The sixtieth session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is currently underway at the United Nations headquarters in New York and Malawi’s Minister of Gender, Children, Disability, and Social Welfare, Hon. Patricia Kaliati, is leading the Malawi delegation to the important annual gathering on Gender issues.
The session is focusing on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in September 2015 as a universal roadmap for addressing the key challenges of the 21st century, such as poverty, inequality and climate change. Gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls is one of the 17 sustainable goals and it is recognized as a central means to achieving the goals.
During the opening session of the meeting on Monday 14th, march 2016, several high ranking United Nations officials highlighted the progress made in achieving gender equality, while calling on the world to do much more to fight for women and girls’ rights.
Speaking at the opening of the 60th session of CSW, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, who, incidentally, was making his remarks to the Commission as the outgoing Secretary-General of the United Nations said,
“When I see all of you from so many different countries, with so much experience and such strong commitment, I know we can achieve full equality for all women, everywhere,” he said. He went on to say that, “As long as one woman’s human rights are violated, our struggle is not over,” adding that, the world is still full of inequalities and injustices for women and girls.
The Secretary General further underlined that there are still four countries where not a single woman is in the parliament and eight countries without any women in the cabinet.
The 60th CSW is the first one after the adoption of the new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in 2015. The session hopes to build on the momentum garnered in September 2015 when, in conjunction with the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, more than 90 governments answered UN Women’s call for action to “Step It Up for Gender Equality”. World leaders pledged measurable actions to tackle structural barriers and remaining challenges to the achievement of gender equality in their countries. Civil society and businesses leaders complemented the pledges committing to combat stereotypes and shift practices to foster greater equality and opportunity.
The priority theme for the 60th session is “Women’s empowerment and its link to sustainable development”. Discussions by governments will focus on creating a conducive environment for gender-responsive implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, through actions to ensure enabling laws and policies, solid institutional infrastructures, adequate financial resources, strengthening of participation mechanisms, and investment in sex-disaggregated data, to guide national action.
Violence against women continues to affect one in three women, making it one of the most widespread human rights violations. The Commission hopes to evaluate progress in the implementation of its agreed conclusions of 2013, on ending violence against women and girls, a pandemic that also comes with enormous economic costs to society.
The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is the principal global intergovernmental body exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women. Since 1946, it has been 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