CSW67: World prepares for high-level meetings on women’s affairs at the UN Headquarters.

The sixty-seventh session of the Commission on the Status of Women is set to convene from March 6th to March 17th, 2023, and will deliberate on the pressing theme of “Innovation and Technological Change, and Education in the Digital Age for Achieving Gender Equality and the Empowerment of All Women and Girls”.

This paramount gathering of minds promises to be an essential step towards achieving gender equality and empowering women and girls worldwide through innovative and technological solutions.

In addition to the primary agenda, the session will also undertake a review of the agreed conclusions reached during the sixty-second session, which centred on “Challenges and Opportunities in Achieving Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Rural Women and Girls.” This reflective exercise will help build on past achievements, furthering the Commission’s efforts towards realizing gender equality and women’s empowerment, especially in rural areas.

What is CSW?

Established in 1946 by a resolution of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), is the largest annual gathering dedicated to advancing gender equality and empowering women. As the premier intergovernmental body for this cause, its efforts have been instrumental in bringing attention to issues of gender discrimination and promoting women’s rights across the globe. The CSW is further supported by the invaluable secretariat provided by UN Women.

Female African dignitaries speaking ahead of the conference. Photo: UNEP

Why CSW?

At the heart of the CSW’s mission is the advancement of gender equality and women’s empowerment. To achieve this, the Commission engages in a three-pronged approach that involves reviewing past achievements, identifying challenges, and developing policy recommendations on women’s rights. Each year, the CSW focuses on a priority theme, providing a unique forum for representatives of Member States, United Nations entities, international organizations, non-governmental organizations, and civil society worldwide to come together to discuss gender equality issues.

At the conclusion of each session, Member States reach common ground by adopting agreed conclusions that outline their joint positions and recommendations on the annual theme and broader gender equality issues. These conclusions aim to inspire governments, intergovernmental bodies, civil society, and other stakeholders to take action towards improving the status of women. The CSW’s efforts have been instrumental in empowering women and bringing us closer to a more equal and just world for all.

How will this year’s event hold?

The session is set to commence at the UN Headquarters in New York, with a ministerial segment from March 6th to 7th, comprising a general discussion, ministerial round tables, and a “Women, Peace, and Security” debate at the Security Council. Furthermore, over 500 events hosted by civil society representatives will accompany the official program, providing a diverse range of perspectives and experiences on gender equality and women’s empowerment.

In contrast to prior sessions held either virtually or in a hybrid format in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s CSW will take place entirely in person, underscoring the importance of face-to-face collaboration in advancing gender equality globally.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield has been appointed Head of Delegation and will deliver the national statement on behalf of the United States during CSW high-level week’s General Discussion on March 7th. The Alternate Representatives will be Jennifer Klein, Director of the White House Gender Policy Council, and Ambassador Lisa Carty, Representative of the United States to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.

Accompanying Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield are several senior government advisors from the Department of State, including Katrina Fotovat, Senior Official in the Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues, Rina Amiri, Special Envoy for Afghan Women, Girls, and Human Rights, and Allison Lombardo, Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Organizations. Moreover, the Permanent U.S. Delegation works closely with a diverse range of experts across the U.S. government to advance this year’s priority theme.

The US delegates will hold two side events. On March 9th at 1:15 p.m. EST, the United States will hold an event entitled “Accelerating Gender Equality in the Digital Economy,” during which it will reveal its plan to launch a significant new initiative aimed at focusing on evidence and data to accelerate proven solutions and strategies for advancing digital gender equality. The initiative will draw attention to important issues and offer a platform for the exchange of ideas to help bridge the digital divide and promote gender equality. On March 10th at 1 p.m. EST, the United States, in partnership with senior leaders from UNFPA, UNICEF, and UN Women, as well as the Association for Progressive Communication, the Government of Denmark, and co-sponsorship by the Global Partnership, will host an event titled “Catalyzing Collective Action to End Technology-Facilitated Gender-Based Violence.” The event aims to promote progress towards ending gender-based online harassment and abuse, in collaboration with partner countries, and will help build momentum for President Biden’s second Summit for Democracy on March 29-30.

About the author

Olivier Noudjalbaye Dedingar

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