Shaping the women, peace and security agenda with more women in the ranks
Around the world women are playing active roles in the peace and security sector, negotiating ceasefires, civilian safe zones, fighter demobilization and humanitarian access at the local level, or drawing up protection plans at the community level. But when we hear the tales of war, women and girls are not typically the heroes that are mentioned. Yet, they are exactly the heroes that we need, working equally alongside men, in security forces, at negotiating tables and keeping the peace in local communities to bring about a more peaceful and equal future for all. I have met with many dynamic and committed female peacekeepers who have shared their stories, as well as their strategies for recruiting more women like them into UN peacekeeping forces.
Women peacekeepers can help tackle critical issues, such as helping to make the peacekeeping force approachable to women in the community, interacting with women in societies where they are prohibited from speaking to men, and addressing the specific needs of female ex-combatants as they reintegrate into civilian life. Because women peacekeepers are often seen as less threatening and more accessible than their male counterparts, local communities tend to better accept peacekeeping missions that include women. Their presence can help to reduce conflict and confrontation, lower incidences of sexual exploitation and abuse and encourage the reporting of any abuse that does occur. Women in uniform can also be powerful role models for women and girls in places where many police forces and militaries need more female recruits.
But the numbers of female recruits have grown extremely slowly. Right now, the proportion of women is just 4.4 per cent of deployed military peacekeepers; and for police it is 14 per cent. This means that we are missing a vital opportunity for women’s meaningful contribution to peace. We are determined to work with partners to change the look and feel of security institutions and overturn the stereotypes about who belongs there.
Since 2015, UN Women has led a two-week training programme to help prepare female officers for deployment as military staff officers and observers. Funded by the Governments of the Netherlands, Norway, Australia, Japan and Finland, the course has trained over 400 women from countries around the world, directly supporting women’s increased roles in peace and security. The newly launched Elsie Initiative Fund for Uniformed Women in Peace Operations, a multi-partner trust fund, is designed to encourage and support UN Member States to increase the number of women in police and military services and in peacekeeping deployed in UN peace operations. And this month, in Abu Dhabi, I had the pleasure of congratulating the first graduate cohort of the Military Training for Arab Women. This new programme, which we supported in partnership with the UAE’s Ministry of Defense and General Women’s Union, brought together 134 Arab women from seven countries—Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, UAE and Yemen—for a three-month basic military training followed by two weeks of peacekeeping training. They left with foundational skills in peacekeeping and conflict resolution, and a peer-to-peer network. We hope that other countries will follow this lead.
Each of these efforts show how much can be achieved with new ways of looking at the problem, strong political will and strategic partnerships.
This year, on the International Day of UN Peacekeepers, as we mark 70 years of the UN Peacekeeping programme, and look ahead to 20 years of implementing Security Council resolution 1325, and 25 years of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, we celebrate those who have bravely served in these ranks. These anniversaries challenge us to shape the women, peace and security agenda with new commitments and priorities, acknowledging what steps are still needed to ensure more equal opportunities for women in the peace and security sector, and through accelerated partnership and action, creating a better future for women, girls and entire communities.Read more »
Around the world, we are seeing a disturbing groundswell of intolerance and hate-based violence targeting worshippers of many faiths. In recent days alone, a synagogue in the United States and a church in Burkina Faso have come under attack.
Such incidents have become all-too-familiar: Muslims gunned down in mosques, their religious sites vandalised; Jews murdered in synagogues, their gravestones defaced with swastikas; Christians killed at prayer, their churches often torched.
Houses of worship, instead of the safe havens they should be, have become targets.
Beyond the murders, there is loathsome rhetoric: xenophobia aimed not only at religious groups but also at migrants, minorities and refugees; assertions of white supremacy; a resurgence of neo-Nazi ideology; venom directed at anyone considered the “other”.
Parts of the Internet are becoming hothouses of hate, as like-minded bigots find each other on-line, and platforms serve to inflame and enable hate to go viral.
As crime feeds on crime, and as vile views move from the fringes to the mainstream, I am profoundly concerned that we are nearing a pivotal moment in battling hatred and extremism.
That is why I have set in motion two urgent initiatives: devising a plan of action to fully mobilise the United Nations system’s response to tackling hate speech, led by my Special Representative on Genocide Prevention; and exploring how the United Nations can contribute in ensuring the safety of religious sanctuaries, an effort being led by my High Representative for the Alliance of Civilisations.
The world must step up to stamp out anti-Semitism, anti-Muslim hatred, persecution of Christians and all other forms of racism, xenophobia, discrimination and incitement.
Hatred is a threat to everyone – and so this is a job for everyone. Political and religious leaders have a special responsibility to promote peaceful coexistence. I will count on the strong support of Governments, civil society and other partners in working together to uphold the values that bind us a single human family.
New York, 29 April 2019Read more »
Statement for International Women’s Day 2019 by Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women
“At a time when innovation is dominant, shaping and changing the way people live in every part of the world, we have to be intentional about its use to positively impact the lives of women and girls. That means making sure they are not only consumers of innovation, but take their place as innovators. With their engagement, both design and execution of solutions can address the unique needs of women and girls, from the creation of decent work to delivery of products, services and infrastructure for women in all walks of life. This year’s theme for International Women’s Day, “Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate for Change” puts innovation at the centre of efforts to reflect the needs and viewpoints of women and girls and to resolve barriers to public services and opportunities.
Remoteness need no longer be an exclusion issue when mobile money technology and digital payments can deliver social benefits to even the most remote households. Lack of roads need not prevent life-saving medication from reaching patients, with smart inventions like 15-year old Nigerian Eno Ekanem’s drone to make drops to rural areas, controlled by SMS messaging.
Lack of electric light did not stop Midwife Lorina Karway from delivering babies at night in remote parts of Liberia; she improvised using her phone light. Now however, simple, low-cost solar lamps made by women have brought a creative, sustainable solution to Lorina, and to multiple health centres and individual homes that previously lacked access to energy infrastructure. This important invention that jumpstarts access to modern renewable energy can be further developed to be even easier to handle and use.
Women’s fresh, relevant thinking also brings transformative change to large-scale infrastructure, both virtual and physical. Our Buy from Women Enterprise Platform uses mobile technology to connect women farmers and cooperatives to information, finance and markets, optimizing the supply chain for women. The large ‘Senergy’ solar-power project in Dakar, Senegal drew on women’s views in development, bringing shared benefits such as upgrades to the local school, the funding of a microcredit association to promote women’s businesses in the local area, and premises for a maternity unit. Syrian architect Marwa al-Sabouni’s award-winning vision for the redevelopment of the razed district of Baba Amr, Homs, includes ways to restore cooperation, social cohesion, and a sense of identity after the devastation of war.
Innovation and technology reflect their designers and makers. Knowing that algorithms increasingly determine selection and response, we need to react to the growing evidence that women have been routinely left out of the data on which decisions are made. “Big data’ is only a reliable support for decision-making if it draws on a pool of unbiased information.
Groups that are under-represented and marginalized based on their race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or socio-economic status also need to have the opportunity to create and to provide feedback on what is created by others. This might be urban planning that designs for commuter or pedestrian safety with simple measures like better lighting and walkways that reflect crowdsourced data on hotspot attack or harassment zones. Or it could be toilet constructions that support women’s period management needs. Or the use of biometrics as ID to replace formal registration documents that many women may not have or control. In any of these scenarios, innovation and technology with a gender perspective are crucial to remove barriers and accelerate progress for gender equality.
Our Global Innovation Coalition for Change brings representatives from the private sector, academia, and non-profit institutions to develop the innovation market so as to work better for women and to accelerate the achievement of gender equality and women’s empowerment.
Women and girls must have opportunities to contribute to making real change, and help shape the policies, services and infrastructure that impact their lives. As we have seen from recent marches for climate action in Europe and elsewhere—they are ready to do so.
When we put the focus on those who are least heard, and least visible—whether individuals, or those hundreds of millions of informal sector workers who currently have little or no presence in official planning, or financial protection that will sustain them in ill-heath, child care or older age—we are tackling some of the deepest-reaching social problems and can make the progress we want to see.”Read more »
Press release: As economic uncertainties, exclusionary politics, push-back on civil society, and labour informality rise, UN’s largest meeting on gender equality begins
Spotlight on improving social protection, inadequate public services and gender-blind infrastructure; identifying policy actions critical to propel gender equality and transform women’s lives
Date: Friday, March 8, 2019
Oisika Chakrabarti, Ph: +1 646 781-4522; Email: oisika.chakrabarti[at]unwomen.org
Sharon Grobeisen, Ph: +1 646 781-4753; Email: sharon.grobeisen[at]unwomen.org
Zina Alam, Ph: +1 646-781-4783; Email: zina.alam[at]unwomen.org
Maxime Robin, +1 646-781-4833; Email: maxime.robin[at]unwomen.org
(New York, 8 March) – Against the backdrop of a volatile global economy, rising conflict and instability, rapid population ageing, shrinking democratic spaces and push-back on women’s rights, the UN Commission on the Status of Women is set to begin next week at the UN Headquarters in New York. This is the UN’s largest gathering on gender equality and women’s rights, and the single largest forum for UN Member States, civil society organizations and other international actors to build consensus, renew commitment and agree on better policy solutions. The forthcoming 63rd session of the Commission (CSW63) from 11- 22 March will focus on the priority theme, “Social protection systems, access to public services and sustainable infrastructure for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls”. The review theme is “Women’s empowerment and the link to sustainable development”.
“Good social protection policy and well-planned infrastructure can be equalizers for women. However, the fact that 740 million women are working with little or no social protection and access to public services, tells us that there is still a giant gap in the way that the women of the world are supported. This needs investment and policy change that deliberately supplies what is currently missing for women,” said Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Under-Secretary-General and UN Women Executive Director.
“This year the CSW will focus on issues at the heart of what matters in the daily lives of women and girls. By setting new global standards to achieve gender equality, we are working to empower all women and girls to realize their full potential. We want an ambitious agreement on social protection, access to public services and sustainable infrastructure,” said Geraldine Byrne Nason, Chair of the Bureau for the 63rd session of the Commission on the Status of Women, and Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Ireland to the UN. “In focusing on core challenges like affordable childcare, healthcare, education, maternity protection, pensions and safe transport, the CSW can have a transformative impact on the realities faced by women and girls around the world,” she reiterated.
Heightened global attention on gender equality in recent years through legal reform, global marches, movements such as #MeToo, and spotlights on gender pay gap and corporate walkouts are critical, as only 11 years remain to achieve the globally agreed Sustainable Development Goals, including Gender Equality Goal 5. If the current slow pace of change continues, it will take a staggering 108 years to close the gender gap.
Facts and Figures
CSW63’s priority theme responds to the precarious situation that women and girls continue to face globally. According to the Report of the UN Secretary-General and research:
- 740 million women currently make their living in the informal economy. They have limited access to social protection, public services and sustainable infrastructure that could increase their productivity and income security.
- More than 50 per cent of urban women and girls in developing countries live in conditions where they lack at least one of these basic human needs: access to clean water, improved sanitation facilities, durable housing, and sufficient living area.
- Women do 2.6 times more unpaid care and domestic work than men, and only 41 per cent of the world’s mothers with new-borns receive maternity benefits.
- The global gender gap in access to old-age pensions stands at 10.6 percentage ; in 2016 68.4 per cent of men, above retirement age, had access to a pension compared to 57.8 per cent of women above retirement age.
- One in three women are likely to face violence in their lifetimes, but public services, urban planning and transport systems are rarely planned with women’s safety and mobility in mind.
- Critical infrastructure, such as safe sanitation, is lacking in 23 percent of the world’s schools, disproportionately affecting adolescent girls with menstrual hygiene needs.
- Women’s access to sexual and reproductive healthcare services has improved, but the quality of care often remains wanting. For example, rural women’s access to skilled birth attendance is 20 per cent lower than that of urban women; while poor women’s access to modern contraceptives is 19 per cent lower than that of rich women.
The way forward
Social protection systems, public services and sustainable infrastructure can respond to these challenges. The 63rd session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW63) will discuss key issues that can bring sustainable change in women’s safety, health, paid work, education, leisure and rest. This includes, among others: social protection benefits such as old-age pensions, child and family benefits, maternity protection, unemployment support; quality public services such as health, education, and public safety; and sustainable infrastructure, including access to clean energy, safe drinking water, safe designing of transport systems and urban spaces. A key dimension of the discussion will focus on how such benefits and services can reduce and redistribute women’s unpaid care and domestic work.
The forum will provide concrete recommendations on the way forward, calling for stronger laws, investments in gender-responsive infrastructure such as transport and urban planning that work for women and girls, expansion of quality public services that are affordable, extension of care services, improvement in women’s employment opportunities, their working conditions, organizing and collective bargaining rights, and improving data and evidence.
Representing a steady increase in participation from last year, more than 9000 representatives from over 1030 civil society organizations have registered to attend this year’s session. Along with the 17 official meetings that include Ministerial Round Tables, high-level interactive events and expert panels, over 280 side events hosted by Member States and UN Agencies, and 400 parallel events hosted by civil society organizations are scheduled to take place.
Ahead of CSW63, UN Women together with partners, organized regional consultations with Ministers, gender equality experts and civil society organizations in Latin America and the Caribbean, in Asia-Pacific,Africa, and Arab States, to build consensus and action priorities towards the Commission’s outcome and agreements, which will be adopted at the end of the second week.
This information will be updated continuously in the coming days.
- Join the online conversation on Twitter using the hashtags #CSW63 and follow @UN_Women and @UN_CSW.
- Download the social media packagehere, and for more news, assets and stories, visit UN Women’s editorial, In Focus: Commission on the Status of Women 63 (2019) (going live at 4pm, Friday, 8 March)
HIGHLIGHTS FOR MEDIA:
[For press covering IWD and CSW63 events at the UN Secretariat in New York, UN press accreditation is required. More information at: http://www.un.org/en/media/accreditation/]
- Opening of the 63rd Session of the Commission on the Status of Women, 11 March, 10 a.m.– 1 p.m., General Assembly, UN HQ. [Live Webcast]
- Women in Power: Organized by the President of the UN General Assembly. This high-level event will bring together Heads of State and Government and other senior leaders to share experiences and learn from success stories on advancing women’s leadership. The program will feature an opening segment and three high-level roundtables. 12 March, 9 a.m.–1 p.m., General Assembly Hall, UN HQ. [Link to event website]
- CSW63 Townhall Meeting of Civil Society and United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres: The townhall, moderated by Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Women Executive Director, is an opportunity for civil society to engage with the Secretary-General António Guterres and his senior leadership on topics pertaining to gender equality and the work of the UN. The event is part of an ongoing dialogue and engagement between civil society organizations and the Office of the Secretary-General. 12 March, 1.15–30 p.m., Conference Room 4, UNHQ. [Webcast link]
- Press Conference – Launch of the 2019 Women in Politics Map: Join the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and UN Women in launching the Women in Politics Map 2019, which depicts global rankings for women in the executive and parliamentary branches of government as of 1 January 2019. Remarks by Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women and Gabriela Cuevas Barron, IPU President and Mexican MP, moderated by Paddy Torsney, IPU Permanent Observer. 12 March,11–30 a.m., Press Briefing Room, UN HQ.
- Voices of CSW – Civil Society Meets the Press: UN Women-hosted event where grassroots activists and women’s rights advocates from all parts of the world gather to tell their experiences from the ground with interested journalists. [Bios of attendees and more info below]. 14 March, 11 a.m.–2 p.m., UN Women Headquarters, 18th Floor, The Daily News Building, 220 East 42nd Street, New York.
- Photo Exhibition – Equality is our goal, access is our right: Organized by UN Women. From 6-27 March 2019, Visitors’ Lobby at UN HQ. For the first week of the exhibition, from 8-15 March, the exhibition will also host the screening of four Virtual Reality films on women’s rights defenders, Courage to Question, produced by Google in collaboration with UN Women.
- Photo Exhibition: Deliver equality: It’s our right! Poster series on the key messages of the CSW 63 priority theme produced by UN Women and exhibited 11–22 March in the 1B Corridor (hallway near CR11 and CR12), UNHQ.
- 2019 IOC Women and Sport Award Ceremony: In the context of the CSW, this joint event is organized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and UN Women. This annual event recognises and celebrates the outstanding achievements and contributions of change-makers making a difference for women and girls involved in sport across the world. Hosted by Thomas Bach, President of the IOC, with guest speakers: Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women, and Marta Vieira da Silva, six- time winner FIFA Best Women’s Player 2018 and UN Women Goodwill Ambassador. 19 March,6–8.30 p.m., UN Delegates Dining Room, UN HQ. [RSVP here before 1 March 2019. Key: WomenandSportAwards2019] For more info, contact genderequality[at]olympic.org.
- CSW63 Youth Dialogue: In collaboration with the UN SG’s Envoy on Youth and youth-led and youth serving networks and organizations, the Youth Dialogue is critical in contributing to the development of action-oriented recommendations that Member States, civil society and youth-led and serving organizations can adopt in ensuring the effective delivery of social protection, public services and sustainable infrastructure for young people, girls, young women, and trans and non-binary youth. This year’s Youth Dialogue will be a space and opportunity for young people to suggest out-of-the-box solutions that will make social protection systems, public services and sustainable infrastructure work for young people. It will take place over the following days:
- Pre-Youth Dialogue Conversations: A day where young people will develop a set of common minimum standards on how social protection, access to public services and sustainable infrastructure should address the needs of young people. These will be based on the results of the country and regional consultations. 9 March, 9 a.m–5 p.m., Global learning Collaborative, 145 West 84th Street, New York. [Event page]
- “Take the Hot Seat” High Level Dialogue: Young people push the boundaries and ask governments to make a commitment to make social protection systems, access to public services and sustainable infrastructure deliver for young people. 13 March, 11.30 a.m.–1.45 p.m., Conference Room 1, UN HQ. [Live webcast] [Event page]
- Innovation Labs: Engage in a space where effective, dynamic, influential young advocates are self-organizing, networking and mobilizing towards gender equality. 15 March, 9 a.m.–4 p.m.,Scandinavia House, 58 Park Ave, New York.
- For more information, please contact Engage[at]unwomen.org. [Link to Flyer and RSVP]
Media Opportunities: Along with senior UN Women officials, grassroots activists and women’s rights advocates from around the world are available for interviews. Bios below. Please contact [email protected] for details.
- CSW63 official events: http://www.unwomen.org/en/csw/csw63-2019/official-meetings
- Entire list of official Side-Events [events co-organised by UN Member States, Intergovernmental organizations and UN entities]: http://www.unwomen.org/en/csw/csw63-2019/side-events or here http://www.unwomen.org/en/csw/csw63-2019/side-events/calendar-of-side-events
- NGO-organized parallel events: http://www.ngocsw.org/
- Editorial In-Focus CSW63: http://www.unwomen.org/en/news/in-focus/csw
- Official documentation:http://www.unwomen.org/en/csw/csw63-2019/official-documents
- Social Media: Follow @UN_CSW and @UN_Women on Twitter for the latest updates and stories, using the hashtag #CSW63
- CSW webcast of UN Women side events: http://www.unwomen.org/en/news/in-focus/csw/webcasts; and http://webtv.un.org/
- Gender-related news and resources from the UN: http://womenwatch.unwomen.org/
Events at the 63rd Session of the Commission on the Status of Women, 11-22 March 2019
Official meetings of the Commission are listed here: http://www.unwomen.org/en/csw/csw63-2019/official-meetings
Live webcasts:http://www.unwomen.org/en/news/in-focus/csw/webcasts; and http://webtv.un.org/
Key Official Meetings:
- Opening of the 63rd Session of the Commission on the Status of Women, 11 March, 10 a.m.–1 p.m., UN General Assembly [Live Webcast]
- Ministerial round tables on the Priority theme:
- Social protection systems, access to public services and sustainable infrastructure for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. Topic A: Good practices in the provision of social protection, public services and sustainable infrastructure, including for recognizing and valuing unpaid care and domestic work. 11 March, 3–6 p.m., Conference Room 4.
- Topic B: Good practices and policies for the design, and provision and implementation of social protection, public services and sustainable infrastructure, including for the promotion of women’s representation in various sectors and all levels. MRT 3: 3–4.30 p.m.; MRT 4: 4.30 – 6.00 p.m. 11 March, Conference Room 1.
- High-level interactive dialogue among Ministers on building alliances for social protection systems, access to public services and sustainable infrastructure for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, 12 March, 3–6 p.m., Conference Room 4.
- High-level interactive dialogue on accelerating implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action: Exchange of best practices in preparation for the Beijing+25 review and appraisal’. 13 March, 10 a.m.–1 p.m., Conference Room 4.
- Interactive dialogue on women’s empowerment and the link to sustainable development. 13 March, 3–6 p.m., Conference Room 4.
- Interactive dialogue on women’s empowerment and the link to sustainable development. 14 March, 10 a.m. –1 p.m., Conference Room 4.
- Interactive dialogue on women and girls of African descent. 14 March, 3–6 p.m., Conference Room 1.
- Interactive expert panel on social protection systems, access to public services and sustainable infrastructure for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. ‘Harnessing synergies and securing financing’. 15 March, 3–6 p.m., Conference Room 1.
- Interactive expert panel on women’s empowerment and the link to sustainable development. ‘The data challenge – and opportunity: good practices. 18 March, 10 a.m. –1 p.m., Conference Room 4.
All the above will also be webcast live at: http://www.unwomen.org/en/news/in-focus/csw/webcasts; and http://webtv.un.org/
UN Women organised/co-sponsored events:
Closing the Gender Pay Gap: Waiting 217 years or acting now? Saving the date or accelerating the move? Organised by the Mission of Switzerland, ILO, and co-sponsored by UN Women. Opening remarks by Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director, UN Women and Vinicius Pinheiro, Deputy Director, UN Office, International Labour Organization (ILO) on pay equality. Other speakers include members of EPIC such as: Katrín Jakobsdóttir, Prime Minister, Iceland; Julie Anne Gente, Minister for Women, Associate Minister for Health, Transport, New Zealand; Penny Mordaunt, Secretary of State for International Development and Minister for Women & Equalities, United Kingdom. Panel Discussion moderated by Vinicius Pinheiro, with Sarita Nayyar, Managing Director & Chief Operating Officer, World Economic Forum, and Chris Martin, Manager, Senior Compliance & Analytics, Starbucks.
6.30–7.45 p.m., Conference Room 7, UN HQ.
Women in Power: Organized by the President of the General Assembly. This high-level event will bring together Heads of State and Government and other senior leaders to share experiences and learn from success stories on advancing women’s leadership. The program will feature an opening segment and three high-level roundtables.
9 a.m.–1 p.m., General Assembly Hall, UN HQ. [Link to event website]
Press Conference – Launch of the 2019 Women in Politics Map: Join the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and UN Women in launching the Women in Politics Map 2019, which depicts global rankings for women in the executive and parliamentary branches of government as of 1 January 2019. Remarks by Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women and Gabriela Cuevas Barron, IPU President and Mexican MP, moderated by Paddy Torsney, IPU Permanent Observer.
11–11.30 a.m., Press Briefing Room, UN HQ.
CSW63 Townhall Meeting of Civil Society and United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres: The townhall, moderated by Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Women Executive Director, is an opportunity for civil society to engage with the Secretary-General António Guterres and his senior leadership on topics pertaining to gender equality and the work of the UN. The event is part of ongoing dialogue and engagement between civil society organizations and the Office of the Secretary-General.
1.15–2.30 p.m., Conference Room 4, UN HQ. [Webcast link]
Year of Refugees, Returnees and Internally Displaced Persons in Africa – Tapping into African Women Leadership to ensure Refugees and IDP’s Full Access to Social Protection: Organized by the Missions of Ghana and Germany, Group of Friends of the “African Women Leaders Network”, with the support of the African Union and UN Women. Speakers will present specific examples on projects and successful initiatives led to empower women and communities affected by forced displacement, living as refugees and internally displaced persons in Africa. The dialogue will enable Member States, the AU, the UN, civil society organizations and women leaders and affected communities by forced displacement to identify and propose a strategic mechanism to implement the socio-economic commitments made.
8.15-9.30 a.m., Conference Room D, UN HQ.
Launch of a High-level Group Report on Justice for Women: Organised by UN Women, International Development Law Organization, World Bank and the Task Force on Justice. The event will launch a high-profile report on Justice for Women to provide a platform for government representatives, civil society organizations and UN partners to mobilize further actions to accelerate implementation of SDG5 and SDG16. Speakers include Asa Regner, Deputy Executive Director of UN Women; Irene Khan, Director-General, International Development Law Organization; and Lang Yabou, Permanent Representative of The Gambia to the UN.
10 a.m.–12 p.m., Riverview Room, 28th Floor, East Tower, Millennium Hotel, One United Nations Plaza, New York. [Link to flier]
Investing in gender equality – Parliaments ensuring social protection, public services and infrastructure deliver for women and girls: Organised by Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and UN Women. Annual parliamentary event in which MPs contribute to the Commission’s main theme, focusing on the vital role parliaments have to play in ensuring adequate resources are allocated and policies adopted in pursuit of gender equality. Opening Remarks by Gabriela Cuevas Barron, IPU President and Mexican MP and Asa Regner, Deputy Executive-Director of UN Women.
10 a.m.–5.45 p.m., Trusteeship Council, UN HQ.
“Take the Hot Seat” High Level Youth Dialogue: Young people push the boundaries and ask governments to make a commitment to make social protection systems, access to public services and sustainable infrastructure deliver for young people.
Accelerating the elimination of harmful practices to reap the demographic dividend in Africa: Organized by Governments of Burkina Faso, Canada, Italy and Zambia in partnership with UNICEF, UNFPA and UN Women. The event will be attended by heads of delegations, development partners and United Nations agencies and will aim to create a platform for Member States and young people to dialogue on commitments and innovative measures to eliminate child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation as Africa’s contribution to Sustainable Development Goal 5.3 by 2030 and Agenda 2063. Speakers include Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women and Jaha Dukureh, UN Women Regional Goodwill Ambassador for Africa.
12.30–3 p.m., Unicef House, Labouisse Hall, 3 United Nations Plaza, New York. RSVP here.
Social protection, public services and sustainable infrastructure: Policy coherence for the empowerment of women in informal employment. Strengthening policy coherence—across sectors and levels of government—is critical to make social protection systems, public services and sustainable infrastructure work for women in informal employment. The panel which includes: Cynthia Mamle Morrison, Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Ghana; Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women; Grete Faremo, Executive Director of UNOPS; Laura Alfers, Social Protection Programme Director, WIEGO, South Africa; Susan Thomas, Head of Health & Childcare Team, Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), India; will explore synergies, tensions and pathways to policy coherence for the empowerment of women in informal employment. It will engage member states, international organizations and civil society, including grassroots organizations of women informal workers, in an interactive discussion with the audience.
3–4.15 p.m., Conference Room 11. [Live webcast]
Raising Voices in Media as a Weapon of Power: A discussion around the film, WOMAN by Yann Arthus-Bertrand.
6.30 p.m., ECOSOC Chamber, UN HQ. RSVP Link
2019 Women’s Empowerment Principles Forum: Organized by UN Women, UN Global Compact and UN Office of Partnerships. Annual flagship event on gender equality for the private sector, bringing together 500+ other leaders and innovators from business, government, civil society, academia and the UN. The Forum participants gain exposure to new knowledge on strategies for advancing women’s empowerment in the future of work, through gender-lens investing and by addressing sexual harassment in the world of work. Agenda here.
3–6 p.m., ECOSOC Chamber, UN HQ. [To RSVP, email carla.kraft[at]unwomen.org] [Link to Webcast]
Youth Dialogue Innovation Labs: Engage in a space where effective, dynamic, influential young advocates are self-organizing, networking and mobilizing towards gender equality.
15 March, 9 a.m.–4 p.m., Scandinavia House, 58 Park Ave, New York. For more information, please contact Youth.Engage[at]unwomen.org. [Link to Flyer and RSVP]
Promoting access to universal social protection: Organised by the mission of South Africa (RSA), in collaboration Ilitha Labantu and UN-Women. This event will feature an interactive forum for participants and member states to identify and share good practices and lessons learned to promote and advance inclusive social protection for all, lessons from the Global South, examples of how Social Protection models have been used to reverse decades of exclusion of the most vulnerable in RSA, and what a Universal model looks like that includes investments in economic solutions to reduce dependency. Confirmed speakers include: Susan Shabangu, Minister of Social Development, RSA; Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Women Executive Director; Bathabile – Dlamini, Minister in the Presidency for women, RSA; Paul Fletcher, Minister of Families and Social Services, Government of Australia; among others.
1.15–2.30 p.m., Conference Room 7, UN HQ.
The Road to 2020 – Accelerating action on women, peace and security before the 20th Anniversary of Security Resolution 1325: This interactive session will offer space for participants to voice their ideas and concerns, as well as provide input to the priorities being shaped by key stakeholders and decision-makers. Speakers will explain their vision for 2020, including how to link the anniversary to the commemoration of Beijing+25 and the five-year review of the Sustainable Development Goals. Moderated by Mavic Cabrera-Balleza, Chief Executive Officer, The Global Network of Women Peacebuilders. Speakers include: Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women; Jean-Pierre LaCroix, UN Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations (TBC); Helen Kezie-Nwoha, Executive Director of Isis-WICCE; Sharon Bhagwan-Rolls, Chair of Board of the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict; Edita Tahiri, Former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Dialogue, Republic of Kosovo
3–4.15 p.m., Conference Room 12, UN HQ.
Making Social Protection, Public Services and Infrastructure Inclusive and Meaningful for Women and Girls in Africa:Organised by OSAA, African Union, UN Women, United Nations Global Compact, and the Missions of Finland and Egypt. Opening by Ms. Bience Gawanas, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Special Adviser on Africa. Moderated Interactive Panel and General Discussion Segment panelists include: Mohamed Fathi Ahmed Edrees, Permanent Representative of the Arab Republic of Egypt to the United Nations in Egypt’s capacity as Chairperson of the African Union for 2019; Kai Sauer, Permanent Representative of Finland to the United Nations; Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women; Bineta Diop, Special Envoy of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission on Women, Peace and Security. Moderated and closing remarks by Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda, Chief Executive, Rozaria Memorial Trust and African Union Goodwill Ambassador on Ending Child Marriage.
4.45-6 p.m., Ex-Press Bar, General Assembly Building, UNHQ.
Towards gender-responsive climate action: In support of the UN Secretary-General’s 2019 Climate Summit and the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (Beijing+25), this side event will give impetus to gender equality and women’s rights in the context of national-level climate action. Welcome remarks by Luis Alfonso de Alba, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the 2019 Climate Action Summit. Moderated by Lorena Aguilar, Vice-Minister of International Relations, Costa Rica. Panelists include: Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director, UN-Women; Milena Zindovic, Association of Women Architects, Serbia; Agnes Leina, Executive Director, Il’laramatak Community Concerns, Kenya; Chantel Comardelle, Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw tribe, Isle De Jean Charles, Louisiana; Cathy Lee, Women-+ Organizing for Change in Agriculture and Natural Resource Management (WOCAN).
11.30 a.m.–12.45 p.m., Conference Room 11. [Live webcast]
The Road Ahead–Making Gender Parity a Reality: This side event will bring together senior UN officials, civil society and Member States to discuss efforts and measures to reach the gender parity within the UN System. Panelists include: Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women; Ana Maria Menendez, Under Secretary-General of the United Nations and Secretary-General’s Senior Advisor on Policy; Laxman Belbase, Acting Director, MenEngage; Anne-Marie Goetz, Clinical Professor, Center for Global Affairs; Ronald Jean Jumeau, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Seychelles to the United Nations.
Consigning sexual harassment to the dustbin of history – what it would take to achieve cultural change?: This interactive panel, moderated by Purna Sen, UN Women Executive Coordinator on Sexual Harassment, will bring together different voices and experiences to address cultural change and sexual harassment while highlighting the knowledge of victims/survivors. Panelists include: Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive-Director of UN Women; Jan Beagle, Under-Secretary-General for Management Strategy, Policy and Compliance and Chair of the CEB Task Force on Sexual Harassment; Kate Jenkins, Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Australian Human Rights Commission; Dimitri Tskitishvili, Deputy Chair of the Foreign Relations Committee of the Parliament of Georgia; Upasana Chauhan, United Nations Major Group for Children and Youth and Man Up campaign; Kerry Gibson, President, EcoCentury Technologies, Canada; Faiza Mohamed, Africa Regional Director, Equality Now.
11.30 a.m.–12.45 p.m., ECOSOC Chamber, UN HQ. [Live Webcast] [Event page]
2019 IOC Women and Sport Award Ceremony: In the context of the CSW, this joint event is organized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and UN Women. This annual event recognises and celebrates the outstanding achievements and contributions of change-makers making a difference for women and girls involved in sport across the world. Hosted by Thomas Bach, President of the IOC, with guest speakers: Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women, and Marta Vieira da Silva, six- time winner FIFA Best Women’s Player 2018 and UN Women Goodwill Ambassador.
6–8.30 p.m., UN Delegates Dining Room, UN HQ. [RSVP here before 1 March 2019. Key: WomenandSportAwards2019] For more info, contact genderequality[at]olympic.org.
Launch of Strategy on #EqualityinLaw for Women and Girls by 2030 – A Multi-Stakeholder Strategy for Accelerated Action: Organized by UN Women, in collaboration with the African Union, Commonwealth, Inter-Parliamentary Union, Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie and Secretaría General Ibero-Americana. The event brings together government representatives, civil society organizations and UN partners to generate awareness and reinforce the important role of gender equal laws in the achievement of gender equality and the importance of eliminating discriminatory laws in all countries by 2030. Speakers include Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director, UN Women, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, and Jakomba Jabbie, young gender activist, The Gambia.
Entire list of all official side events during CSW63: http://www.unwomen.org/en/csw/csw63-2019/side-events
NGO-organized parallel events: http://www.ngocsw.org/ngo-csw-forum/ngo-parallel-events
Join the conversation
- Are you in New York City for the conference? Use #CSW63 and show your followers what it’s all about!
- Your experiences and ideas matter on social protection, public services and infrastructure. Tell the world how you want to make a difference using #CSW63.
- Access the latest information on logistics, the official sessions and the side events through @UN_CSW on Twitter and UN CSW on Facebook.
- Can’t join us in New York? Check out our Facebook Live broadcasts from United Nations HQ at UN CSW.
- Head over to our Instagram Stories at @unwomen for a behind-the-scenes look and interviews!
- Find more social media content around #CSW63 and the CSW themes on our UN Women accounts: @UN_Women (English), @ONUMujeres (Spanish), and @ONUFemmes (French) on Twitter; UN Women (English), ONU Mujeres (Spanish), and ONU Femmes (French) on Facebook.
- Find our social media package with messages in English, Spanish and French here.
UN Women senior officials will also speak at the following external events:
- CSW NGO Consultation on social protection schemes: 10 March, 1.40–3 p.m., Tribeca Performing Arts Center, 199 Chambers Street, New York.
- Interactive panel during Nordic-international high-level reception, in conjunction with the CSW63, hosted by the Prime Minister of Iceland: Panel Discussion on theme: #MeToo as an indicator of the urgent need to invest in a public infrastructure supporting the realization of equal rights and status of men and women. 10 March, 7.30–15 p.m., Scandinavia House, 58 Park Ave, New York. To RSVP, email [email protected]
- The Istanbul Convention – a global instrument to prevent and combat violence against women and girls: Sponsored by Mission of France, 11 March, 10–15 a.m., Conference Room 11, UN HQ.
- Intergenerational Policy Dialogue on Girls and Adolescents: Organized by Plan International. Three women-led UN Funds and Programmes will demonstrate a shared commitment to ensuring the systematic consideration of girls and adolescents in the CSW’s Agreed Conclusions. 12 March, 8–30 a.m., UNICEF House, New York.
- Women, Business and the Law 2019: A Decade of Reform: 14 March, 6.30 –8.30 p.m., Millennium Hilton Hotel One UN Plaza, Diplomat Ballroom, New York.
The following gender equality advocates are available for media interviews:
Many of them will also be present at the UN Women media event, “Voices of CSW: Civil Society meets the Press”, Thursday, 14 March, 11 a.m.–2 p.m. Media wishing to attend this event/ interview these individuals, should RSVP and indicate their interest via this form: https://goo.gl/forms/8Bly7R3vaXJWfXL82
Edita Tahiri, from Kosovo, is the Chair of the Regional Women’s Lobby for South Eastern Europe. She has a long-standing career as a leader, politician, diplomat and peace negotiator. She held numerous positions as Minister for Dialogue, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Public Administration and was Minister for Foreign Affairs for 10 years (1990-2000). She is known as the only woman peace negotiator in the Balkans, in her effort to end wars and bring peace and justice to Kosovo and the region. She was the only woman in the delegation representing Kosovo at the Rambouillet Peace Conference (1999), which ended the war. She was also a negotiator at the pre-Rambouillet peace negotiations (1998) and the London Conference on the disintegration of the former Yugoslavia (1992). From 2011 to 2017, she was the Chief Negotiator for Kosovo in the Brussels Dialogue for peaceful neighbourly relations with Serbia, facilitated by the European Union and supported by the United States of America. She speaks Albanian, English, Croatian, Serbian and Turkish.
Christian Aurora Mendoza Galán, from Mexico, is a feminist of multidisciplinary training. For more than 10 years she has worked with groups of indigenous, rural women and organized workers. She has a masters in Regional Studies from the Dr. José María Luis Mora Research Institute (Mexico City) and is a winner of the first National Thesis Contest in gender Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, for her master’s thesis. She has been a member of the Simone de Beauvoir Leadership Institute (ILSB) since 2011. She is currently Coordinator of the Gender and Economic, Social, Cultural and Environmental Rights (Gender and DESCA) Program of the same organization and is in charge of processes that promote the rights of domestic workers and proposals for comprehensive policies of care. She speaks English and Spanish.
Oksana Potapova, from Ukraine, is a peace activist, a community theatre practitioner and a feminist. She is the co-founder of ‘Theatre for Dialogue’, an NGO that uses community-based theatre to work with conflict-affected communities, to empower the oppressed groups and to advocate for more inclusive and gender-sensitive state policies. Over the last two years her work has focused on addressing the needs and rights of internally displaced women and integrating the gender aspects into conflict and peace work. She believes that sustainable peace can only be achieved if we include everyone in the conversation. She speaks Russian, Ukrainian, English and French.
Valdecir Nascimento, from Brazil, is the executive coordinator of ODARA – Instituto da Mulher Negra (Black Women´s Institute) in Salvador, Brazil. She also coordinates the Rede de Mulheres Negras do Nordeste do Brasil (Black Women´s Network for the Northeast of Brazil) and was one of the organizers of the Marcha de Mulheres Negras, which took place in 2015. She speaks Portuguese.
Elisa Silva, from Brazil, is a member of Curumim, a feminist and anti-racist NGO devoted to the promotion of sexual and reproductive rights of women. She is also part of the Articulação de Mulheres Brasileiras (Brazilian Women´s Articulation). She speaks Portuguese.
Gia Gaspard Taylor, from Trinidad and Tobago, is President of the Rural Women Producers of Trinidad and Tobago. She is a former Caribbean CSAG member and currently a member of the Latin America and Caribbean Regional CSAG. Among the many other projects, she is working with UN Women to support the roll out of a youth GBV-prevention programme – Foundations. She speaks English.
Naomi Woyengu, from Papua New Guinea, is a young women’s coordinator in the Pacific and has worked closely on a regional young women leadership programme: Rise Up! co-designed and coordinated with young women – with a degree in political science.She speaks English.
Gharsanay IbnulAmeen, from Afghanistan, is the Co-Founder and the President of the Young Women Leadership Conference, the Co-Founder of Global Youth Development Initiative, the Co-Organizer of the first Model-UN in Afghanistan, team ambassador in Everywhere Everywoman, Co-Founder of Afghan Girls Sustainable Education Project, ambassador in the One Young World, fellow and Trainer of Trainer in the Generation Change Fellowship, Global Youth Change ambassador in the Roundtable Global, Youth Advisor to the United States Institution of Peace, 2019 fellow in the AMENDS representing Afghanistan, and Youth Leader in Youth Leader’s Exchange with Dalai Lama. She speaks English.
Nehad Abo El-Komsan, from Egypt, is an award-winning lawyer and expert in human rights and women’s rights. She is the co-founder and chairwoman of the Egyptian Center for Women’s Rights and has supported the establishment of many civil society organizations. She also works to amplify Egyptian and Arab women’s voices to the international community and actively empowers women’s participation as effective decision. She speaks Arabic and English.
Elizabeth Maro Minde, from Tanzania, is the Managing Director of Kilimanjaro Women Information Exchange Community Organisation. She has extensive experience in Gender Human Rights and Law and is a trainer who also renders Legal Counselling and Court Representation to marginalized women and children. She has served on a variety of Boards (School Boards, Tanzania National Parks, Moshi Urban Water Authority), and is currently working on MOVEMENT BUILDING to enhance women’s voices. She speaks English and Kiswahili.
Cecilia Chami, from Lebanon, is Program Officer at the Lebanon Family Planning Association Development (LFPADE) in Lebanon. LFPADE strives to respond to the unmet needs of poor and low-income population in Lebanon with a focus in the areas of population, women’s rights and youth. Through their current project, LFPADE is working to improve the socio-economic status of marginalized women in the south of Lebanon. The initiative has equipped 240 home-based informal workers with skills and enhanced the marketability of their food products and supported the organization of two women’s cooperatives. She speaks English and Arabic.
Martha Tukahirwa, from South Sudan, is a young women rights activist who has made it her mission to build, strengthen and fire up young women’s collective power – particularly amplifying the visibility, appeal and reach of the women’s rights agenda through campaigning. She currently works as the Regional Communications and Advocacy Officer for the Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa (SIHA). She speaks English.
Hala Alkarib, from South Sudan, is a passionate activist for women’s rights and research practitioner in the Horn of Africa. She is the Regional Director of the Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa (SIHA) and the editorial head of the annual SIHA-published journal ‘Women in Islam’. She speaks English and Arabic.
Manal Shaker Altaleb, from Jordan, is the Program Coordinator of Women’s Political Participation and Gender Equality Program at Arab Women Organisation of Jordan; an NGO for gender equality and the empowerment of women. Manal had coordinated multiple projects about women’s rights focusing on the role of women in the decision making, social empowerment of women, women’s political participation and the role of women in peace building and social cohesion. In 2018, she led an advocacy campaign during the 16 days of activism against “child marriage” under the slogan “A Bride with a Doll”. She speaks English and Arabic.
Wesal Abdullah, from Jordan, is a program coordinator at the Arab Women Organization of Jordan on Syrian crisis response programmes and responsible for multiple projects about Gender Based Violence and Women’s Rights. She speaks English and Arabic.
Sara Siebert has worked to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls for the past 20 years, in more than eleven countries. After several years experience doing crisis response work, she began working with programs designed to prevent violence and promote a positive, equitable power relationships in couples and communities. Since 2008, she has been working with Raising Voices’ SASA! methodology and has been in a leadership role in two SASA! adaptations, as well as being the lead author of Power to Girls. Sara currently works with programs in Haiti as Beyond Borders Violence Against Women and Girls Prevention Specialist. She speaks English and French.
Laxman Belbase from Nepal, is a social worker and gender justice activist, with more than 15 years’ experience in program development, implementation and advocacy in the field of gender equality, child rights and social justice at national, regional and global levels. Prior to joining MenEngage, Laxman worked for Save the Children Sweden for seven years as Global Gender & Health Advisor, based in Stockholm, and represented Save the Children on the MenEngage Global Governance Board. Laxman is a founding core group member of MenEngage Alliance in Nepal, and has contributed to the strengthening of the Alliance in various capacities at national, regional and global levels, including by coordinating MenEngage Alliance in South Asia (2009-2013). Having worked with national, regional and global organisations, Laxman brings his multi-cultural experiences to the areas of gender equality, child protection, violence prevention, engaging boys and men for social justice, fatherhood, sexual and reproductive health & rights, comprehensive sexuality education and human rights advocacy across Asia, Africa and the Middle East. He speaks English.
Milena Zindović, from Serbia, is an architect, currently based in Belgrade, Serbia, whose interests include urban planning and architectural design, and research on sustainable and inclusive urban development. Milena is a founding member and managing board member of the Women Architect’s Association, founded in 2016 with the aim of connecting and empowering women architects in Serbia. She also founded the initiative Women in Architecture, which has been showcasing and raising attention to women architects in Serbia since 2013. Milena also spearheads the NGO Smart city, where she explores contemporary approaches to sustainable urban development. She speaks English.
Agnes Leina, from Kenya, is the Founder and Executive Director of Il’laramatak Community Concerns (ICC) whose name denotes ‘care-givers’, or pastoralist. ICC is an Indigenous People’s Organization whose main goal is to restore dignity among Indigenous people, with special emphasis on Girls and Women. ICC envisions a society of Indigenous Peoples of Kenya that is free from all forms of discrimination. Agnes is the Gender Coordinator of IPACC, Indigenous People of Africa Coordinating Committee, a position she has held for the last five years alongside being a member of the Academic Advisory Council of the Global forum for indigenous women (FIMI), a global Indigenous Women’s network. She has advocated for the rights of women, including women pastoralist in a number of international and regional climate change and human rights conferences, meetings and fora. She speaks English.
 References to Kosovo shall be understood to be in the context of Security Council resolution 1244 (1999).