UN Commission on the Status of Women: How is Civil Society Involved?
By admin February 2, 2018

United Nations Headquarters in New York will host the 62nd Commission on the Status of Women (CSW62) from March 12th to 23rd; this year’s priority theme is “challenges and opportunities in achieving gender equality and the empowerment of rural women and girls.”  CSW62 has a review theme as well: “participation in and access of women to the media, and information and communications technologies and their impact on and use as an instrument for the advancement and empowerment of women.” The review themes are former priority themes intended to address the progress made by the UN Member States since the year the Commission discussed the related issues and made commitments. Both Member States representatives and the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) accredited NGOs from around the world can attend the Commission and contribute to the development of the Agreed Conclusions, the outcome of the Commission’s work on the priority theme negotiated by all Member States.

As a part of the efforts to help civil society become engaged in the UN’s work on issues related to women’s rights as well as to increase the chance of NGOs’ advocacy at the UN, multiple formats and platforms have been developed to ensure representation of women’s rights advocates from the non-profit sector.

Besides NGOs’ opportunity to register for the CSW62, attend the events at the headquarters and address the commission, NGOs have the chance to participate in an affiliated but separate platform of women’s rights advocacy – the NGO Committee on the Status of Women (NGO CSW) forum that takes place in parallel to CSW62.

NGO CSW is a member-based organization with more than 100 organizations and individuals that advocate for women’s rights and work with UN Women and UN CSW on the issues related to the status of women. The NGO CSW forum includes a wide variety of activities: the consultation day, which sets the stage for the CSW and facilitates communication between the attending members, the reception, the artisan fair, the rally and the parallel events.

Besides the main activities at the NGO CSW forum, the eight interns of NGO CSW/NY from Nepal, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the United Kingdom, Pakistan, Italy, China, Colombia and the United States prepared and distributed the UN General Assembly Gender Mapping Report 2017. The brochure collects and analyzes the UN member states stances on gender issues. The document includes thematic sessions and, wherever possible, full quotations from the UN Member States’ representatives addresses on relevant topics.

The Report has sections on gender equality and women’s empowerment, refugees/migrant women in conflict, climate change and gender, youth rights and inclusion, education, health, poverty, indigenous people and next steps toward gender equality. The 73-page document is intended to serve as an advocacy tool for civil society when addressing the Member States’ representatives or lobbying for change in their strategies related to gender issues.

Civil Society Organizations can be involved in the work of the commission and influence its agreed conclusions – the final report on the Commission’s work – by registering for a chance to address the UN Member States representatives during an interactive panel. The full list of the interactive panels as well as the two-week schedule of the Commission can be found on the UN Women website.

Unlike the CSW62 events at the UN headquarters, the NGO CSW parallel events are free to public; anyone interested in the issues can choose an event from more than 400 parallel events registered to be held around New York City this Spring.



Thanks for sharing !

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