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DATE : 16-04-26 14:54
Report on the 60th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW60)
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New York 14th -24th March 2016

Main Theme: Women’s empowerment and their link to sustainable development

Review Theme: The elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls


CSW60 was quieter than last year, not surprising as last year was the Beijing +20 review, the ending of the Millennium Development Goals and preparation for the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) later in the year.  I was not alone in feeling that CSW60 had a warm friendly atmosphere. It is about the best CSW of the nine I have attended.  ICW-CIF had a strong delegation of members accredited by ICW-CIF, affiliated National Councils with ECOSOC status and like-minded organisations. Many delegates had the opportunity to meet over dinner the evening prior to the opening of CSW. Then, during CSW, there was an opportunity to exchange information following the Morning Briefings.

In keeping with the main and review themes most side and parallel events focused on aspects of gender equality and the empowerment of women, also on all forms of discrimination, including violence, against women and girls, linking them to the 2030 Agenda. The two well received and attended ICW-CIF workshops focused on equality and empowerment of women:-. “Women in Power and Decision-Making” held in conjunction with the Korean National Council and sponsored by the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family, R.O.K. and “Transforming Society through Women’s Empowerment. ICW-CIF was also a co-sponsor of a number of parallel and side events focusing on one or other of the themes.. Much emphasis was placed on the SDGs/the 2030 Agenda. “Inclusiveness” - “that no one should be left behind” was often refer to (see para 13 of the final draft of the Agreed Conclusions). Emphasises was also put on the need for action/implementation rather just words.

Young women were visible giving valuable input to the proceedings. They are our future. The first ever CSW young women’s forum was held just prior to CSW60. It is now planned to have such a forum annually.

The campaign for the next Secretary-General of the UN to be a Woman was being promoted. An out-line of how the Secretary-Generals have been appointed was given at the last Morning Briefing A good thing of the campaign has been to highlight the great need to make the process and actual election  of the Secretary-General transparent and democratic.

The highlight of CSW60 for ICW-CIF was an audience with Secretary General H.E. Ban Ki-Moon. Eleven of us meet with him for 20 mins during which time we had a conversation around violence against women and girls.

It was a pleasure working with Dr Kim to prepare and then oversee the CSW60 programme. I thank Dr Kim and all who assisted in some way to make ICW-CIF’s participation successful.


There is still much work to be done to ensure “no one is left behind”.


Elisabeth Newman 

ICW-CIF Vice-President                                                                                                            April 2016





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