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At U.N., Sister Neill F. Marriott says religion fosters leadership in young women

NEW YORK CITY — Religion as a whole and LDS Church Young Women programs in particular help teenage girls gain self-worth and confidence and grow into leaders, Sister Neill F. Marriott said at the United Nations on Thursday.

Sister Marriott, second counselor in the Young Women general presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, made her comments as a panel member during a meeting that was part of the final day of the 60th Commission on the Status of Women.

Tonight she will attend the women's session of the church's 185th annual general conference.

Sister Marriott said strong families undergird strong communities, cities and nations, according to a release issued by the church.

The panel was titled "Fostering World Leadership in Young Women Starting with the Role of the Mother," the release said. The panel's goal was to receive input on the ways different sectors of society support the role of mothers and help girls achieve their potential.

Sister Marriott said religion helps mothers spread their values and confidence to their daughters.

Other sectors were represented by panelists who focused on humanitarian aid, community activism and the daughter’s perspective.

One of the other panelists was Leslie Goldman, vice president of program and community engagement at the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. Goldman regularly works jointly with LDS Charities on relief efforts.

More than 100 people attended the session, most from international nongovernmental organizations.

The Commission on the Status of Women is dedicated exclusively to promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women, according to its brochure. The commission supports gender mainstreaming, which it defines as a strategy for assessing the implications of any legislation, policies or programs "so that women and men benefit equally and inequality is not perpetrated."