ICUUW Wrap-Up and International Sex Education

What a weekend!

This International Convocation of Unitarian Universalist Women (ICUUW) has brought together so many amazing women who do so many amazing things that I have simply not been able to keep up.  I am also quite sleepy from staying up far too late with the young people and getting up far too early with the older people!

I have been going all day for three days, hearing about education in the Khasi Hills area of India, about building schools, homes, and health care centers for the homeless in Brazil, about feminist understanding of economy, about indigenous groups around the world, and about microfinancing.  It has been a revolutionary experience.

In addition to these amazing theme speakers, plus all of the amazing workshops (I’ll get to what I did in mine later in the week, Paul!), we have participated in a process called the Global Sisters Project.  The process started by gathering in small groups and thinking about and brainstorming about issues that affect women worldwide.  There were so very many!  These were whittled down, first to ten, and then to three areas of focus and action:
•    Education
•    Violence
•    Health Care

We decided to look at these through topics through two lenses:
•    Poverty
•    Empowerment

We then gathered again to think about these areas of focus and action through these lenses in order to come up with specific actions that we participants and other people can start working on immediately, but looking at long-term results rather than immediate ones.

The idea that resonated most strongly, both professionally and emotionally, for me, is the call to create international sex education programs.  This work came under the topic of violence, because it is clear that sex education that includes work on gender, safe relationships, and so much more, truly reduces violence against girls and women.

During this weekend, I have had the pleasure of talking with women about sex education in Nicaragua and Brazil in some depth, and to a lesser extent in India, England, and worldwide indigenous groups.  I am so energized by this work, and I hope to support this initiative as the ICUUW moves forward with this work.

About Karen Rayne

Dr. Karen Rayne has been supporting parents and families since 2007 when she received her PhD in Educational Psychology. A specialist in child wellbeing, Dr. Rayne has spent much of her career supporting parents, teachers, and other adults who care for children and teenagers.


  1. International sex education programs sounds like an excellent idea! So far as I can see, people are not empowered unless they have control over their reproduction.

  2. Sounds like an amazing conference!

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