The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is a functional commission of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), dedicated exclusively to gender equality and advancement of women. It is the principal global policy-making body. Every year, representatives of Member States gather at United Nations Headquarters in New York to evaluate progress on gender equality, identify challenges, set global standards and formulate concrete policies to promote gender equality and advancement of women worldwide.
The Commission was established on 21 June 1946 with the aim to prepare recommendations and reports to the Council on promoting women's rights in political, economic, civil, social and educational fields. The Commission also makes recommendations to the Council on urgent problems requiring immediate attention in the field of women's rights. More information on CSW can be accessed via the following link: http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/csw/index.html
CSW is one of the key international work areas of the WNC. Its main role has been to shadow the activities of the UK Government delegation to CSW and facilitate between UK NGOs and the UK Government delegation during annual meetings of CSW held at the United Nations in New York.
54th CSW Session - 2010
Next year's CSW will be held from 1 - 12 March in New York. 2010 marks the 15th anniversary of the Beijing Platform for Action, and as such this will be the theme of CSW 54.
Further details on WNC's involvement in CSW54 will appear here shortly.
53rd CSW Session - 2009
The 53rd Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) took place at the United Nations (UN) in New York from Monday 2 March to Friday 13 March 2009.
The priority theme examined was: (i) The equal sharing of responsibilities between women and men, including caregiving in the context of HIV/AIDS
The review theme was: (ii) Equal participation of women and men in decision-making processes at all levels.
Emerging issue: (iii) Gender perspectives of the financial crisis.
WNC Chair Baroness Joyce Gould and Director Barbara Collins represented the WNC at CSW this year along with WNC Commissioner and feminist broadcaster Beatrix Campbell, who was the keynote speaker at WNC’s very successful parallel side event held at the Church Centre on Tuesday 3rd March entitled: Who Cares? The complexities of gendered caring in modern society.
Also on the panel were Elizabeth Gardiner from Working Families Organisation and Wiveca Holst from the Swedish Women’s Lobby, covering the following themes: childcare provision, flexible working, carers, leave arrangements, the sandwich generation, shared responsibilities between men and women and the impact of the global recession on parents in the UK and Sweden.
The WNC also submitted a written statement to the Commission highlighting the situation in the UK.
There were successful side events hosted by a number of WNC partner organisations, including; National Alliance of Women’s Organisations, UNIFEM, Hope Medical Enterprises, Widows for Peace Through Democracy and the International Council of Jewish Women to name a few. The majority of these events were held in the first week.
In week two, WNC Director Barbara Collins, working closely with colleagues at the UK Mission to the United Nations, was actively engaged in feeding in the UK’s position on the Agreed Conclusions. This process was made possible following the highly successful stakeholder events held during February and March in the four nations, whereby comments and contributions from participants were synthesised and used to influence the direction of the emerging text.
The WNC has already begun moving forward with plans for next year’s theme which will be Beijing + 15. Details of WNC’s planned activities and preparations will be available on the website later in the year.
52nd CSW Session- 2008
Last year's CSW session was held from 25 February - 7 March 2008. The WNC, together with the Government Equalities Office (GEO), hosted a Pre-CSW meeting to ensure the voice of UK women was present prior to and during the session.
The thematic focuses of CSW 52 were:
1. Financing for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women; and
2. Women’s equal participation in conflict prevention, management and conflict resolution and in post-conflict peacebuilding.
More detailed information on WNC’s activities at the 52nd CSW session and earlier sessions can be viewed by accessing the links below:
Details of WNC’s involvement in earlier CSW sessions could be found in the International Work Archive section of the website.