The UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is the key global policy forum for the advancement of women. It meets every year at the UN Headquarters in New York to debate and agree global action to improve women’s lives.
This year’s CSW takes place from 4-15 March and its focus is the elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls. The UK is taking a leading role in working to ensure that CSW57 culminates in a common set of global standards to protect women and girls. Last year CSW failed to reach agreed conclusions; it is critical that we do not have a repeat of that failure this year, as it will set the tone for debates on gender and violence through the UK’s Presidency of the G8.
To drive this forward, the Government Equalities Office (GEO) has set up a Cross Government CSW57 Planning Group which includes the Department for International Development, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Home Office. The Group has developed an influencing strategy; a key tool which seeks to ensure that the UK’s approach to advancing women and girls’ rights is shared by other countries.
Activity among UK Non Government Organisations (NGOs) has also gathered momentum. Following its successful NGO consultation event in October, GEO set up a NGO CSW57 Government Liaison Group to ensure effective partnership and communication across the wider NGO community. Pat Black, of Soroptomist International, feels this model is working well:
We have appreciated the opportunity to feed in our views to the UK government, as well as receiving information on the UK government’s preparations for CSW57. The main theme on the Elimination and Prevention of Violence Against Women is a major area of work for Soroptimist International
On the margins of CSW57, the UK will be hosting and supporting a number of Ministerial side events to showcase UK initiatives on eliminating and preventing violence against women and girls. In addition, the UK Ambassador to the UN HE, Mark Lyall Grant, will host a reception for UK NGOs at the UK Mission
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