The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) has run annually for the past 60 years and is one of the biggest annual conferences held by the United Nations. Each year, representatives of the world’s governments, together with NGOs and notable individuals, meet in the United Nations headquarters in New York to evaluate the progress of gender goals as a means of making the world a better place for women. Every year, a new theme is set for the following year’s work, which is then evaluated at a later CSW.
This year, from March 13 – 24, the CSW will take place for the 61st time, with the priority theme of the conference: “Women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work”. The conference will also assess the progress and achievements made following the CSW58 in 2014, where the main theme was: “Challenges and achievements in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals for women and girls”.
The CSW is officially run by UN Women, an organisation of the United Nations, which works towards gender equality as a means of empowering women and girls around the world. On the priority theme of this year’s CSW, Lakshmi Puri, the UN Women Deputy Executive Director, stated that “we must address and close the wide gender gaps that exist in terms of women’s labour force participation, wage, income pension, vulnerable and informal employment, social protection, unpaid care work and domestic work, entrepreneurship and leadership, sticky floors, glass walls and ceilings”.
2016’s CSW60 had several notable outcomes. One of which was a new program aimed at giving additional support to women in warzones. This is due to the fact that women and girls in warzones face great risk of sexual and gender-based violence, being taken into sex slavery, or being forced into underage marriage. This new program is being run by the United Nations Population Fund, who aim to better the on-the-ground response to armed conflict in relation to the needs of girls and women.
Another notable aspect of the CSW60 was a speech given by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in which he stated, “why [is it that] every time I say I’m a feminist the ‘twitterverse’ explodes and news ad media pick it up- it shouldn’t be something that creates a reaction. It simply is saying I believe in the equality of men and women, and I believe we still have an awful lot of work to do to get there”.
With the CSW61 just around the corner, many notable outcomes can be expected. Follow UN News to stay up-to-date with latest from the Commission on the Status of Women, and UN Women.