Check out this video of our Program Manager Sophie Hardefeldt giving you the run-down on next week’s CSW 59!




The Australian Women Against Violence Alliance is excited to be travelling to New York City later this week for the 59th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women.


But what is it?


The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is the main global policymaking body that is dedicated exclusively to gender equality and the advancement of women.


The Commission meets once a year in New York. This year it will be taking place from the 9th to the 20th of March.


Each year about 3,000 representatives from governments and NGOs converge on New York to discuss, advocate, and share ideas about how we can achieve gender equality throughout the world.


The Commission includes official negotiations between governments and parallel events where NGO representatives come together to share best practice models and ongoing action to address ender inequality.


The Commission’s outcomes document or ‘Agreed Conclusions’ is developed through negotiations between all Government Parties and is agreed by consensus.


The agreed conclusions are used by governments to strengthen domestic policies around gender equality. They can also be used by NGOs to advocate for policy or practise reform within their home countries.


Why is 2015 so important?


This year’s CSW is particularly important because it will be reviewing governments’ implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.


The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action was developed at the 4th World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995. The progressive and visionary document addresses diverse issues including:

  1. Women and poverty
  2. Education and training of women
  3. Women and health
  4. Violence against women
  5. Women and armed conflict
  6. Women and the economy
  7. Women in power and decision-making
  8. Institutional mechanisms for the advancement of women
  9. Human rights of women
  10. Women and the media
  11. Women and the environment
  12. The girl child


20 years on the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action is still the most comprehensive global policy and framework relating to gender equality and the realisation of women and girls’ human rights.


Over the next 2 weeks the Commission will review the implementation of th Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and look at the ongoing challenges to the realisation of gender equality.


How can you follow the action?


Even if you aren’t able to attend the Commission in New York, you can still follow the action from Australia.


The United Nations films some of the official proceedings and government events and you can watch them on their website


You can get updates from the United Nations CSW organising committee on Twitter using he handle @UN_CSW. You can also check out the official hashtag #CSW59.


AWAVA will also be sharing information throughout the event via Twitter and Facebook. Our Twitter handle is @AWAVA_women and you can find us on Facebook as The Australian Women Against Violence Alliance.


We’re excited to keep you in the loop about this amazing international event and can’t wait to hear your thoughts and reflections.