The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is the world's main policy-making body dedicated exclusively to gender equality and the advancement of women. It is part of the United Nations, and works to promote women's political, economic, civil, social and educational rights. The CSW also works for equality, development and peace, monitors whether measures are being implemented, and makes sure that gender issues are taken into account across the UN. It can also highlight urgent problems, such as the situation of women and girls affected by conflict.
An annual meeting for the representatives of member States is held in New York to assess progress, identify what remains to be done and formulate new policies.
We work closely with the Commission. For more than 10 years, IPU has held an annual parliamentary event at the CSW in partnership with UN Women. The event is linked to the main theme of the Commission’s session, and some the themes of recent events include: empowering parliaments to empower women (2017) and the capacity of the law to empower women and advance sustainable development (2016).
The event allows MPs to contribute to the work of the CSW and follow its debates. They can also learn from the wealth of information, exchanges and meetings that it generates. The event provides a parliamentary input to the Commission’s work, and so ensures that parliament’s voice is heard on issues of shared concern.
We also organize side events at the CSW, often with partner organizations. These events focus on issues that concern MPs attending the main parliamentary event and the Commission itself. Some of our side events have focused on parliament’s role in fighting sexism and violence against women MPs; increasing gender and youth quotas in parliament, advancing the women, peace and security agenda in the Arab region, combatting cyber violence against women, and the challenging world of women in politics.
The Commission also gives policy-makers a much better understanding of the overall UN process and strengthens their commitment to ensure national follow-up of the decisions taken at the CSW.