Women and Children

The International Presentation Association (IPA) is committed to the elimination of violence against women and children in all its forms, including human trafficking and forced marriages. This mission is demonstrated on all levels of the IPA, from our UN Advocacy Focus, which is the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Children, to the local engagements of Presentation Sisters and friends of Venerable Nano Nagle.


At the 7th IPA Assembly, we reaffirmed our commitment to respond to the cry of the poor by embracing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in a human rights framework, addressing the issues of Women and Children.

Providing Support to Women & Children

We strive to support women and children in vulnerable situations, listening to their stories, providing information, and referring them to appropriate agencies for support so that they are able to have informed and effective opportunities to participate in decision making. 


Discover more about our support to women and children by reading these heartwarming Stories of Support from around the world.


Stories of Impact: Entrepreneurship

Presentation People around the world invest in entrepreneurial opportunities for women and girls, helping them to achieve secure and successful lives.

Presentation People also invest in systems of volunteerism, organising people, resources, and time to help provide for the immediate needs of the most vulnerable.

This Story of Impact centers around a common theme of “milk” and will explore examples of entrepreneurship and volunteerism in the actions of Presentation Sisters in South India and Thailand.

Impact in Australia

In Australia, Presentation People are deeply engaged in support of ACRATH, the Australian Catholic Religions Against Trafficking in Humans, which focuses on its efforts to bring an end to human trafficking and forced marriage. This partnership illuminates the impact made when people of faith contribute to specialised organisations which further this work on national and local levels. 


In September 2022, ACRATH held a Fundraising and Awareness High Tea Project in Perth, Western Australia. It was organised by a committee of twelve, and 110 people attended.

“You often need money to be able to make a change, but you also need awareness, education and understanding […] This is especially important for organisations who receive no government funding and who have no corporate salaries […] key drivers are needed to keep action happening.” – Gemma Thomson

Some of the attendees at the High Tea Project in Perth, Western Australia
Gemma Thomson at the High Tea Project

Presentation Sisters at the Mexican Border

Marge Healy, PBVM, IPA Justice Contact from Dubuque, Iowa, spent one month in Nogales, Mexico supporting the Kino Border Initiative. This Initiative “strives to respond to the most critical needs by respecting the God-given dignity of the human person and by fostering bi-national solidarity through humanitarian assistance, education and research/advocacy.” Read her Story of Impact here.

A Glimmer of Hope in Debuque, Iowa

In keeping with our International Presentation Association commitment to end violence against women and children, the Presentation community helped sponsor “The Glimmer of Hope” evening, held as a fundraiser for the Dubuque Y Crisis Services Program (DYCS). The programme provides temporary emergency shelter & supportive services to victimized women and their families. At the October 27 event a new video was presented highlighting the work of the crisis service team and volunteers. 

Our Pledge to Women and Children

We pledge to honor and advance the rights of women and children by:

We strive to support women and children in vulnerable situations, listening to their stories, providing information, and referring them to appropriate agencies for support so that they are able to have informed and effective opportunities to participate in decision making.


IRELAND: In May 2022, Brian O’Toole, Justice Contact for England and Ireland moderated a webinar entitled “Ukraine Criss: Uniting Together in Service”. During the webinar, they called on the experience of the RENATE (Religious in Europe Networking Against Trafficking and Exploitation) members who are currently working at the borders of Hungary, Poland and Romania to describe the experiences and the risks posed in the chaos that ensues. Participants were told of traffickers turning up at the borders to entrap unsuspecting women and children and that they are largely being unchallenged. Additionally, they also heard from Ukrainian citizens who have travelled across the border into Romania and are now working with RENATE to assist in safeguarding vulnerable war refugees. This funding for this work has been quickly mobilised and disbursed by Misean Cara.


WESTERN AUSTRALIA: Along with many countries around the world, our Presentation Sisters and Presentation People are providing pastoral support at the grassroots to women and children in vulnerable circumstances. In her role as a Chaplain, Sister Terri Emslie from Western Australia supports students, parents and staff members in schools who are experiencing trauma, conflict, mental health issues or a range of other stressful situations. Sister Terri is well-resourced in that she is able to connect women and children in need to appropriate agencies for support e.g., housing, food, psychological support. A pragmatist with a big heart, she is creative in finding appropriate solutions to assist women and children experiencing challenges by tapping into community connections and adopting a multi-disciplinary team approach.


IRELAND: The Presentation Sisters in both the Northeast and Southwest Provinces of Ireland have offered to house Ukrainian families at a number of properties.  Accommodation is but part of the welcome, and following Nano’s example, we have ensured a warm, hospitable welcome that has been extended to the first group of 55 Ukrainians that are being housed in Fethard Convent, Co Tipperary. Additionally, Sisters are offering language classes and other pastoral supports as the needs arise.


PAPUA NEW GUINEA: Presentation Sisters in Papua New Guinea are working around the clock, often in very challenging and unsafe conditions, to combat Gender Based Violence. The Sisters provide a range of supports to women and children who are subject to violence, particularly in establishing short-term accommodation, pastoral and spiritual supports.

To cooperate with national and local authorities and international partners to strengthen the IPA network by training and workshops. 

Disseminating information and resources about the rights of women and children in need.

We strive to share a diverse range of information pertaining to injustices faced by women and children via a range of channels to ensure a far-reaching audience. We acknowledge, above all, the importance of women and children having equal access to information without prejudice.


WESTERN AUSTRALIA: In June 2021, the Year 11 Student Faith Formation Day at Iona Presentation College in Perth was re-envisaged and re-shaped to encourage the senior students to consider the important role they play in continuing Nano’s lantern work for justice, in a way that is Christ-centred and reflects their call as Presentation people to “speak and act in partnership with others for global justice from a contemplative stance in a spirit of oneness with the whole of creation” (Seventh Assembly, 2017). Throughout the day, the girls participated in six concurrent sessions structured around the IPA Education and Action for Justice Strategy Priority Areas – Women and Children, Care of the Earth, Indigenous and Tribal Peoples and Eliminating Violence against Women and Children. By hearing from Guest Speakers, the students were privy to a wide range of information pertaining to the injustices experienced by women and children and they were encouraged to reflect on how they can respond to the call of “shining the light” on these important issues.

To raise awareness of local people about their rights to lifelong learning through regular events such as a Nano Nagle Day, festivals and so on.


We strive to raise awareness about the injustices faced by women and children at the systemic level, locally, nationally, and globally, to educate our networks and wider society about its harmful impact on our modern world.


NEW YORK: The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW66) is an annual UN event dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women. The 66th CSW took place this year from March 14 – 22, 2022. The priority theme this year was ‘Achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls in the context of climate change, environmental and disaster risk reduction policies and programmes’. This event and its theme are central to the work and intention of the International Presentation Association given that our UN focus is to work for the elimination of violence against women and children.


AUSTRALIA: A significant number of Presentation Sisters and Presentation People across Australia play an active role in the Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans (ACRATH) at both a local State and National level. A Forced Marriage Project is underway across Australia, in schools and hospitals, places where community gathers, in parishes and parks. ACRATH continues to raise-awareness about the undignified practice wherever and wherever asked, in small and large groups, via meetings, lectures, Zoom, community radio, print media, social media. Inspired by the Declaration of Human rights (1948) Article 16 which sets down that ‘marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intended spouses’, and various UN Conventions preventing child, early and forced marriage, ACRATH declared the goal (2) to ‘eliminate forced marriage’ by raising awareness, leading actions regionally and nationally, advocating with government, working for systemic change at all scales and collaborating with counter trafficking networks widely. Presentation Sisters and People collaborating with ACRATH are further inspired to answer their ‘why’ by contributing to the fulfillment our national responsibilities to Sustainable Development Goal 5.3 which states that by 2030 the world aims to ‘Eliminate all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation’.

Advocacy for Women & Children at the UN

Women and girls from many communities can find it difficult to access education. Developing tailored, culturally and linguistically appropriate educational programmes for indigenous learners in particular should be a priority, as part of a strategy to deliver accessible and quality education for all.


Along with our education and support work at the grassroots level, we also advocate for the rights of women and children at the United Nations.

Woman and baby hugging

Resources for honouring the rights of Women & Children

File Type Published Download
CRC Review of Ireland | Brian O'Toole PDF 02/17/2023 Download
Stories of Impact: Women's Entreprenership and Volunteerism PDF 01/20/2023 Download
Joint Submission on the Rights of the Child Jan 2023 PDF 12/22/2022 Download
Presentation in Action | Kino Border Initiative, Mexico PDF 11/25/2022 Download
Stories of Impact from Australia PDF 11/11/2022 Download
Women and Children case studies June 2022 PDF 06/11/2022 Download
Making Uncomfortable Conversations Comfortable PDF 06/01/2022 Download
Red Dot Foundation | Safe City Project PDF 02/11/2022 Download
Prayer Service for St Josephine Bakhita Patron Saint of Sudan and Trafficked People PDF 01/28/2022 Download
CSW 61 Oral Statement on Economic Empowerment of Girls and Women in Poverty PDF 01/28/2022 Download
Agreed conclusions 51st session Elimination of Violence against the Girl Child PDF 01/28/2022 Download
Toolkit: Elimination of Violence Against Women & Children | Respond - Advocate - Prevent PDF 05/01/2021 Download
Statement to CSW 64th Session March 2020 PDF 03/01/2020 Download
2016 Garden of Dreams | Human Trafficking PDF 01/01/2016 Download