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2019 Review of the Beijing Declaration (1995)

Australia is part of the ongoing Australian Civil Society monitoring and evaluation of women’s rights commitments made by the Australian Government and Civil Society to the advancement of women through use of agreed strategies from the 1995 Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (BPFA), and the Beijing+5 Outcomes Document (2000).

YWCA is proud to have contributed to the Working Together for Equality Beijing+25 Review 2019, along with 51 fellow organisations, networks, alliances and individuals in the NGO sector.

The purpose of this document is to measure Australia’s progress in the last 5 years (2014 – 2019) against the BPFA 25 years since it was agreed in 1995. The report builds on the findings from the B+20, B+15, B+10 and B+5 civil society Australian reviews of the BPFA and presents collaborative thought, analysis and advocacy for the advancement of women and girls in all their diversity to achieve gender equality in Australia.

The Caucus consists of 51 organisations, networks, alliances and individuals, we extend our thanks to ERA, Australian Women Against Violence Alliance (AWAVA) ,Women with Disabilities Australia (WWDA, NRWC, APWW, NCOSMC, economic Security4Women (eS4W), Australian Women’s Health Network, Soroptimist International, Women Peace and Security Coalition & Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), Australian Graduate Women (AGW), Harmony Alliance Migrant and Refugee Women for Change, Settlement Services International (SSI), International Women’s Development Agency (IWDA) Women in Adult and Vocational Education (WAVE), African Women of Australia (AWAU) and International Access Networks (I-A-N).

Commission on the Status of Women

The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is the chief intergovernmental meeting dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women. During the Commission’s annual two-week session, representatives of United Nations (UN) Member states, civil society and UN agencies meet at the UN HQ in New York to discuss progress for women’s rights and negotiate the outcome document of the Commission.

CSW is the central policy making body on women’s rights and gender equality at the United Nations. CSW promotes and monitors women’s rights around the world and is a functional commission of the UN’s Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). The main outcome achieved at CSW is the Agreed Conclusions, international soft law commitments for governments to implement domestically.

Agreed Conclusions are reached through weeks of negotiations both in the lead up to and at CSW. These negotiations take place among government delegations of the 193 member states of the United Nations.

What does YWCA Australia do at CSW?

YWCA Australia forms part of Australia’s civil society delegation. As a country, Australia has a very large and active civil society delegation that plays an important role in supporting the government in the negotiating process as well as advocating on issues of importance. Throughout the CSW conference, civil society also engage in various networking and meeting functions, attend and host parallel events and advocate through caucuses and other bodies.

CSW provides a unique opportunity for YWCA Australia to meaningfully and effectively engage in domestic and international advocacy aligning with our strategic priorities, connect, share and amplify our voices with the World YWCA sisterhood and increase awareness of the importance in civil society, particularly young women engaging in the commissions work.