The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), established in 1946, is the United Nations highest forum on women’s issues. It meets annually to discuss critical and emerging issues concerning women globally.
CSW works to achieve equal rights for women and men by developing policy recommendations for the international community.
CSW also prepares resolutions on promoting women’s rights in political, economic, social, civil and educational fields, for consideration by the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
The Commission is made up of 45 member countries elected by ECOSOC for a period of four years. The Australian Government considers honouring its responsibilities as an international citizen a high priority and sends a high-level delegation to participate in CSW each year.
Australian NGO Guide to the Commission on the Status of Women
The Australian Government Office for Women has funded the development of a guide for non‑government organisations (NGOs) participating in annual sessions of the Commission on the Status of Women.
The Guide is designed as a practical toolkit offering a comprehensive overview of CSW as well as providing practical advice on the role of NGOs at CSW, requirements for participation and other logistical considerations.
This Guide was developed by JERA International and is available from the JERA website. The Office for Women thanks all those organisations that contributed to the development of the Guide.
57th Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women
The fifty-seventh session of the Commission on the Status of Women took place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from 4 to 15 March 2013. In 2013, the Commission considered:
- Priority Theme: Elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls
- Review Theme: The equal sharing of responsibilities between women and men, including caregiving in the context of HIV/AIDS (agreed conclusions from the fifty-third session)
- Emerging issue: Key gender equality issues to be reflected in the post-2015 development framework
The Australian Government co-sponsored two side events related to the priority theme on:
- Engaging men and boys to prevent violence against women and girls
- Using new technology and social media to address violence against women and girls
The Minister for the Status of Women, the Hon Julie Collins MP, led the Australian delegation to CSW57, along with the Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Elizabeth Broderick and the Global Ambassador for Women and Girls, Penny Williams.
Minister Collins delivered Australia’s Country Statement at CSW
NGO Participation on the Australian Government Delegation
The Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) sought applications to participate in the official Australian Government delegation to the 57th session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW 57).
In 2013 the Government funded four delegates including one Indigenous delegate to participate on the Australian delegation.
- Michelle Deshong, Joint Project Officer of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women’s Alliance;
- Adut Zita Deng Ngor, National Advisor on Domestic Violence for Australian Migrant and Refugee Women’s Alliance;
- Rebecca Vassarotti, Executive Director of YWCA of Canberra; and
- Karin Swift, President of Women with Disabilities Australia.
Australia includes NGOs on the official delegation to:
- ensure a broad range of women’s views are represented on the delegation
- provide advice from a non-government perspective
- act as liaison points between Australian non-government organisations and government officials on the delegation
- inform interested individuals or non-government organisations about their experience at CSW, and
- engage their networks in the CSW process in future years.
CSW 57 Agreed Conclusions
The Agreed Conclusions from CSW57 highlight the importance of addressing the priority theme of the elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls and call on governments to take appropriate action to protect and promote the rights of women and girls.
A full copy of the Agreed Conclusions for CSW 57 can be found at:
Agreed Conclusions from all sessions of the Commission on the Status of Women can be found on the United National Division for Advancement of Women website.
CSW 57 Email List
Post CSW 57 and in the lead up to CSW 58, the Office for Women would continue to keep in touch with all those from Australia with an interest in the CSW process, including those who are intending to participate in CSW in 2014 via, the CSW email list.
If you would like to be included on this list please send an email to WomensBranchInternational@dss.gov.au. Please note that email addresses on the mailing list will be shared with others on the list to facilitate information sharing among NGOs and individuals with an interest in CSW 58.
Further information on the Australian Government delegation participation in previous CSW’s can be found at:
- 56th Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women
- 55th Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women
- 54th Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women
- 53rd Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women
Australia’s Country Statements
- 2012 – The empowerment of rural women and their role in poverty and hunger eradication, development and current challenges
- 2011 - Access and participation of women and girls to education, training, science and technology, including for the promotion of women’s equal access to full employment and decent work
- 2010 - Beijing +15 marking the 15th anniversary Beijing Platform for Action adopted at the 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women.
- 2009 - The Equal Sharing of Responsibilities between women and men, including care-giving in the context of HIV/AIDS
- 2008 - Financing gender equality
- 2007 - Eliminating all forms of discrimination and violence against the girl-child
- 2006 - Equal participation of women in decision-making and women in development
- 2005 - Beijing +10 marking the tenth anniversary of the Beijing Platform for Action adopted at the 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women.
- 2004 - Conflict prevention, management and resolution and post-conflict peace-building and the role of men and boys
- 2003 - Participation and access of women to the media and the elimination of violence against women and girls
- 2002 - Eradicating poverty, including through the empowerment of women and environmental management
- 2001 - Women, the girl child and HIV/AIDS and all forms of discrimination
Australia’s Discussion Papers