Working Methods of the Commission on the Status of Women

Joanna Manganara
Joanna Manganara

Women’s NGOs as well  as feminist organisations have been excluded from the negotiations of the Political Declaration of the CSW 59  as well as from the CSW methods of work resolution .

The CSW no longer seems to be a place where women’s and feminist organisations can express their views and influence the development of policies that affect women’s lives and futures.
The space for women’s and feminist organisations is gradually closing, in particular at the international level.
The most contentious subjects in the negotiations concerning women in the text of the working methods of the Commission have been the human rights of women and girls as well as reference to women’s and feminist organisations and the observer status of NGOs in the negotiations. Language on women’s and girl’s human rights has not been included. Likewise language on women and feminist organisations is absent. Moreover there is no mention of an observer status for NGOs at the negotiations The only language that has been included is ‘girls’. Participation of NGOs and other civil society actors in government delegations was retained .
In our view the role of the CSW should be to fully realise the human rights of women and girls including through its norm setting roles.
It should also enhance the role of civil society in the Commission including making  negotiations of the agreed conclusions open to observation by NGOs and not just a selection of a few, ensuring that the NGO interventions are interspersed with those of governments in the general debate and increasing participation of NGOs in panels, round tables and other interactive dialogues.
It should also ensure that the CSW plays a role in monitoring the implementation of the sustainable development goals, which contain important commitments to gender equality
In conclusion the language of the text of the working methods of the Commission has gone a number of steps backwards.