The Commission on the Status of Women (hereafter referred to as “CSW” or “the Commission”) is a functional commission of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), dedicated exclusively to gender equality and advancement of women. It is the principal global policy-making body.

Every year, representatives of Member States gather at United Nations Headquarters in New York to evaluate progress on gender equality, identify challenges, set global standards and formulate concrete policies to promote gender equality and advancement of women worldwide.

For information regarding the previous CSW February 22 to March 4 2011 go to Commission for the Status of Women 55th Session.

Usually, informal consultations on the negotiation of outcomes (decisions, resolutions and agreed conclusions) are restricted to government delegates. The chairperson sometimes allows NGO representatives to observe informal consultations.

Live webcasts of meetings will be provided via United Nations Webcast at

1. JERA International is supporting and partially sponsoring 4 young women from the Asia Pacific region including Fiji, Sri Lanka, and Australia, as part of it’s ‘Strengthening  Leadership’ program




One of these young women, Sarah Keenan, is writing a blog detailing her experience attending CSW for the first time. Read about her experiences here

2. CSW56 Resolutions













CSW 56th Session

The fifty-sixth session of the Commission on the Status of Women will take place at United Nations Headquarters in New York from Monday, 27 February to Friday, 9 March 2012.

Priority theme
The empowerment of rural women and their role in poverty and hunger eradication, development and current challenges


Review theme
Financing for gender equality and the empowerment of women (agreed conclusions from the fifty-second session)

The Bureau for the 56th session comprises the following members:

    • H.E. Ms. Marjon V. Kamara (Liberia) of the African States Group, Chair
    • Ms. Anne Hernando (Philippines, nominated) of the Asia-Pacific States Group, Vice-Chair
    • Ms. Irina Velichko (Belarus) of the Eastern European States Group, Vice-Chair
    • Mr. Carlos Garcia Gonzalez (El Salvador) of the Latin American and Caribbean States Group, Vice-Chair
    • Mr. Filippo Cinti (Italy, nominated), Western European and other States Group, Vice-Chair

The 2 week Agenda

> In accordance with its multi-year programme of work (ECOSOC resolution 2009/15), the Commission’s two-week session can be found here.

preparatory expert panel on the priority theme was held during the fifty-fifth session of the Commission on Thursday, 24 February 2011.

» Watch the video
» More information

7-8 Dec: Fifth GA High-level Dialogue on Financing for Development


The fifth High-level Dialogue of the General Assembly on Financing for Development will be held in New York on 7 and 8 December 2011.
Read More

Side Events

The complete list of all  side events can be found on the CSW website

Week One

Week Two














High Level Round Tables

Find the High-Level Round table A discussion guide here

Find the High-Level round table B discussion guide here



Expert Group Meeting _ EGM

In accordance with its multi-year programme of work for 2010-2014, the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) will consider ‘The empowerment of rural women and their role in poverty and hunger eradication, development and current challenges’ as its priority theme during its fifty-sixth session in 2012.

In order to contribute to a fuller understanding of the issue and to assist the Commission in its deliberations, the UN Women) in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP) convened an Expert Group Meeting (EGM) on ‘Enabling rural women’s economic empowerment: institutions, opportunities and participation’ from 20-23 September 2011 in Accra, Ghana.

The EGM explored a wide range of strategies that can enhance the economic empowerment of rural women, and will focus on the following critical areas:














  • Rural women’s strengthened role in agriculture;
  • Rural women’s access to productive resources, technology markets and financing;
  • Decent and productive employment and income-generating opportunities for rural women;
  • Infrastructure and service-delivery that benefit rural women;
  • Rural women’s role in natural resource management and climate change adaptation;
  • Effective institutions and enabling policy environment that promotes gender responsive rural development.

For more information: Concept Note or Expert Group Information

Observer paper

The International Alliance of Women, Global Gender Climate Alliance, Co-sponsored by the International Council of Women (ICW-CIF)
In collaboration with Women’s Environment and Development Organization:  CEDAW, Rural Women and Climate Change














NGO and individual women’s Participation at CSW

Communications Procedure of the Commission on the Status of Women

The Communications Procedure of the Commission on the Status of Women is a unique tool for individuals and organizations to use in order to raise awareness about injustice and discriminatory practices against women in any country in the world. Claims to the Commission on the Status of Women for consideration at its next session (27 February to 9 March 2012)  closed  1 August 2011.

NGOs with or without consultative status with the Economic and Social Council, may organize and attend parallel events held outside United Nations premises, for example in the Church Center. To do so, they should contact the NGO Committee on the Status of Women (, which is a group of New York-based women’s NGOs in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council.

Written statements to CSW may be submitted by NGOs in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council on the thematic issues considered by CSW in accordance with Council resolution 1996/31. These statements are submitted months prior to any session in order to allow time for processing and issuance of the statements as official United Nations documents for the Commission.













To learn more click here

Pre-registration for the UN Commission on the Status of Women meeting (27 February to 9 March 2012) will close 17th January 2012.

The number of pre-registered representatives may not exceed 20 individuals per organization. As was true last year, participants will need a secondary pass to gain access to the UN North Lawn Building.

Please check to make sure that the email contact information for your organization in the iCSO database is up to date: . Otherwise, your organization may not receive an invitation.

Note that the NGO/CSW/NY is NOT responsible for UN registration. Please direct all questions to See the UN website for more information: . Registration for the UN CSW56 will open early November.

NGOs Restricted access to CSW

CSW NGO access will again be extremely limited at official CSW session meetings and events in the North Lawn Building and UN grounds pass alone willl not be sufficient to gain access to the North Lawn Building, where official CSW meetings take place. Secondary passes will also need to be presented to gain access to the building. As happened at recent CSW sessions, only one time-limited secondary pass will be given to each organization to be shared among its representatives.













Australian CSW56 Delegation NGO representatives

Rosemary Norman-Hill and Darriea Turley have been selected as community sector delegates, and Kaylene Rawlings Hunter as an Indigenous delegate to the CSW 56,

It is important that Australia has strong and diverse representation at the Commission so we can continue to advance the status of women.” Stated the Minister for the Status of Women, Kate Ellis,


Further CSW information will be posted as it becomes available