Update on the Preparations for the 66th Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW66)
Dates: 14th -25th March 2022
Venue: Hybrid (mostly virtual with limited physical meetings)
Priority Theme: Achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls in the context of climate change, environmental and disaster risk reduction policies and programs.
Review Theme: Women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work (agreed conclusions of the sixty-first session).
A. What is CSW?
The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is the global inter-governmental body dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. The CSW discusses progress and the gaps in the implementation of the 1995 Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the key global policy document on gender equality as well as emerging issues that affect gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. The outcomes of each session are forwarded to ECOSOC for follow up.
The principal output of the CSW is the Agreed Conclusions (AC) on the priority theme set for that year. The Agreed Conclusions contain an analysis of the priority theme and provides concrete recommendations for governments, intergovernmental bodies and other institutions, civil society actors and other relevant stakeholders, to be implemented at the international, national, regional and local level. Read more on CSW here.
This year, CSW will be reviewing the Methods of Work which will guide CSW for the next 5 years to ensure its more effective, impactful and strategic. Click here to read the Report of Secretary General on the Methods of Work.Kindly Note: In light of the pandemic, ALL CSW66 Side Events and Parallel Events will take place virtually. The official negotiations will be happening physically in New York with limited in-person participants. Please reach out to your government delegations for CSW66 accreditation to attend physically, though very limited slots are available.
B. How do I Register for CSW66?
The deadline for the registration of CSW66 is 13th March 2022. Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) that are accredited to the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) may designate representatives to attend. Please click here to register for CSW66. Please note, online registration is mandatory.
For physical participation (which is limited), women’s rights and civil society organizations are urged to seek Government accreditation. Attached is a letter co-signed by the Chair of the CSW and UN Women Executive Director urging governments to include women’s rights and civil society activists in their delegations. “We therefore call on your Government to consider including in your delegation gender equality advocates from civil society and women’s rights and youth groups, prioritizing those that work on critical human rights and gender equality issues including at grassroots levels.”
C. How Can I Engage, Contribute & Take Action Pre, During and Post CSW66?
The active participation of NGOs is a critical element in the work of the CSW. NGOs have been influential in shaping the current global policy framework on women’s empowerment and gender equality, they continue to play an important role in holding international and national leaders accountable for the commitments they made in the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. To check for eligibility, click here.
CSW should not been seen as a once-off event but rather as a process for influencing and getting international standards and norms on the priority theme and the emerging theme. It is a movement building space for women, girls, young women, gender non-conforming and all feminists, gender activists and advocates in all their diversity to converge, share, network and shape ground-breaking policy demands on the theme.
FEMNET under the umbrella of the NGO CSW/Africa convenes the Africa pre-CSW meetings in partnership with other regional women’s rights and youth networks. This convening facilitates effective participation and co-creation of strategies on the CSW theme from an African perspective. As an outcome, an African CSW position statement or declaration is produced and used as an advocacy tool for influencing the process with the respective policy makers.