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Women UNlimited - commission on the status of women

The UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is dedicated exclusively to gender equality and the advancement of women. It is the principal global policy-making body, and meets in New York every year.

 

How will President Trump’s administration affect women and girls across the world?

Alongside this year’s UN CSW, we asked women doing gender work across the globe how US President Donald Trump’s administration might affect their region.

'Faith and family': shrinking common ground at the UN CSW

The Worldwide Organization for Women took a hard line against all forms of comprehensive sexual education, often provided by UN bodies, highlighting ideological differences within the CSW.

The new UN secretary general is poised to show the world what a feminist looks like

There has been real progress at this year's UN Commission on the Status of Women, and the new Secretary General has asked women around the world to "keep our feet to the fire". 

Without global solidarity the women’s movement will collapse

Borders are closing across the world, blocking women from the Global South both from seeking refuge, having a voice and working on global gender justice.

Who runs the world? Girls! Not at the UN CSW

At this year's UN Commission on the Status of Women, the empowerment of girls is getting more attention than ever before. But the outcome document must demand that girls get to speak for themselves.

PR, profit and ‘empowering women’ in the garment industry

How can a global garment value chain that relies on the systemic devaluation of female labour be expected to fulfil promises of empowerment for women informal workers? It can’t. Here’s why.

Queer and trans issues are sidelined again at the United Nations CSW

The language of sexual orientation and gender identity remains absent from the draft conclusions of the Commission on the Status of Women, despite progress made by LBTI advocates.

Indigenous women brave the storm to begin talks at UN CSW

Despite the winter storm that shut down other events at the UN Commission on the Status of Women, the event on eradicating violence against indigenous women and girls was packed.

No borders on gender justice

As the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) takes place in New York, gender justice advocates from around the world are uniting around the following principles.

Standing our ground at the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW)

When civic space is under attack, we make no dangerous accommodations. We stand up, and we fight back.

Trump's slap in the face of Lady Liberty

Will women be turned away from the UN Commission on the Status of Women, to be held in March, in New York? The world's global institutions must fight the 'Muslim Ban', starting with the United Nations.

UN CSW: debating women’s reproductive rights or a “culture of death” ?

In a cynical ploy, conservative religious groups based in the Global North now frame reproductive rights advocacy in the Global South as the neocolonialist imposition of a uniquely western value system.

UN CSW: engaging men and boys in ending violence against women as allies not protectors

Without a feminist lens, the expanding efforts to work with men and boys to promote gender justice are often patronizing and reinforce the idea that women need protection by men.

UN CSW: ending impunity for gender-based crimes against women refugees

The CSW has called on UN member states to "address sexual and gender-based violence as an integral and prioritized part of every humanitarian response". Civil society groups expected more.

UN CSW: the way to empower women is to use CEDAW Article 5, not the CSW

The most effective international mechanism to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment is not the cumbersome UN CSW, it’s CEDAW, and it’s time to use it to make governments accountable.

UN CSW: still failing to count all women

When will the CSW agree that without counting everyone, transwomen, lesbians and bisexuals included, gender equality will remain out of reach?

Berta’s struggle is our global struggle…

Berta Cáceres’s assassination is a painful reminder of the way in which a trinity of corporate, government and military interests creates a tapestry of capitalist power structures, making for an often deadly struggle.

CSW: groundbreaking US support for sexual rights

With the 60th UN Commission on the Status of Women underway in New York, the decision by the US to support sexual and reproductive health and rights - at last - presents a real opportunity to move the agenda forward.

Lives of endurance: sanitizing crime against girls

How much longer will it take the global community to recognise the human dignity and worth of the girl child, and ensure the full enjoyment of her human rights and fundamental freedoms? 

Awake to the challenge: African women's leadership at Beijing+20

If you randomly pick a person on the street in a remote part of any African country and ask them what they know about women’s rights, whatever the tone of voice - angry or excited, they are likely to mention “Beijing”.

CSW: the vital need to defend women human rights defenders

We deserve that you put aside your ideological, political and religious differences and fully recognize and affirm the human rights of women and girls and gender justice. Nothing less. Lydia Alpizar speaking at the UN CSW

The "best time to be born female": the worst to be a feminist advocate

Twenty years after the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action - a pivotal moment in the women’s human rights movement - governments are arguably less able to serve as torch-bearers than celebrities, philanthropists and popular icons.

Movements, money and social change: how to advance women’s rights

At the UN CSW underway in New York, a statement signed by almost 1000 women’s rights organizations calls out the lack of ambition for the scale of the issues at stake, and for real resources and accountability.

Reclaiming feminist visions of empowerment

Glib and glossy visions of women’s empowerment, designed to avoid actual power structures, are being avidly promoted by corporations and the development industry alike. A new book by Srilatha Batliwala reminds us of what lies at the heart of feminist empowerment work.

CSW: Arguments for reducing the intense time burden of women's unpaid care work

Unpaid care work is one of the major barriers to women's rights, economic empowerment and poverty reduction. Will the work of the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty, and the frantic efforts of women's rights advocates at the CSW in New York this week, get unpaid care work on to the post-2015 agenda ?

CSW weather vane: fault lines and prospects for women's human rights

As battles over women’s human rights rage on around the world, governments have gathered in New York this week to set some definitive agreements at the UN’s annual Commission on the Status of Women

A war against women: The CSW declaration and the Muslim Brotherhood riposte

The statement issued by the Muslim Brotherhood in response to the UN Commission on the Status of Women draft Agreed Conclusions on violence against women, is nothing short of an assault on their most basic rights as citizens and human beings, says Hoda Elsadda ,

CSW: resisting the backlash against women's human rights

Women's rights activists spent two hard weeks at the Commission on the Status of Women pushing back against fundamentalist opposition and the attempt to roll back women's human rights. Susan Tolmay reports on the battles which resulted in the advancement of women's rights in this year's Agreed Conclusions.

CSW on balance: did we win?

There is much to celebrate from this year’s CSW, but the failure to call for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls to be included as a priority in the post 2015 framework, is a clear sign that our work is far from over, says Zohra Moosa

Women and the post-2015 agenda: are you on board the ark?

With the roller-coaster of the CSW just finished and the resignation of UNWomen Director Michelle Bachelet, the next year promises stormy seas ahead for setting the future agenda for women’s rights. Alice Welbourn sets out some priorities for civil society in relation to HIV, gender-based violence and sexual and reproductive rights.

CSW : will the global women's rights movement prevail?

“Violence against women and girls is not in anyone's culture, tradition or religion. This is about power, inequality, a lack of political will and courage to work towards a better world," says Shareen Gokal. Will those with the political will to end violence against women and girls prevail in the final hours of the CSW? 

CSW: it's time to question the Vatican's power at the UN

In the final days of the UN Commission on the Status of Women summit on eliminating violence against women and girls, the Vatican, in alliance with Iran, Syria and Russia, is working to roll-back agreement on women’s rights. No other religious institution or special interest group has this level of influence in UN negotiations. 

CSW: The UN is nothing without being global

Agendas driven by political alignments, issues of sovereignty, the secular versus the non-secular, and donor versus recipient countries, continue to inform the debate at the CSW. Ten years ago, no agreement was reached on how to prevent and eliminate violence against women and girls. What are the prospects for agreement this time ? 

Sex work, violence and HIV: experience from rural Karnataka

In the final days of the CSW meeting in New York, arguments over the language to be used in the Outcome Document are continuing, with some States refusing to acknowledge the existence of intimate partner violence in spite of widespread scientific evidence and testimony from victims of violence.  

CSW: will there be an Agreed Conclusion to the CSW this year?

As the CSW enters its final week, the political agendas of different countries are reflected in the deep divisions over how to prevent and eliminate violence against women and girls. Furious arguments are going on over the use of language: 'harmful practices' or 'traditional harmful practises', 'girl' or 'child'? 

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