Press release: As the world of work transforms, UN’s largest inter-governmental meeting to focus on its impact on women and girls

Issues including productive employment and decent work, equal pay, unpaid care work, informal economy, mobility and technology will be debated at UN Commission on the Status of Women

Date: Thursday, March 9, 2017

Media Contacts:          

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
Maria Sanchez, Ph: +1 646 781-4507, Email: maria.sanchez[at]unwomen.org
Zina Alam, Ph: +1 646-781-4783; Email: zina.alam[at]unwomen.org 

(New York, 9 March)— Amid rising mobilization by women’s movements globally, the UN’s largest gathering on gender equality and women’s rights is set to take place with a focus on “Women’s Economic Empowerment in the Changing World of Work”.  The Commission is the single largest forum for UN Member States and other international actors with a focus on women’s rights and empowerment, which builds consensus and commitment to actionable policy recommendations.  

The session comes at a critical moment with the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development gaining momentum and the world of work transforming rapidly, bringing both challenges and opportunities for women’s economic empowerment and economic justice. While today’s workplaces are increasingly being shaped by innovation, globalization and human mobility, it is also deeply impacted by persistent gender-based discrimination, rising informality of labour and income inequality.

  • Only 49.6 per cent of working age women compared to 76 per cent of men are represented in the labour force globally.
  • Women take on 2.5 times more unpaid work than men.
  • The global gender pay gap is 23 percent.
  • Women are over-represented among the 73 per cent of the world’s population that has limited or no social protection.

At this pace, economic equality among men and women cannot be achieved for another 170 years, according to World Economic Forum’s latest Gender Gap Report.  Research also shows that if women played an identical role in labour markets to that of men, as much as US$28 trillion, or 26 per cent, could be added to the global annual GDP by 2025. At the present pace of change, it will take 70 years to close the gender wage gap. 

The 61th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) will deliberate on the key issues that significantly impact women and girls in the sphere of work, ranging from the gender pay gap to unpaid work, the challenges of the informal economy and the opportunities created by care and green economies, and new technologies. 

“The Commission‘s deliberations on the changing world of work will foster the comprehensive consideration of this topic and achieve a forward-looking outcome. This includes addressing how strongly the home influences the destiny of women and girls, preparing them for certain jobs.   We must turn around the stereotypes that confine their perspectives, build new social infrastructure for clean water, energy and sanitation to reduce the time women spend on unpaid care, and expand their exposure to education and careers,” said UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka.  “Achieving women’s economic empowerment is critical to making sure that no one is left behind, to ensuring economic justice and making Agenda 2030 a reality,” she stressed. 

Along with the 18 official meetings that include Ministerial Round Tables, high-level interactive events and expert panels, over 200 side events and 400 parallel events are scheduled to take place. The Commission will symbolically mark the global gender pay gap on 14 March, at 4.10 pm, with a 3-minute suspension of its proceedings. Eleven countries will make voluntary presentations on their progress in implementation of the recommendations adopted by the Commission at its 58th session.  Many governments will report on progress made at the national level during the general discussion. With growing momentum, civil society will be represented in very high numbers at this year’s session. 

Complementing these, 20 countries have additionally reported on implementing the commitments made at the UN Women hosted historic gathering in 2015, where world leaders committed to putting gender equality at the top of their agenda and kick-start rapid change in conjunction with the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This strong political action gained traction, with close to 100 countries announcing concrete commitments for women and girls. This is a second set of updates, joining the 25 countries that provided updates in October 2016, on the occasion of the 71st session of the General Assembly. Their reports show that countries across Asia-Pacific, Europe, Africa and the Americas are stepping up action to deliver on their pledges to gender equality, and boosting efforts to bridge the vast gender gaps that still exist.

Ahead of the 61st session  of the Commission, UN Women with partners convened regional meetings to help build consensus and set priorities, including in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, Arab States and Asia-Pacific

Side events at the 61st session include the launch of a high-profile Equal Pay Platform of Champions-- as part of a broader ILO-UN Women Global Equal Pay Coalition--calling for equal pay for work of equal value. The final report from the High Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment co-chaired by the President of Costa Rica and CEO of Ikea Switzerland, will be presented to the UN Secretary-General during the session. [Full list of UN Women sponsored side-events below] 

MEDIA ADVISORY 

HIGHLIGHTS FOR MEDIA:

[For press covering IWD and CSW61 events at the UN Secretariat in New York, UN press accreditation is required. More information at: http://www.un.org/en/media/accreditation/]

  •  CSW Youth Forum: Youth Create Gender Equality – Economic Empowerment in the Changing World of Work, 11 and 12 March, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., Conference Rooms 4, A, B, C, D E, 11, Overflow room: CR-2 [Live Webcast] The Forum will convene youth leaders and activists from around the world, to strategize and collaborate towards a global movement for gender equality and sustainable development. It will conclude with a youth declaration to inform the discussions at CSW61.
  • Opening of the 61st Session of the Commission on the Status of Women, 13 March, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., UN General Assembly [Live Webcast]
  • Launch of the Equal Pay Platform of Champions, with Patricia Arquette, Abby Wambach and other Champions, organized by the Missions of Iceland, South Africa, Switzerland, UN Women and ILO, 13 March, 6.30 p.m. – 8.30 p.m., General Assembly Hall [Live Webcast]
  • Commission’s Interactive dialogue: Accelerating the implementation of the commitments to gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls. The Commission will symbolically mark the global gender pay gap, with a three-minute suspension of its proceedings for the first time ever. It will be done at 4.10 p.m., when there is 23 per cent of work-day left, to recognize the gender pay gap, 14 March, 3p.m.-6 p.m., General Assembly Hall and Conference Room 4 [Live Webcast]
  • UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment: Presentation of Final Report and Interactive Discussion, 14 March, 6 p.m.-7.30 p.m., Trusteeship Chamber [Live Webcast]
  • IPU Press Conference--Launch of the Women in Politics Map, organized by IPU and UN Women, 15 March, 12.30 p.m.-1 p.m., Room S-0237 (Press Room, 2nd floor), UN Secretariat [Live webcast]
  • Voices on Gender Equality from CSW: Civil Society meets the Press, 16 March, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., UN Women HQ, 18th Floor, The Daily News Building, 220 East 42nd St, New York [Bios of attendees below]
  • Supporting Feminist Movement Building for Planet 50-50 by 2030, co-organized by UN Women, OHCHR, the City of New York’s Commission on Gender Equity, ICRW, CIVICUS and Cooper Union; in partnership with Made in NY Media Center by IFP, Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP) and 30under30 Film Festival, 17 March, 5 p.m. – 8 p.m., Great Hall of the Cooper Union, 7 East 7th Street, New York
  • Photo Exhibition: Women in Crisis: Vulnerable to risk, vital to recovery, organized by the Mission of Japan and UN Women, from 8 March – 16 April, Visitors’ Lobby at the United Nations Headquarters
  • Photo Exhibition: Changing World, Changing Work, organized by UN Women, from 8-17 March in the 1B corridor; and from 20-24 March at the 1B neck area 

Media Opportunities: Grassroots activists and women’s rights advocates are available for interviews. Bios below. Please contact media contacts listed for details. 

Related links: 

Events at the 61st Session of the Commission on the Status of Women, 13–24 March 2017 

Official meetings of the Commission are listed here: 

http://www.unwomen.org/en/csw/csw61-2017/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 61st Session of the Commission on the Status of Women, 13 March, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., UN General Assembly [Live Webcast]
  • Ministerial segment:Ministerial Round Tables, on the priority theme (in two parallel meetings) on  ‘Gender pay gaps in the public and private sectors: how can equal pay work of equal value be achieved in the changing world of work?’; and   Technology changing the world of work: how can technology and innovation be harnessed to accelerate women’s economic empowerment?’, 13 March, 3.00 p.m.–4.30 p.m. and 4.40 p.m.-6.00 p.m., Conference Room 4
  • Ministerial segment: Ministerial Round Tables on the priority theme (in two parallel meetings) on‘Informal and non-standard work: what policies can effectively support women’s economic empowerment?’ and Full and productive employment and decent work for all: how can Sustainable Development Goal 8 be realized for women by 2030?’, 13 March, from 3.00 p.m.-4.30 p.m. and 4.40 p.m.-6.00 p.m., Conference Room 1
  • High-level interactive dialogue among Ministers on building alliances to promote women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work, 14 March, 00 a.m.-1.00 p.m., Conference Room 4
  • Interactive dialogue on 'Accelerating implementation of Agreed Conclusions commitments to gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls', 14 March, 3.00 p.m.-6.00 p.m., Conference Room 4
  • Interactive dialogue on the empowerment of indigenous women, 15 March, 10.00 a.m.-1.00 p.m., Conference Room 4
  • Interactive dialogue on challenges and achievements in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals for women and girls, 15 March, 3.00 p.m.-6.00 p.m., Conference Room 4 and 16 March, 10.00 a.m.-1.00 p.m., Conference Room 4
  • Interactive dialogue on challenges and achievements in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals for women and girls, 16 March, 10.00 a.m.-1.00 p.m., Conference Room 4
  • Interactive Expert Panel on women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work: The global care economy in the context of the changing world of work, 17 March 2017, 10.00 a.m.-1.00 p.m., Conference Room 4
  • Interactive Expert Panel on enhancing availability and use of data and gender statistics to support accelerated implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action as well as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, 20 March, 10.00 a.m.-1.00 p.m., Conference Room 4 

Entire list of official events available at: http://www.unwomen.org/en/csw/csw61-2017/official-meetings

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 organized/co-sponsored events: 

  • CSW Youth Forum, 11 and 12 March, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Conference Rooms 4, A, B, C, D E, 11, Overflow room: Conference Room 2
  • Opportunities for women to move up value chains in Malawi through economic empowerment for the vulnerable and most excluded, organized by the Mission of Malawi and UN Women, 13 March, 10 a.m.-11.15 a.m., Conference Room A
  • Estimating the economic cost of violence against women in the Arab region, organized by the Mission of Jordan, Jordan National Commission for Women, UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia and UN Women, 13 March, 11.30 a.m.-12.45 p.m., Conference Room B
  • Step It Up Together with Rural Women to End Hunger and Poverty, organized by the Mission of Slovak Republic, European Commission, FAO, IFAD, WFP and UN Women, 13 March, 11.30 a.m.-12.45 p.m., Ex-Press Bar
  • Global Launch of the H.R.H Princess Sabeeka bint Ibrahim Al-Khalifa Award, organized by the Mission of Bahrain and UN Women, 13 March, 1.15 p.m.-2.30 p.m., ECOSOC Chamber
  • Launch of the Equal Pay Platform of Champions, organized by Missions of Iceland, Switzerland, International Labour Organization and UN Women, 13 March, 3 p.m.-8.30 p.m., General Assembly Hall [Live Webcast]
  • Enhancing opportunities for rural women's employment: Lessons from the Joint Programme on Rural Women's Economic Empowerment, organized by the Mission of Sweden, FAO, IFAD, WFP and UN Women, 13 March, 6.30 p.m.-7.45 p.m., Ex-Press Bar
  • Women’s Empowerment Principles Forum 2017: “Measuring Success, Making it Count: Business Investing in Women and Girls” organized by the UN Global Compact, the UN Office of Partnerships and the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation and UN Women, 14 March, 1.15 p.m.-5.45 p.m., Trusteeship Council Chamber [Live Webcast]
  • Ending Violence Against women: Prevention and response to Femicide/ Gender-related killings of women, organized by the Mission of Chile, the Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women and UN Women, 14 March, 1.30 p.m.-2.45 p.m., Millennium Hotel, Room Manhattan, ONE UN Plaza, New York
  • UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment: Presentation of Final Report and Interactive Discussion, 14 March, 6 p.m. – 7.30 p.m., Trusteeship Chamber [Live Webcast]
  • Implementing our commitments: CSW 60/2 on Women, the Girl child and HIV, organized by Southern African Development Community (SADC),UNAIDS, UNFPA,UNESCO, UN Women and women’s organizations, 14 March, 6.30 p.m.-7.45 p.m., Conference Room 7
  • Hacia la profundizacion de la democracia paritaria en la region: retos y desafios, organized by the Missions of Bolivia and Mexico and UN Women, 15 March, 10 a.m.-11.15 a.m., Ex-Press Bar
  • Empowerment of women in rural and insecure areas in Afghanistan, organized by Missions of Afghanistan, Norway, India and UN Women, 15 March, 11.30 a.m.-12.45 p.m., Conference Room 8
  • IPU Press Conference--Launch of the Women in Politics Map, organized by IPU and UN Women, 15 March, 12.30 p.m.-1 p.m., Room S-0237 (Press Room, 2nd floor), UN Secretariat.
  • Empowering rural and indigenous women to achieve food security and nutrition: The CEDAW General Recommendation 34 on the rights of rural women, organized by FAO, IFAD, WFP and OHCHR, 15 March, 4.45 p.m.-6 p.m., Ex-Press Bar
  • Fighting Stereotypes with Judit Polgár, Chess Grandmaster and Planet 50-50 Champion, organized by the Mission of Hungary and UN Women, 15 March, 6.30 p.m.-7.45 p.m., ECOSOC Chamber
  • Developing Gender Equality Standards for Media, organized by UN Women in collaboration with the Global Alliance on Gender and Media, 15 March, 6.30 p.m.-7.45 p.m., Conference Room 7 [Live Webcast]
  • The Barbershop Toolbox: Changing the Discourse among Men & Boys on Gender Equality, organized by the Mission of Iceland and UN Women’s HeforShe Initiative, 16 March, 10 a.m.-11.15 a.m., Conference Room 8
  • Ending violence against women: prevention and response in the world of work, organized by UN Women, 16 March, 1.15 p.m.-2.30 p.m., Conference Room 2 [Live Webcast]
  • Women, Peace and Security-Promoting the Resilience of Women, organized by the Mission of Japan and UN Women, 16 March, 3 p.m.-6 p.m., Ex-Press Bar
  • The changing world of work with need for 21st Century skills, organized by UN Women, 16 March, 4.45 p.m.-6 p.m., Conference Room 8 [Live Webcast]
  • Leaving No Girls Behind: Child Marriage and Early Unions in Latin America and the Caribbean, organized by the Mission of Panama, UNFPA, UNICEF and UN Women, 17 March, 8.15 a.m.-9.30 a.m., Conference Room 8
  • Unlocking finance for Public and Private Gender responsive investments, organized by UNCDF, UNDP and UN Women, 17 March, 10 a.m.-11.15 a.m., Conference Room 8
  • The Invisible Lives of Syrian Women & Overcoming Challenges to Employment, Livelihoods and Economic Empowerment, organized by Islamic Development Bank, UNFPA, Islamic Relief Worldwide and UN Women, 17 March, 3 p.m.-4.15 p.m., Conference Room A
  • Supporting Feminist Movement Building for Planet 50-50 by 2030, co-organized by UN Women, OHCHR, the City of New York’s Commission on Gender Equity, ICRW, CIVICUS and Cooper Union; in partnership with Made in NY Media Center by IFP, Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP) and 30under30 Film Festival, 17 March, 5-8 p.m., Great Hall of the Cooper Union, 7 East 7th Street, New York
  • Challenges and Opportunities in achieving gender equality and the empowerment of Indigenous Women and Girls, organized by UN Secretariat of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, International Indigenous Women's Forum (FIMI), IFAD and UN Women, 17 March, 6.30 p.m.-7.45 p.m., Conference Room 7
  • Integrating a gender perspective in the global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration, organized by UN Women, 20 March, 11.30 a.m.-12.45 p.m., Conference Room 11 [Live Webcast]
  • "Working to improve our own future": Strengthening networks of women with disabilities in humanitarian action, organized by Missions of Australia and Finland, Women's Refugee Commission and UN Women, 20 March, 1.15 p.m.-2.30 p.m., Conference Room B
  • Monitoring legal frameworks that address non-discrimination on the basis of sex: SDG indicator 5.1.1: Whether or not legal frameworks are in place to promote, enforce and monitor equality and non-discrimination on the basis of sex, organized by the World Bank Group, OECD Development Centre and UN Women, 20 March, 1.15 p.m.-2.30 p.m., Conference Room A
  • Financing for Gender equality and Women’s empowerment: Gender Responsive Budgeting Key to achieving the SDGs, organized by UN Women, 20 March, 3.- 4.15 p.m., Conference Room 11 [Live Webcast]
  • Human rights, gender and PVE - community-oriented approaches, organized by OHCHR and UN Women, 20 March, 4.45-6 p.m., Conference Room B
  • Accelerating Women's Leadership, organized by UN Women, 20 March, 4.45 p.m. - 6 p.m., Ex-Press Bar
  • Rights, Justice, and Equality: Imperatives to ending AIDS, organized by UNAIDS, Global Coalition on Women and AIDS (GCWA) and UN Women, 20 March, 6.30 -7.45 p.m., Conference Room 7
  • Women on the move: from global commitments to concrete action, organized by UN Women, 21 March, 10.00-11.15 a.m., Conference Room 11
  • Challenging harmful social norms and stereotypes to empower girls and young women, organized by the Mission of Germany, WAGGGS, UN Inter-agency Network on Youth Development's Working Group Youth and Gender Equality, and UN Women, 21 March, 11.30 a.m.-12.45 p.m., Conference Room 11 

Entire list of all official side events during CSW61: 

http://www.unwomen.org/en/csw/csw61-2017/side-events/calendar-of-side-events

 NGO-organized parallel events: http://www.ngocsw.org/ngo-csw-forum/ngo-parallel-events 

UN Women senior officials will also speak at the following events:

  • NGO CSW61 Forum Consultation Day, organized by NGO CSW/NY, 12 March, 9. -11 a.m., Kaye Auditorium, Hunter College Brookdale Campus, 425 East 25th Street, New York
  • EU: Work conditions and quality of life for women, organized by the European Union, 13 March, 8-10a.m., Delegates Dining Room
  • From Equity to Equality: Strategies for Women's Economic Empowerment, organized by UN Women’s US National Committee, 13 March, 2.30-4 p.m., The Community Church of New York, 40 East 35th Street (between Madison and Park Avenues)
  • Women in Engineering – One Million Girls in STEM campaign, organized by UNESCO’s Women in Engineering Initiative, 13 March, 3.00 -4.15 p.m., Conference Room A
  • Women’s role in the implementation of the New Urban Agenda: Harnessing and Strengthening sustainable urbanization using participatory methodologies for women and youth empowerment, organized by UN-Habitat, 13 March, 6.30 -8 p.m., Conference Room 4
  • Promoting the economic empowerment of women and ensuring the full exercise of their rights in the world of work within the Francophone world, organized by OIF and the Mission of Cote d’Ivoire, 14 March, 1.15 p.m.-2.30 p.m., Ex-Press Bar
  • High-level side event with Member States on the joint global programme on Essential services for women and girls subject to violence, organized by UNFPA and UN Women, 14 March, 6-7.30 p.m., Diplomatic Ballroom, UN Millennium Hotel, New York
  • Roma women in Art Exhibition, organized by the Mission of Hungary, 14 March, 6.15 p.m., Delegates Entrance, United Nations
  • Health and Well-being for Women's Empowerment and more prosperous societies: The role of the Global Strategy for Women's, Children's and Adolescents' Health, organized by Every Woman Every Child, 15 March, 10 -11.15 a.m., Trusteeship Council
  • Investing in Refugee Women: Turning challenges into opportunities, organized by the Arab Women Organization, 15 March, 11.30 a.m. - 12.45 p.m., Express Bar, United Nations
  • Empowering women in Rural & Insecure Areas, organized by the Mission of Afghanistan, 15 March, 11.30 a.m.-12.45 p.m., Conference Room 8
  • Global Launch of the Taa Marbouta Campaign, organized by the Mission of Egypt & UN Women Egypt country office, 15 March, 1.-2.15 p.m., ECOSOC Chamber
  • An “Unstereotyped” World: Catalyzing the Private Sector to Change the Way the World Works for Women by Tackling Limiting Social Norms and Gender Stereotypes, organized by UNILEVER and UN Women, 15 March 2 - 3.00 p.m., UN Women HQ, Daily News Building, 220E 42nd Street, 19th floor, New York
  • Unpaid Care Work – Care policies in the Agenda 2030: Advancing the Triple R framework to Recognise, Reduce and Redistribute unpaid care work, organized by the Mission of Switzerland and ILO 15 March, 4.45 -6 p.m., Conference Room 8
  • Launch of the WPS Acceleration instrument, organized by UN Women, 15 March, 5.-7 p.m., UN Women HQ, Daily News Building, 220E 42nd Street, 19th floor, New York
  • 25th Anniversary Celebration of the Women’s Federation for World Peace, organized by Women’s Federation for World Peace, 15 March, 6 -8 p.m., Diplomat Ballroom, Millennium Hotel, New York
  • Enhancing Nigerian Women's Participation in Politics, Peace and Security, organized by the Mission of Nigeria, 16 March, 11 a.m.-1.30 p.m., AU Conference Hall, Hammarskjold Plaza, 305 East, 47th Street, 5th Floor, New York
  • Indigenous peoples’ cultural heritage - Indigenous peoples' participation and the role of indigenous women in promoting cultural heritage, organized by the Mission of Finland, 16 March, 1.15 -2.30 p.m., Permanent Mission of Finland, 866 UN Plaza, New York
  • Road to reconciliation-justice and dignity in Sri Lanka, organized by the Mission of Sri Lanka, 16 March, 2.45 -4 p.m., Mission of Sri Lanka, 820 Second Avenue, 2nd Floor, New York
  • Women's Livelihood in Post-Conflict Recovery and Resilience of Women, organized by the Mission of Japan and Ambassador Melanne Verveer of Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security, 16 March, 3 -5.30 p.m., Express Bar, United Nations
  • Women´s Economic Rights in Palestine, organized by the Mission of Palestine and the UN Women Palestine Country office, 16 March, 4.45 -6 p.m., Conference Room B
  • The 12th International Helvi Sipilä Seminar: Empowered Futures- Sustainable Economies, organized by the Mission of Finland, the Finnish Federation of Graduate Women, the National Council of Women in Finland, the Coalition of Finnish Women's Associations - NYTKIS, the Young Women's Christian Association of Finland YWCA, and Finland’s National Committee for UN Women,16 March, 6.30 -7.45 p.m., Conference Room 7
  • Decade of Action on Nutrition 2016-2025, organized by FAO, ILO, UNICEF, World Bank TBC, 20 March 1.15-2.30 p.m., Conference Room 11
  • Financing for Gender Equality and empowerment of women: Gender Responsive Budgeting as key to achieving the SDGs, organized by Missions of Nigeria, Namibia, Uganda and Mozambique, 20 March, 3 - 4.15 p.m., Conference Room 11
  • Launch of the International Gender Champions New York, organized by the Mission of Switzerland, 20 March, 6.30 -8.30 p.m., Delegates’ Dining Room 
  • Side-Event with Germany and WAGGGS, organized by the Mission of Germany and WAGGGS, 21 March, 11 a.m.-12.45 p.m., Conference Room 11
  • Violence Against Women and progress to Eliminate it, organized by the Mission of South Africa, 22 March, 6.30 p.m.-7.45 p.m., Conference Room 2
  • Breaking stereotypes for transformed social norms on ‘women and work’, organized by Muslims for Progressive Values, World YWCA, Baha’l International, WCC, Rosaria Memorial Foundation, and UN Women , 20 March, 3-5 p.m., Japan Society 
  • A Purple Economy Complimenting the Green for a Gender Egalitarian and Sustainable Economic Order, co-sponsored by UN Women and Women for Women’s Human Rights (WWHR) – New Ways. Monday, 20 March, 10.30 a.m. – 12 p.m, Salvation Army Auditorium 221E. 52nd St. (between 2nd and 3rd Ave). UN Women Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia, Ingibjorg Solrun Gisladottir will be speaking at this event. [Event flyer]

The following gender equality advocates are available for media interviews: 

Many of them will also be present at the UN Women media event, Voices on Gender Equality from CSW: Civil Society meets the Press, 16 March, 10.00 a.m.-2.00 p.m., UN Women HQ, Daily News Building, 220E 42nd Street, 18th floor – Room 18-81

AFRICA 

Lucia Makamure, from South Africa, is the Alliance & Partnerships Officer for Gender links. Makamure is a trained journalist with over 10 years of experience working on public policy issues. Her career began at the Zimbabwe Independent as a political reporter. Her work on gender, education, climate change and human rights issues has been published in several publications in Southern Africa and internationally by news agencies like Reuters. Lucia is a 2016 Commonwealth Scholar currently studying towards a Masters of Public Policy and Management with the University of York. She speaks English. 

Itumeleng Komanyane, from Botswana, works at Sonke Gender Justice as the International Programmes Network (IPN) Manager. She was recently selected as a member of the Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Civil Society Advisory Group to UN Women. She offers a broad background in the work of engaging men and boys in gender equality promotion, women’s rights, youth involvement and leadership, Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) and HIV and AIDS. At Sonke, Itumeleng works to engage men and boys to take an active stance to end violence against women in Kenya, Rwanda and Sierra Leone. She leads Sonke's efforts to develop and support national, regional and international networks of civil society organization’s capacity to advocate for, and take gender transformative work with men and boys to scale, as well as manages Sonke's initiatives to address gender-based violence in areas where there is, or has been, conflict. Komanyane works very closely with the MenEngage Alliance, a global alliance of more than 400 NGOs, of which Sonke is the steering committee co-chair. Komanyane also plays an important role in the MenEngage Africa Network, consisting of 18 networks across Africa, of which Sonke is the regional coordinator. She speaks English. 

Dinah Musindarwezo, from Rwanda, is the Executive Director of FEMNET (the African Women’s    Development and Communication Network), a pan-African membership organization working to advance women’s rights and amplify African women’s voices across Africa since its inception in 1988.  Musindarwezo is a gender equality advocate with ten years of experience working on issues of gender and development, women’s empowerment and human rights at national, regional and international levels. She speaks English. 

Emma Kaliya, from Malawi, is currently the Chairperson of FEMNET and Program Manager of the Malawi Human Rights Resource Centre. She has 16 years of experience advocating for women’s rights at international, regional and national levels, training individuals and organizations on human rights and gender, and has conducted research on women’s rights. She speaks English. 

Esther Mwaura-Muiru, from Kenya, is a Founder and National Coordinator of GROOTS Kenya (Grassroots Organizations Operating Together in Sisterhood) a network of more than 2000 self-help groups from poor communities in urban slums and rural areas across 15 counties in Kenya. Esther drives the organization’s mission by ensuring that programs are designed to reflect a theory of change that seeks to facilitate grassroots women to effectively engage in development through core strategies like movement building, leadership and advocacy. She has 20 years of experience in development and social work and is a strong regional and global voice in championing grassroots-focused development as the core to sustainable development. She has worked inside an array of Kenyan women’s civic education and political bodies to build inclusive coalitions that span tribal, religious and class divides to commonly promote the advancement of women in formal decision-making. She speaks English. 

LATIN AMERICA/ CARIBBEAN 

Tarcila Rivera, from Peru, is the Executive Director and founder of CHIRAPAQ. She is a journalist by profession and for more than 30 years worked as an activist for indigenous peoples' rights, particularly those related to women, children and indigenous youth in national and international areas. At CHIRAPAQ, she has generated different social processes that contribute to cultural reaffirmation, empowerment of indigenous women, the struggle against racism and discrimination, intercultural education and food sovereignty, while rescuing ancestral wisdom and practices as main inputs to these processes. She focuses on reversing the exclusion of indigenous peoples, and especially of indigenous women. At the UN level, she participates in the creation process of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and the Declaration of the Rights on Indigenous Peoples of the World. She has been recognized as an Indigenous Wise Woman, and holds an Indigenous Visiting Chair at the Intercultural Indigenous University - Universidad Indígena Intercultural (UII). She speaks Spanish and English

Teresa Zapeta, from Guatemala, is a Maya indigenous woman. Teresa has more than 15 years of experience in advocacy for individual and collective rights of indigenous women and indigenous peoples, from NGOs, government agencies and international organizations.  She has been an official of the Government of Guatemala (2004-2008) holding the position of Defender of Indigenous Women. She previously spent five years working at UNIFEM and UN Women, directing an indigenous women project in central Guatemala. She has been a founding partner of several indigenous women’s organizations in Guatemala and Central America, and is also an independent consultant on issues related to women's rights and indigenous peoples for national and international organizations; as well as Professor and facilitator in the areas of training for community and national leaders. Currently she is the Program Coordinator of the International Indigenous Women’s Forum. She speaks Spanish. 

Yifat Susskind is the Executive Director of MADRE, an international women’s rights organization that partners with grassroots women’s groups facing war and disaster. Her work involves partnering with women's rights activists from Latin America, the Middle East, Asia and Africa to create programs in their communities that meet urgent needs and create lasting change. She leads MADRE's combined strategy of community-based partnerships and international human rights advocacy. Coupling this expertise with her extensive writing on US foreign policy and international issues, she helps to develop strategies to build movements for social justice and human rights. Her writing and critical analysis of US foreign policy and women's human rights has appeared in numerous international online and print publications. She speaks English. 

Shirley Pryce, from Jamaica, is a former domestic worker, currently chairs the Caribbean Domestic Workers Network and has been a human rights advocate for over 20 years. She sits on several other boards and committees including the International Domestic Workers Federation, the Association of Women's Organisation of Jamaica, the 51 per cent Coalition and the Consumer Affairs Commission. She was also one of two Caribbean representatives who participated in the International Labour Conference to develop and adopt the Domestic Workers Convention in 2011 which was aimed at adopting the historic set of international standards geared towards improving the working conditions of an estimated 53 million domestic workers worldwide. She speaks English. 

Natalia Caruso, is the Program Director of MADRE, an international women’s human rights organization that partners with grassroots women’s groups facing war and disaster. Natalia plays a key role overseeing MADRE's partnership with sister organizations in Africa, Middle East, and Latin America. Her experience includes coordinating humanitarian assistance, the provision of direct services, technical assistance on leadership, and capacity building trainings with grassroots groups. She speaks English and Spanish. 

Ida Le Blanc, from Trinidad and Tobago, is the General Secretary of the National Union of Domestic Employees and co-founder of the Service Workers Centre Co-operative Society Limited. She is the former 4th Vice President of the National Trade Union Centre (NATUC) and now holds the position of Trustee. She sits on the working group for women and works on the Economic Social and Cultural Rights Network based in New York. She has worked on behalf of domestic workers and low-income workers at the National, Regional and International level seeking protection and equity for them using the CEDAW as a tool in getting the protection they need. She speaks English. 

Ma. Eugenia Romero, from Mexico, is the executive director of the NGO Equidad de Género, Ciudadanía, Trabajo y Familia A.C. She is a nationally and internationally recognized feminist with 30 years of experience in and commitment to promoting and defending women’s rights. María Eugenia has been an activist for women’s rights since 1980. She has been working in the field of sexual and reproductive rights since 1985 and in the administration of non-governmental organizations since 1988. She has participated in many international UN conferences, including Beijing and Cairo +5, +10 and +15, as a member of the Official Mexican Delegation. Her expertise is frequently sought out by government institutions, for example, since 2005 she has been on the selection committee for the women’s shelter’s program which receives funds from the federal Ministry of Health. As a result of her experience in monitoring and evaluating public services, María Eugenia was also invited in 2013 by the federal Ministry of Social Development to participate in the Citizen Advisory Council for the National Crusade against Hunger where she will ensure the integration of a gender perspective in the Crusade and full respect for women’s rights. María Eugenia was a member of the coordinating body for the SUMA Initiative, a collaborative project between four non-governmental organizations, the National Women’s Institute and the Fund for Gender Equality that seeks to increase women’s political participation and economic empowerment. She is an Advisory Board member for the Latin American and Caribbean Women’s Health Network (LACWHN). She speaks Spanish and English. 

Emilia Reyes, from Mexico, is the Director of the Policies and Public Budgets for Equality and Sustainable Development Program at Equidad de Genero. She specializes in the link between sustainable development structural agendas and gender equality. She has undertaken investigation and promotion of public policy with a gender perspective utilizing gender mainstreaming methodologies and macroeconomic and human rights perspectives. She has worked in sectors such as integrated disaster risk management with a gender perspective and climate change mitigation and adaptation with a gender perspective. She is part of the Gender and Climate Finance global group, which specializes in gender mainstreaming in global financial agendas. She is the focal point for the Women's Major Group in the Latin American and the Caribbean Region. She speaks Spanish and English. 

Hazel Brown, from Trinidad & Tobago, is the Executive Director of Network of NGOs Trinidad & Tobago for the Advancement of Women. Hazel Brown has spent most of her adult life as a consumer and women's affairs advocate because of her strong belief that citizens should speak-up on decisions, which affect their lives.  She is also motivated by the conviction that democracy is strengthened in a society where citizens participate actively in the decision-making process. Over the years Brown has been involved in several voluntary social action groups.  An outspoken advocate of women's rights, Brown was a founding member of the Network of NGO's of Trinidad and Tobago for the Advancement of Women, a comprehensive national umbrella organization formed in 1985 to present the position of women in Trinidad and Tobago at the End of Decade Conference in Nairobi. She speaks English. 

Mónica Novillo, from Bolivia, is a women’s rights advocate with over 20 years of experience in advocating for gender equality in Bolivia. Novillo is the Executive Director of the Bolivian civil society organization Coordinadora de la Mujer. An umbrella organization comprised of 21 NGOs that in the past 30 years has provided a platform for peer-learning, research and communication for national activists. Coordinadora de la Mujer has also developed advocacy strategies and public mobilization campaigns to facilitate the recognition, enforceability and justiciability of women’s rights. Novillo is in charge of developing advocacy strategies and proposals to advocate for legislative and public policy reforms on substantive issues relevant to women’s equality, as well as on women’s participation in law and decision-making processes. She speaks Spanish and English. 

Janneth Lozano Bustos, from Colombia, is the director of the Community Support Corporation (Codacop), an NGO that accompanies indigenous communities and organizations in different regions of the country. She is a feminist and popular educator, with extensive experience in working with indigenous and urban-popular women. Bustos is the former coordinator of the Popular Education Network between Women in Latin America and the Caribbean and Catholics for the Right to Decide -CDD- in Latin America. She is a current member of the CSAG from Colombia. She speaks Spanish and English. 

ASIA 

Visaka Dharmadasa, from Sri Lanka, is the Founder and Chair of the Association of War Affected Women and Parents of Servicemen Missing in Action. Ms. Dharmadasa educates soldiers and community leaders about international standards of conduct of war specifically to raise awareness about the importance of combatants’ identification tags and treatment of prisoners of war. She is a member of Women Waging Peace as well as of the global advisory council of Women Thrive World Wide. She was awarded the prestigious Humanitarian award in 2006 by the Inter Action of Washington DC, an NGO consortium comprises of 160 non-governmental organizations. In coordination with the “1000 Peace Women across the Globe” movement, she was nominated for a collective Nobel Peace Prize in 2005. She speaks English. 

Durga Sob, from Nepal, is the founding President of the Feminist Dalit Organization (FEDO - www.fedonepal.org), a Nepalese organization created with the vision to construct a just and equitable society by fighting against caste and gender discrimination. FEDO is an issue-based organization that is challenging Nepalese culture and customs, particularly the currently oppressive system and negative views about Dalit women. A lifelong advocate for the rights of Dalit and women, she has written numerous papers and articles in national and international publications. She speaks English. 

Urvashi Gandhi, from India, is the Deputy Director for Advocacy, Quality and Knowledge Management at Breakthrough, an international human rights organization. During her 12 years with Breakthrough, she has developed expertise as a trainer and a program implementer on women’s rights, gender, sexuality and HIV/ AIDS. She has strong community mobilization skills and has designed and executed programs on building capacities of NGOs, based in the Asia region and others, on how to work at a scale on women's human rights with a special focus on media, campaigns and community mobilization. Urvashi has developed special skills in working with young people especially on the issue of violence against women and girls, sexuality, gender equality and HIV/AIDS, developing and implementing programs for Breakthrough in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka with young people on the issue of Domestic Violence, Sexual Harassment and Rights. Urvashi has co-authored various manuals and publications on the issues of human rights, women’s rights, gender, sexuality, working with young people on addressing masculinities and HIV/ AIDS. She speaks English. 

Dr. Archana, from India, has a Doctorate in Development Communication and works as an Integrator in an Indian NGO, Prada, which works with about half a million rural women organized in over 40000 collectives. Archana worked on grass-root development in the tribal villages of one of the poorest pockets of Madhya Pradesh (India). Her work focused on self-empowerment: encouraging women recognize, acknowledge and assert their role as an economic actor with an enhanced sense of citizenship to claim what is due to their own selves and their communities from State and Society. As a member of various internal committees of PRADAN and State, Archana has been able to connect with other like-minded forums and organizations that work towards strengthening the economic rights of rural women. Archana has conducted various training sessions on the intersection of gender and class. She speaks English

Bimla Chandrasekharan, from India, is the Founder Director of Ekta (meaning unity), whose work centers around strengthening women's political leadership, protecting women's human rights and sensitizing men and boys on the need to work towards gender equality. Ekta works on SDG Goal 5 with multiple strategic interventions. The organization gives priority to creating awareness at various levels with specific focus at the grassroots. Ekta works consistently with youth to explore how cities with adequate infrastructure and support, can enable greater mobility and safe spaces for women and girls. She speaks English, Tamil, and Odiya

Mariyam Mohamed, from the Maldives, is an independent development and gender consultant and the co-founder of Uthema Maldives NGO, which advocates on gender equality and women empowerment in the Maldives. Mariyam Mohamed has more than 14 years professional and academic experience in the development sector. She coordinated issue-based advocacy and activism on gender equality and women empowerment and has contributed and advocated gender mainstreaming across UN and government partners. Ms. Mohamed contributed to the formulation and implementation of the first-ever Domestic Violence Act for the Maldives and carried out advocacy with network of NGOs and individuals over a period of two years to enact the bill through parliament approval. Similarly, Ms. Mohamed formulated an advocacy plan for the draft “Gender Equality Law” for ADB and the Government of Maldives, to push it through parliament and lobby for its implementation. Mohamed is engaged in knowledge building initiatives on Gender Equality in Islam. She is currently engaged in a collaborative initiative in writing on women rights issues, challenges in local language to create awareness among the public to advocate legal systematic reform in the Maldives. She speaks English. 

NORTH AMERICA / EUROPE 

Ito Peng, from Canada/ Taiwan, is a Professor of Sociology and Public Policy, and Canada Research Chair in Global Social Policy at the Department of Sociology, and the School of Public Policy and Governance, University of Toronto. She has written extensively on family, gender and social policies in East Asia. She currently leads a large international partnership research project entitled Gender, Migration, and the Work of Care funded by Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. The project brings together over 50 researchers and non-academic partners to examine how the reorganization of care influences the global migration of care workers, and how this in turn impacts family and gender relations, gender equality, government policies, and global governance. She speaks English. 

Diane Elson, from the United Kingdom, is Emeritus Professor in the Department of Sociology at Essex University, Visiting Professor at the WiSE Research Centre, Glasgow Caledonian University and Research Associate at the Center for Women’s Global Leadership, Rutgers University. She is a member of the UN Committee for Development Policy and is a consultant to UN Women. In 2016, Dr. Elson was awarded the Leontief Prize for Advancing the Frontiers of Economic Thought. She has served as chair of the UK Women’s Budget Group and as Vice-President of the International Association for Feminist Economics. She is the author of many publications and articles on gender equality and economic policy. She speaks English. 

Monami Maulik, from the United States, is a migrant women’s rights advocate and NGO leader. She is currently the International Coordinator for the Global Coalition on Migration, an alliance of migrant-led organizations, labour organizations and faith networks based in every region.  In her role, Monami is leading the organizing of civil society globally to advocate for rights-based policies in the UN Global Compact on Migration process from 2017-2018.  She is a Steering Committee member of the Women in Migration Network (WIMN) and Global Migration Policy Associates. Since 2006, she has helped build global civil society advocacy through the Global Forum on Migration and Development and UN High Level Dialogue processes.  From 2000-2014, as a migrant woman in the U.S., Monami was the founding Executive Director of DRUM- The South Asian Organizing Center, a migrant workers’ organizing center. Ms. Maulik serves as a board member of the U.S. Human Rights Network, the Center for Constitutional Rights and the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights. Ms. Maulik has received the U.S. Human Rights Movement Builder Award and an Open Society Foundation Fellowship. She speaks English.  

CENTRAL ASIA/ RUSSIA 

Avazkan Ormonova, from Kyrgyzstan, is a strong gender advocate in Kyrgyzstan and a director of the Public Fund "Business Initiative Women". She is also a chairman of the budget group of the local self-government in Kyrgyzstan. On the initiative of her fund, there was established a network of deputies of local councils of the south of Kyrgyzstan, which works on promotion of gender equality and women's empowerment issues in local self-government's work. She closely works on building capacity of deputies of the local councils, strengthening cooperation with the Kyrgyz Parliament, and the protection of rights and interests of women and girls at local level. She also promotes gender indicators under 2030 SDGs. She speaks Russian and Kyrgyz. 

Olena Stryzhak, from Ukraine, is the Deputy Head of the Coordination Council of the All-Ukrainian Network of PLHIV and a member of the NGO “Positive Women”, which she represents as a member of the International Steering Committee of the International Community of Women living with HIV and Eurasian Women’s Network on AIDS. In 2002, she started to work as a consultant for HIV-positive pregnant women in Ukraine and continues to help women and girls through All-Ukrainian Network of People Living with HIV. She speaks Russian and English. 

MIDDLE EAST/ NORTH AFRICA 

Heba Nassar, from Egypt, is a Professor of Economics at the Faculty of Economics and Political Science (FEPS) at Cairo University (CU) and Vice-President of CU since 1st of August 2008. She has written several publications and papers in national and international academic conferences and proceedings in different areas such as labour market, skills development, education, microfinance, MDGs, structural adjustment, small business and microfinance, women economic participation, human resource development, poverty, social protection, population studies, privatization, migration and trade, structural adjustment, and social policies in the Arab world. She speaks Arabic and English.