CSW68, a key moment to strengthen international cooperation in favor of gender equality

The 68th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW68) is scheduled to take place from March 11 to March 22, 2024, serving as the United Nations’ largest annual gathering dedicated to gender equality and women’s empowerment. It will convene representatives from Members States, UN entities and ECOSOC-accredited non-governmental organizations worldwide. 

This year, the event focuses on “Speeding up the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls by addressing poverty and strengthening institutions and financing with a gender perspective.”

The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is the primary global intergovernmental body dedicated to promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment. Established in 1946 by the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) resolution 11(II), the CSW plays a crucial role in advocating for women’s rights worldwide, documenting their realities, and shaping global standards on gender equality and empowerment.

In a time when the world is at a critical juncture for gender equality, with 10.3% of women globally living in extreme poverty and progress towards ending poverty advancing slower than necessary to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, CSW68 aims to tackle these urgent issues.

The event underscores the immediate need for investment, with data showing a need for an additional $360 billion annually to achieve gender equality and women’s empowerment across key global objectives. This year, as millions of people exercise their voting rights worldwide, there is a unique opportunity to call for increased investment in gender equality.

CSW68 seeks to find solutions to eradicate women’s poverty, with a focus on investing in policies and programs that address gender disparities and promote women’s agency and leadership. Such investments have the potential to lift more than 100 million women and girls out of poverty, generate nearly 300 million jobs by 2035, and significantly increase GDP per capita in all regions.

The event’s agenda includes a series of sessions and forums aimed at facilitating discussions, partnerships, and initiatives to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment:

1. Opening Session:

  • Date: March 11, 2024
  • Time: 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
  • Description: The opening session will include the election of officers, the adoption of the agenda, and a general discussion on the follow-up to the Fourth World Conference on Women and the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly.

2. Generation Equality CSW68 Event:

  • Date: March 11, 2024
  • Time: 11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.
  • Description: Hosted by UN Women’s Generation Equality and the Economic Justice and Rights Action Coalition, this event will explore innovative approaches and solutions for financing women’s economic justice and rights and eradicating women’s poverty.

3. Youth Forum:

  • Dates: March 15-17, 2024
  • Description: UN Women will convene an annual CSW Youth Forum to engage young people in the Commission, providing them with a platform to interact with policymakers and express their priorities.

4. Financing Social Protection and Care Systems:

  • Date: March 18, 2024
  • Time: 3 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.
  • Description: A high-level panel will discuss how social protection can promote human rights, gender equality, and eradicate poverty, especially in the face of crises and shocks.

5. Multistakeholder Partnerships CSW68 Meeting:

  • Date: March 20, 2024
  • Time: 3 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.
  • Description: UN Women will convene a high-level side event to highlight multistakeholder partnerships that can accelerate gender equality gains.

CSW68 brings together governments, civil society groups, academics, and activists from all over the globe to agree on measures and investments that will end women’s poverty and achieve gender equality. It provides an important chance to address the issues and accelerate progress toward gender equality and women’s empowerment throughout the world.

Written by Olivier Noudjalbaye Dedingar, USA/UN Correspondent.

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Olivier Noudjalbaye Dedingar

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