Women’s rights for the world: the UN’s Commission on the Status of Women

The sixty-seventh session of the UN’s Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) will take place in New York City at the UN Headquarters from 6 to 17 March 2023.

CSW is the largest gathering on women’s rights in the world. It gives global leaders, policy-makers and gender equality advocates the opportunity to come together and reflect on the progress that has been made, and what is still left to be done.

CSW is instrumental in promoting women’s rights, documenting the reality of women’s lives throughout the world, and shaping global standards on gender equality and the empowerment of women.

The Agreed Conclusions

One of the key parts of CSW each year is the ‘Agreed Conclusions’ to progress the priority theme – these are a list of soft-law agreements that all UN Member States feed into and take back to their home countries to implement.

The choice of words in these Agreed Conclusions is very important. The choice of words and phrases can mean the difference between countries actually having to take action, or can simply commit to a principle or idea with no follow-through. It can also determine who is included in policy – is the policy for just women, or women and girls? When it means access to resources, safety or knowledge, this distinction is critical.  

How does YWCA participate?

YWCA 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 and influencing the government.

While non-government organisations (like YWCA) are not able to participate in the actual negotiations for the Agreed Conclusions, we provide support and feedback to the Australian Government representatives on language and concepts that are important to be included.

This is a privileged position – many countries don’t engage with their civil society delegation in the way the Australian Government does. This access means we can advocate directly to key politicians and policy-makers on the issues most important to women in Australia.

Why CSW is important

Women’s rights have been hard-won and are constantly under threat. While we push for progress at CSW, there are regressive conservatives fighting for the opposite. That’s why it’s important for us to attend – to ensure the rights we have fought long and hard for remain, and to push for more progress towards gender equality.

CSW is also an opportunity for YWCA Australia to connect with World YWCA and other YWCAs around the world, along with other international gender equality advocates, to learn from and inspire one another on our mission to create a future where gender equality is a reality.

Want to get involved?

There is still time to get involved in YWCA’s CSW67 Virtual Experience, you’ll get access to:

  • NGO CSW virtual platform – the central hub of everything CSW, where you can find the calendar of parallel events and register your interest to attend
  • YWCA’s Virtual Experience Community, where you can connect with other YWCA virtual experience members
  • Updates from YWCA’s official NYC delegation on language negotiations
  • Recommendations from YWCA on what sessions to attend
  • YWCA-connected virtual events.

Sign up for YWCA’s CSW67 Virtual Experience

YWCA Australia wishes to acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the lands on which we work, live and play and pay our respects to Elders past and present. We recognise First Nations people as the custodians of the lands, seas and skies, with more than 60,000 years of wisdom, connection and relationship in caring for Country.

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