UN Women / CSW

The Commission on the Status of Women – CSW

The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW)  was established by ECOSOC resolution 11(II) of 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. Mandate

CSW is a functional commission of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). It is the principal global policy-making body dedicated exclusively to gender equality and advancement of women. 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 women’s empowerment worldwide.

The Commission meets annually for a period of 10 working days (late February-early March) at United Nations Headquarters in New York.

The Commission’s mandate was expanded in 1987 by ECOSOC resolution 1987/22 to include the functions of promoting the objectives of equality, development and peace, monitoring the implementation of measures for the advancement of women, and reviewing and appraising progress made at the national, subregional, regional  and global levels. Following the 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women, the General Assembly mandated the Commission to integrate into its programme a follow-up process to the Conference, regularly reviewing the critical areas of concern in the Beijing Platform for Action and to develop its catalytic role in mainstreaming a gender perspective in United Nations activities.

The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) again modified the Commission’s terms of reference in 1996, in its resolution 1996/6, deciding that the Commission should:
(a) Assist the Council in monitoring, reviewing and appraising progress achieved and problems encountered in the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action at all levels, and should advise the Council thereon;
(b) Continue to ensure support for mainstreaming a gender perspective in United Nations activities and develop further its catalytic role in that regard in other areas;
(c) Identify issues where United Nations system-wide coordination needed to be improved in order to assist the Council in its coordination function;
(d) Identify emerging issues, trends and new approaches to issues affecting the situation of women or equality between women and men that required consideration and make substantive recommendations thereon;
(e) Maintain and enhance public awareness and support for the implementation of the Platform for Action.

Gender Mainstreaming

Gender mainstreaming was endorsed as a strategy for promoting equality between women and men by the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995. The United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) adopted agreed conclusions 1997/2 on mainstreaming the gender perspective into all policies and programmes in the United Nations system at its coordination segment on 18 July 1997. The importance of the gender mainstreaming strategy was reiterated by the General Assembly at its twenty-third special session in June 2000 and in subsequent resolutions. In 2004, the Council reviewed the implementation of agreed conclusions 1997/2. The most recent resolution on gender mainstreaming was adopted at the 2006 substantive session of ECOSOC (Council resolution 2006/36).

“Gender mainstreaming is the process of assessing the implications for women and men of any planned action, including legislation, policies and programmes, in all areas and at all levels, and as a strategy for making women’s as well as men’s concerns and experiences an integral dimension of the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies and programmes in all political, economic and social spheres so that women and men benefit equally and inequality is not perpetuated. The ultimate goal is to achieve gender equality.” (ECOSOC 1997/2)

The Commission plays a catalytic role in promoting gender mainstreaming at national level and within the United Nations system. Its work has led to increased efforts to mainstream a gender perspective into the work of other functional commissions of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the work of the General Assembly on the human rights of women, as well as the work of the Security Council on women, peace and security.

Multi-year Programme of Work

The Commission elaborated a multi-year programme of work for the first time in 1987 (ECOSOC resolution 1987/24 of 26 May 1987).  In 1996, following the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, a multi-year programme of work was adopted for the period 1997-2000 (ECOSOC resolution 1996/6). Subsequent work programmes were adopted in 2001 (ECOSOC resolution 2001/4) and most recently in 2006 (ECOSOC resolution 2006/9), and most recently in 2009 (ECOSOC resolution 2009/15). Priority themes on the Commission’s agenda for the period 2010-2014 are:

  • 2010 – Review of the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the outcomes of the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly and its contribution to shaping a gender perspective towards the full realization of the Millennium Development Goals
  • 2011 – Access and participation of women and girls to education, training, science and technology, including for the promotion of women’s equal access to full employment and decent work
  • 2012 – The empowerment of rural women and their role in poverty and hunger eradication, development and current challenges
  • 2013 – Elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls
  • 2014 – Challenges and achievements in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals for women and girls

Output of the Commission

The principal output of the Commission on the Status of Women is the

agreed conclusions

on priority themes set for each year. Agreed conclusions contain an assessment of progress, as well as of gaps and challenges. In particular, they contain a set of concrete recommendations for action by Governments, intergovernmental bodies and other institutions, civil society actors and other relevant stakeholders, to be implemented at the international, national, regional and local level.

 

In addition to the agreed conclusions, the Commission also adopts a number of resolutions on a range of issues, including the situation of and assistance to Palestinian women; and women, the girl child and HIV and AIDS.
The annual report of the Commission is submitted to the Economic and Social Council for adoption.

CSW57

The fifty-seventh session of the Commission on the Status of Women will take place at United Nations Headquarters in New York from 4 to 15 March 2013.

The Programme for the two weeks can be found here

NGO participation in the Commission on the Status of Women

Please visit this page for NGO Registration and Participation Modalities

NGOs that are accredited to and in good standing with the United Nations Economic and Social Council, may designate representatives to attend the annual sessions of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW).

The number of representatives who can attend open official meetings can be contingent on the availability of space. Live webcasts of meetings will be provided via United Nations Webcast at http://www.un.org/webcast.

NGOs in consultative status with ECOSOC sending representatives to CSW57:

Sign up for the General Discussion – deliver a statement
Online sign up is open until 19 February 2013 for requests to deliver a statement during the general discussion.

Sign up for Expert Interactive Panels – be a discussant
Online sign up is open until 19 February 2013 for requests to participate from the floor any of the five expert interactive panels of the session:

Draft agreed Conclusions

The outcome of the Commission’s consideration of the priority theme takes the form of agreed conclusions, negotiated by all States.
» Draft agreed conclusions 8 February 2013 

CSW58 (2014): Challenges and achievements in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals for women and girls

Issue Paper CSW58  Issues paper