Gender equality-women’s empowerment: CSW68 sets a new path for women

Written by Dr. Florence Akano

The 68th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW68), which took place from March 11th to March 22nd, 2024, was a watershed event in the worldwide effort to achieve gender equality and empower women. CSW68, themed “Accelerating 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,” featured robust discussions, commitments, and actions aimed at transforming the global landscape of gender inequality.

CSW68 placed significant emphasis on the importance of feminist financing and collective action in addressing women’s economic justice. Generation Equality championed this cause, calling for groundbreaking solutions to promote gender equality and uphold women’s rights. Executive Director Sima Bahous from UN Women underscored the need for bold, proactive measures amidst dwindling support for organizations and movements that advocate for women’s rights.

The 2023 Accountability Report of the Generation Equality Action Coalition on Economic Justice and Rights (EJR) highlighted noteworthy advancements in fulfilling commitments towards economic justice and rights. An impressive 96% of these pledges remained on track, denoting a robust enthusiasm for bringing about transformative change. These vows addressed diverse facets, such as reforming the caregiving industry, guaranteeing good employment opportunities, enhancing accessibility to productive resources, and fostering inclusive policies concerning financial matters.

Youth Voices and Priorities

Youth leaders helped shape the debates at CSW68 by reflecting on their vision for eradicating poverty and achieving gender equality. Young women leaders emphasized the significance of education, grassroots groups, and youth advisory boards in effecting genuine change. Intersectionality, gender parity in leadership, and inclusive policymaking were identified as top concerns for youth participation.

The Youth Forum brought together a vibrant mosaic of more than 400 young leaders from across the globe, ranging from activists to experts with diverse experiences.

The CSW68 Youth Forum became a dynamic venue for youth-led advocacy and participation. The Forum brought together over 400 young leaders from various backgrounds to foster meaningful debate and concrete solutions for furthering gender equality and poverty eradication. Participants emphasized the ability of youth to shape the gender equality agenda, highlighting the need for inclusive policymaking and transformational change.

African Union’s Commitment

The African Union actively participated in CSW68 by pushing the African Common Position on Gender. High-level delegates stressed the importance of accelerating gender equality efforts, particularly in light of poverty and institutional restrictions. The AU’s involvement underscored the significance of collective action and international solidarity in addressing gender disparities effectively.

National Commitments and Initiatives

Numerous countries demonstrated their commitment and initiatives to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment. Nigeria highlighted its efforts to build institutions and increase funds for gender equity by emphasizing activities that support female entrepreneurs, improve agricultural efficiency, and implement societal welfare measures.

Despite economic constraints, Chad has steadfastly committed to advancing gender equality. The government has unveiled strategic initiatives to promote women’s social and economic empowerment, develop creativity and entrepreneurship among girls and women, and improve agricultural output.

Robust Blueprint for Ending Women’s Poverty

CSW68 concluded with strong promises from UN Member States to improve funds and institutions to end women’s and girls’ poverty. The Agreed Conclusions emphasized the critical need for additional resources, gender-responsive economic and social policies, and stronger support for women’s groups. The session emphasized the need of international collaboration and solidarity in attaining sustainable development and gender equality.

Looking Ahead: CSW69 and Beyond

Looking forward to March 2025, when CSW69 is set to take place, we can rely on another chance to build upon prior successes and commitments while renewing our global obligation to create an inclusive society that enables all girls and women to survive and thrive.

Overall, CSW68 played a crucial role in spurring concerted action and revolutionary growth by bringing together an array of stakeholders from different walks of life to expedite advancements towards gender equality and the empowerment of women. The consequences incurred from CSW68 serve as a framework for future initiatives underscored by inclusive policymaking practices, engagement with youngsters, and joint collaboration between countries to advance females’ rights and welfare universally.

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Dr. Florence Akano

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