Our United Nations work

Promoting women's human rights at an international level is a priority for YWCA Australia. As part of our work, we engage with United Nations human rights mechanisms including:

Commission on the Status of Women

The United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is the principal global policy-making body dedicated exclusively to gender equality and advancement of women.

Every year, the Commission meets in New York to discuss gender equality and prepare recommendations for the United Nations Economic and Social Council.

The World YWCA has been participating in CSW since it was created in 1946, and each year a YWCA Australia delegation participates in the Commission.


CEDAW is the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, the international bill of rights for women.

CEDAW requires participating countries, including Australia, to put in place legal, policy and financial measures to protect women from discrimination and to uphold their rights. Participating countries must also report to the UN CEDAW Committee about their actions. Australia was last reviewed in July 2010 and is due to be reviewed again in 2014.

Current Parallel Report

YWCA Australia is currently coordinating the preparation of a CEDAW NGO parallel report for Australia's next CEDAW review under an Australian Government contract. 

Last Parallel Report

From 2008-2011, YWCA Australia was the lead agency on an Australian Government contract to develop a CEDAW NGO parallel report, an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women’s NGO CEDAW parallel report, and follow up materials.

YWCA Australia gratefully acknowledges the support of Women’s Legal Services NSW and Kingsford Legal Centre on the project.

» Find out more  about the last parallel reports

Universal Periodic Review

On 27 January 2011, the UN Human Rights Council reviewed Australia's human rights record under the new Universal Periodic Review (UPR) mechanism.

In 2010/11, YWCA Australia participated in the Australian NGO Joint Coalition and contributed to the development of the NGO Coalition’s UPR lobbying materials in relation to women's human rights.

» Read the UPR – Joint NGO Coalition Women's Rights Fact Sheet