed me the ropes of what actually goes on and why it matters. Prior to attending and witnessing the UN bodies at work, I felt that an event such as the CSW was far more benign than it actually was.

As I moved from event to event, soaking in all I could from United Families International leaders, I was dumbfounded to realize I was witnessing, in real time, the codification of global language trends that would very soon impact me and my own community back home. Realizing there were a rare few that actually knew the magnitude and relevance of this reality, and an even rarer few that could actually explain it to others effectively, felt heavy and agonizing. Not only did I not find the empowering mother’s movement I was desperately searching for, but I came face to face with a clearly antagonistic force actively scheming to silence and dismiss the very values and ideas I knew needed to be upheld and promoted. I witnessed how so many of the powerful decision-making bodies, often the wealthier nations, were seductively dangling aid funding to the poor nations while attaching various social engineering agendas and policies to those aid programs. This was the modus operandi of the United Nations, and it was shocking to witness first hand.

I witnessed Goliath NGOs like International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) hold significant negotiating power, akin to an actual voting UN member country, as they pushed for the bottomline success of their business through SOGI (Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity) language and depopulation ideologies through SRHR (Sexual Reproduction and Health Rights) which include All Access Abortion, Abortion on Demand, and highly controversial Comprehensive Sexuality Education, as the best solution for various global crises. The heavier the pressure, the more and more countries eventually caved in the days-long, sometimes 10- to 12-hour-long grueling negotiations. Many of the poor country delegates weren’t as well equipped in what the adoption of the language would actually mean, yet they held strong to their values even at the risk of losing precious aid support. I sat in presentation after presentation where women, largely from the developing Global South, were used as PR optics but when they spoke about the real issues they faced and the kinds of solutions they needed, were repeatedly dismissed, and sidelined. I resonated with so many of them. We all had so much in common, mainly, we wanted a better future for our children, we wanted to be heard, valued, and supported.

 Who were these women? Who ARE these women? WE are women who care about, and are deeply invested in our families! Family life is our tether to one another, and what binds us together as human beings, and it’s what binds us together as global sisters! Our common shared experiences, our hopes and dreams for ourselves and our loved ones, is a POWERFUL motivator and catalyst for change! Amidst this reality, it was shocking and painful to realize that the most contested and controversial words negotiated year after year are “family” and “mother.” How can this be?

Everything I had witnessed in 2014 burned into me a promise to bring back a large delegation of as many empowered and light-filled mothers as I could for the next year’s meeting. In 2015, with the help of incredible organizations like United Families International and many others who helped me acquire UN badges, I was able to gather spots for 36 courageous and inspired mothers, women who showed up and spoke out in powerfully and articulately. On the last day of our UN experience together, we knew what we had to do. As we crammed together in our modest hotel dining area, we strategized our next steps. We knew we had to become an official nonprofit to spread our message broadly, and we knew that somehow we needed to become an official UN accredited organization that could bring that message to the halls of power year after year to gather together the good women of the world who believed in families like we did. As Ann Takasaki and many other pioneering women answered the call to gather and train women around the world to recognize their innate divine identities as a way to safeguard what is most precious to us, our faith, families, and maternal identities, we’ve not looked back since!

Women from around the world gathered for a photo with Big Ocean Women after their presentation at CSW in 2019

Fast forward nearly 10 years later, many more courageous leaders have answered that call! We have gathered even more of us, and have linked arms in this vital work. We are strengthening our collective faith, we are fortifying our families together, and we are leading out with our maternal gifts in unprecedented ways! Big Ocean Women has grown internationally with more than 25 active WAVE (Women Achieving Vast Empowerment) chapters and counting! Hundreds of women worldwide are gathering under this banner! In addition, we have been collaborating with trusted organizations to expedite our efforts as we engage with integrity in the various global crises that surround us. Now is the time!

An absolutely brilliant development has come about! For the first time ever, United Families International, with various partnering organizations, has created a conference parallel to the CSW, with the genius name Conference on the State of Women and Families, or “CSWF.” This conference will no doubt be a most welcomed breath of fresh air for pro-life/pro-family organizations who, because of our ideological perspectives, have been marginalized and some even outright bullied at CSW through the years. This new forum will legitimize and highlight values that resonate with SO many women of the world! Women who have been seeking and yearning for REAL solutions! Women who are tired of being talked at and revictimized by a system that only further exploits their hard situations. Please join us when we present our “Waves of Change” event that will highlight practical and truly sustainable solutions, March 13, 2024, from 3:30 pm – 4:45 pm, at the Millennium Hilton. We will be recording and sharing our presentation on social media and through our website for those following our work from home!