“Engagement with women’s groups is fundamental to the progress of UN Women.” — Michelle Bachelet
Civil society is one of UN Women’s most important constituencies. It is a dynamic source of ideas and policy perspectives, partnerships and support. It plays a vital role in advancing shared strategic objectives to promote gender equality and women’s rights and empowerment. UN Women’s global, regional and national civil society advisory groups serve as forums for dialogue and sustained engagement.
We support civil society participation in a number of intergovernmental processes. For example, outreach to non-governmental organizations in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council assists their contributions to discussions at the Commission on the Status of Women and major international conferences. Continued partnership with grass-roots women during and after Rio +20, the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, has fostered their ongoing dialogue with key policy makers.
By being part of the civil society coordination and knowledge-sharing networks of the UN system, UN Women helps find additional opportunities for civil society to engage around key issues on the global agenda. These currently include international deliberations within the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Peoples. We also work with civil society and women’s groups so that their views are reflected in international development agendas after the 2015 endpoint of the Millennium Development Goals, such as the post-2015 development framework and the Sustainable Development Goals process.
Civil Society Advisory Groups
Consultations with global, regional and national civil society advisory groups help UN Women draw upon the diverse expertise, experience, outreach and knowledge that civil society can offer. They sharpen ideas and strategies for our advocacy initiatives, policies and programmes.
The Global Advisory Group was formed following extensive discussions with civil society networks and member nominations by civil society organizations. Convened by UN Women’s Executive Director, it has 21 members, who include leaders of grass-roots, rural and community–based groups, and indigenous people’s organizations; scholars; activists and male advocates for gender equality and women’s rights.
National and regional groups are established based on local priorities and practices, under the broad guideline of creating a just, balanced and effective body. Members of different groups maintain regular contact through a web-based platform, the CSAG Extranet.