Thursday, February 2, 2017


The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is at once the symbol of all that is possible for feminism at the UN and emblematic of all that is wrong with the system as it currently stands. It, and UN Women, should be a platform for civil society activists to access the UN, petition for their states to act, and to work in coalition to meet common goals. Both have been a shrinking space for civil society and marked by an increasing influence by the private sector—corporations and private foundations-- including through direct committee dialogue with the agency’s leadership. 

  • Š Reform annual meetings of CSW to increase intentional spaces for civil society dialogue. For starters, declare that negotiations will not take place in advance of the actual meeting, effectively shutting out civil society voices, 
  • Š Announce at CSW61 that the 2018 CSW will take place outside of New York City, and in a developing country, alternating between New York and UN regions thereafter. This will allow for those who may not be able to obtain visas or funding to get to CSW access this important platform, and discourage the domination of elite voices. 
  • Empower gender ministers to negotiate the outcome documents, and encourage a narrower focus on specific women’s rights and gender equality issues that foster specific commitments by dutybearers.
  • Š Convene a plural advisory council that allows for rotating representatives of civil society, unions, and the private sector to engage directly with UN Women and each other in support of UN Women´s mandate.
  • The International Labour Organization implemented a tripartite model of shared leadership by UN,corporations and workers in order to afford equal opportunity for private, public and worker voices which could be used as a model.

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