About Us

Commission on the Status of Women

Of the 5,508 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) with consultative status at the United Nations, only 141 have General Consultative Status, the highest status an NGO can have at the UN. Zonta International was granted General Consultative Status in 1969.

As an NGO with General Consultative Status, Zonta International is invited to participate in the annual Commission on the Status of Women in New York. The Commission on the Status of Women is:

  • A functional commission of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
  • The principal global intergovernmental body exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women.
  • Established by resolution on 21 June 1946 to monitor and promote women’s rights and develop global standards on gender equality and the empowerment of women; mandate expanded in 1996 to include monitoring and reviewing progress made in the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.

CSW65 – 15 to 26 March 2021

Please note: CSW65 and the NGOCSW Forum will be virtual

Priority theme: Women’s full and effective participation and decision-making in public life, as well as the elimination of violence, for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.

Review theme: Women’s empowerment and the link to sustainable development (agreed conclusions of the sixtieth session).

What is CSW?

The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is the largest annual gathering on women’s rights worldwide, and is the principal global intergovernmental body exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women. A functional commission of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), it was established by ECOSOC resolution 11(II) of 21 June 1946. The CSW is instrumental in promoting women’s rights, documenting the reality of women’s lives throughout the world, and shaping global standards on gender equality and the empowerment of women.

What happens at CSW?

During the Commission’s annual two-week session, thousands of representatives of UN Member States, global civil society organizations and UN entities gather at UN headquarters in New York. They discuss progress and gaps in the implementation of the 1995 Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the key global policy document on gender equality, and the 23rd special session of the General Assembly held in 2000 (Beijing+5), as well as emerging issues that affect gender equality and the empowerment of women. Member States agree on further actions to accelerate progress and promote women’s enjoyment of their rights in political, economic, and social fields. The outcomes and recommendations of each session are forwarded to ECOSOC for follow-up.

Official representatives from member states and civil society can attend the formal CSW meetings, and the accompanying side events on women’s issues which are sponsored by member states. During the two-week session, NGOCSW, the civil society arm of CSW presents the NGOCSW Forum where hundreds of sessions, known as parallel events are open for all interested parties to attend. Where member states and NGOs register official representatives for CSW, registration for the NGOCSW Forum can be found at ngocsw.org.

Why should I attend CSW?

Attendance at CSW is important as it gives participants the opportunity to: have a voice in exploring solutions to myriad problems facing women of the world; receive a phenomenal educational experience regarding critical issues affecting women worldwide by attending side and parallel events; network with like-minded attendees from all over the globe.

Read Zonta International’s statement to the CSW

Events

Girls’ Education: Access, Obstacles and Impact to Achieving Gender Equity
Wednesday, 17 March, 9:00 AM Central Daylight Time (CDT)

Approximately 130 million girls between the ages of 6 and 17 are out of school and 15 million girls will never enter a classroom, due to barriers caused by poverty, social norms, poor infrastructure, violence and fragility and now, COVID-19. Yet, despite these barriers, education provides multiple benefits for girls while also creating economic growth, decreasing the likelihood of conflict, increasing resilience and impacting future generations with wide-reaching economic and social benefits. Join Zonta International and UNICEF USA to learn about the multiple drivers and barriers to education for girls, how education impacts many areas of progress for girls, and how we can improve access to education for girls around the world.

Access the event via the NGO CSW Forum event app at https://ngocsw65forum.us2.pathable.com/meetings/virtual/zxWujkZuDwPLtkNij.


Staged Reading of "Ruined"—Lynn Nottage's Pulitzer Prize-winning play
Friday, 19 March, 11:00 AM CDT

Join the Feminist and Women's Movement Action Plan for a staged reading of “Ruined,” Lynn Nottage’s Pulitzer Prize winning play examining the rape and human trafficking of women as a weapon of war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The reading is being co-produced by Zonta International United Nations Committee Chairman Pamela Morgan in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of UN SCR 1325 on Women, Peace and Security and is co-sponsored by Zonta International. Please note that this play includes adult content and strong language.

Access the event via the NGO CSW Forum event app at https://ngocsw65forum.us2.pathable.com/meetings/virtual/2X3rFgExTDThqXWfP.

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Related resources

Recent News

8 March 2021

Zonta International president's address on International Women's Day 2021

President Sharon Langenbeck shares a special message on International Women's Day, a time to celebrate progress toward gender equality and acts of bravery and determination by women around the world.
Read entire news article

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