The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is a principal global policy-making body dedicated exclusively to gender equality and advancement of women. Already in its 65 years, the CSW has remained instrumental in the promotion of women’s rights and shaping policies on gender equality and women empowerment. The CSW is a functional commission of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) under the United Nations (UN).
The Philippines is currently among the 45 Member States of the UN CSW. The country will serve a four-year term that will last until the closing of the CSW session in 2014. Other States Members of the United Nations and non-member Statesserve as observers in the UN CSW.
In the 55th session of the CSW in March 2011, the Philippine-initiated resolution entitled “Mainstreaming Gender Equality and Promoting Empowerment of Women in Climate Policies and Strategies” was adopted in consensus by the Commission’s Member States. The ground-breaking resolution on gender and climate change highlighted the need to ensure women’s full enjoyment of all human rights and their effective participation in environmental decision-making at all levels.
CSW’s Terms of Reference
The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) was established by the ECOSOC in June 21, 1946 with the aim to prepare recommendations and reports to the Council on promoting women's rights in political, economic, civil, social and educational fields. Throughout the years, this mandate was expanded and in 1996, the CSW’s terms of reference were modified to include the following:
- Assist the Council in monitoring, reviewing and appraising progress achieved and problems encountered in the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action at all levels, and should advise the Council thereon;
- Continue to ensure support for mainstreaming a gender perspective in United Nations activities and develop further its catalytic role in that regard in other areas;
- Identify issues where United Nations system-wide coordination needed to be improved in order to assist the Council in its coordination function;
- Identify emerging issues, trends and new approaches to issues affecting the situation of women or equality between women and men that required consideration and make substantive recommendations thereon;
- Maintain and enhance public awareness and support for the implementation of the Platform for Action.
Agreed Conclusions of the CSW
Each year, the CSW comes up with agreed conclusions on priority themes that serve as its principal output. These agreed conclusions contain a set of concrete recommendations for action by Governments, intergovernmental bodies and other institutions, civil society actors and other relevant stakeholders, to be implemented at the international, national, regional and local level.
Below are the most recent agreed conclusions of the CSW from 2006-2011:
- 57th session (4-15 March 2013) - The Commission on the Status of Women adopted agreed conclusions on the elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls on 15 March 2013.
- 55th session (22 February-4 March and 14 March 2011 – Draft agreed conclusions on access and participation of women and girls in education, training and science and technology, including for the promotion of women’s equal access to full employment and decent work
- 54th session (1-12 March 2010) - Declaration on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women
- 53rd session (2-13 March 2009) - Agreed conclusions on the equal sharing of responsibilities between women and men, including caregiving in the context of HIV/AIDS
- 52nd session (25 February-7 and 13 March 2008) - Agreed conclusions on financing gender equality and the empowerment of women
- 51st session (26 February- 9 March 2007) - Agreed conclusions on the elimination of all forms of discrimination and violence against the girl child
- 50th session (27 February-10 March 2006 and 16 March 2006) - Agreed conclusions on enhanced participation of women in development: an enabling environment for achieving gender equality and the advancement of women, taking into account, inter alia, the fields of education, health and work