Media advisory: UN’s Commission on the Status of Women to assess progress for the world’s women through the Millennium Development Goals


United Nations, New York — The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the internationally agreed blue-print for global development, set in the year 2000 with a target date of 2015, played an important role in galvanizing attention and resources for gender equality and women’s empowerment. Important gains have been made, for instance in girls’ access to primary education, but overall advancement for women and girls has been uneven and fallen short of expectations.  

Lack of access to drinking water continues to exacerbate the burden of water collection for many women and young girls; women are grossly under-represented in national parliaments; and almost 800 women are still dying every day during child-birth as the target to reduce maternal mortality remains unmet. The mixed progress in achieving the MDGs has a deep impact on the lives of women globally. Studies show that advancement also varies dramatically from country to country, and for the most marginalized groups.

The forthcoming 58th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women, to be held from 10-21 March, will closely examine the gaps and the achievements made since 2000 under the priority theme of ‘Challenges and achievements in the implementation of the MDGs for women and girls’. The meeting will be an important milestone in the ongoing post-2015 debate, opening opportunities to advance advocacy for the centrality of women’s empowerment and gender equality and a stand-alone Sustainable Development Goal in that context. On the eve of the session, International Women’s Day events will kick off the year-long mobilization for the 20th anniversary and review of the landmark Beijing Platform for Action, to galvanize further momentum to shape the future development agenda, built on the foundation of inclusiveness and lessons learned.     

Over 6000 NGO representatives from 860 organizations worldwide have registered to attend the meeting. Over 135 side events hosted by UN Agencies are planned alongside the official meetings of the Commission. Additionally 300 parallel events will be hosted by civil society organizations.

Pre-CSW highlights:

  • Guest at the Noon Briefing, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka , UN Women Executive Director, 6 March, 12 noon, Room S-0237, UN Secretariat [Live webcast]
  • UN Observance of International Women’s Day 2014 “Equality for Women is Progress for All”, 7 March 2014, 12 noon- 1 p.m. United Nations Headquarters, Trusteeship Council Chamber, New York. Participants include: Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General; John W. Ashe, President of the 68th session of the UN General Assembly; Hillary Rodham Clinton, Former United States Secretary of State, U.S. Senator; Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women; and Andrea Nunez, Vice President of the World YWCA Board. [Live webcast]

For press wishing to attend IWD and CSW58 events, UN press accreditation is required. More information at:

Media Opportunities: Women’s rights advocates and experts are available for media interviews. Full list below; please contact UN Women press contacts.

Related links:

Events at the 58th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women, 10 – 21 March 2014
Official meetings of the Commission are listed here:
Live webcasts:

Official Sessions:

  • Opening of the 58th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women, 10 March, 10 a.m.- 1 p.m., General Assembly [Live Webcast]
  • High-Level Roundtable on the priority theme of CSW58, 10 March, 3-6 p.m., CR-1 (CB) and CR-2 (CB)
  • Panel 1 and 2 on priority theme – Challenges and achievements in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals for women and girls, 12 March, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. and 3-6 p.m., CR-2 (CB)
  • Panel 3 on emerging issue – women’s access to productive resources, 13 March, 3-6 p.m., CR-2 (CB)
  • Panel 4 and 5 on review theme – access and participation of women and girls in education, training, science and technology, including for the promotion of women’s equal access to full employment and decent work, 18 March, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. and 3-6 p.m., CR-2 (CB)  [Live Webcast]
  • Closing of 58th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women, 21 March, 10 a.m.-7 p.m., UN General Assembly [Live Webcast]

UN Women organized or co-sponsored events:

  • Unpaid care work, poverty and human rights, organized by UN Women with OHCHR, UNRISD, ActionAID International, IDS, Oxfam, CWGL, 10 March, 4.45-6 p.m., Conference Room D (CB)
  • IPU Annual Parliamentary Event "At the crossroads of sustainable development and gender equality: the role of parliaments" organized by IPU and UN Women, 11 March, (all day event), ECOSOC Chamber
  • IPU-UN Women press conference to launch the Women in Politics Map 2014, 11 March, 11 a.m., Room S-0237, UN Secretariat, New York [Live Webcast]
  • Accelerating progress on the MDGs for women and girls: High-level statement from Heads of UN Agencies, organized by UN Women along with UNESCO, UNFPA, UNDP, UNAIDS, UN-HABITAT, UNSD and OHCHR, 11 March, 1.15-2.30 p.m., Conference Room 1 (CB) [Live Webcast]
  • Women's Empowerment Principles—Equality Means Business: A Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue on Implications for the Post-2015 Development Agenda, organized by UN Women with UN Global Compact, International Federation of Business and Professional Women, NGO CSW Forum 2014, 11 March, 1.15-2.45 p.m., Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium
  • Linking HIV, Gender Equality, and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, as part of the Post-2015 social justice agenda, organized by UNAIDS, 11 March, 6.30-7.45 p.m., Conference Room 1 (CB)
  • MDG Acceleration through Transformative Policing and Security, organized by UN Women, UN National Committee U.K. and International Association of Women Police, 12 March, 10.30 a.m., Guild Hall of the Armenian Convention Centre
  • Indicators for monitoring gender equality: Lessons learned from the MDGs, organized by UN Women with UN Statistics Division, 12 March, 1.15-2.30 pm, NLB Conference Room 7
  • Engaging Men and Boys to achieve the Millennium Development Goals for Women and Girls, organized by the Missions of Switzerland, Brazil, MenEngage, 12 March, 1.15-2.30 p.m., Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium
  • Gender: the Aha moment - personal perspectives of engagement for gender equality. Organized by UN Women, 13 March, 1.15-2.30 p.m., Dag Hammarskjold Library Auditorium [Live Webcast]
  • ICTs for women’s economic empowerment and poverty reduction, organized by UN Women with the Government of Canada, Microsoft, World Pulse, ITU and Nielsen, 14 March, 1.15-2.45 p.m., CR1 (CB) [Live Webcast]
  • The Voices of African Women and Girls in the Post-2015 Development Agenda, organized by UN Women with ACORD and World YWCA17 March, 1.15-2.30 p.m., Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium [Live Webcast]
  • New approaches to poverty eradication among women with disabilities – full access to financial services and products, organized by UN Women, Mission of Germany and DESA, 19 March, 1.15-2.45 p.m., NLB Conference Room 7.

[Full list of official side events: ; NGO-organized parallel events: ]

UN Women senior officials will speak at the following events:

  • Trafficking in human beings – a severe form of violence against women and girls and a flagrant violation of human rights, organized by Council of Europe and Mission of Austria, 10 March, 1.15-2.30 p.m., Conference Room-1
  • Women’s Human Rights Defenders, organized by Amnesty International, Mission of Norway, Nobel Women’s Initiative, ISHR, JASS-Mesoamerica, ICAN, 10 March, 1.15-2.30 p.m., Conference Room-7
  • Girls’ education and gender equality on the threshold of 2015, organized by UNICEF, UN Girls’ Education Initiative, EFA GMR, Education International, 10 March, 1-3 p.m., UNICEF House
  • Combating violence against women – Regional perspectives, organized by the Government of  Poland, with the Missions of Japan and the United Kingdom,  10 March, 4.45-6 p.m., Conference Room C
  • High-level Francophonie Consultations on Gender Equality and Women’s Economic Empowerment in the Francophonie: Building the post-2015 Development Agenda, organized by the International Organization of La Francophonie (IOF), 10 March 2014,  6.30- 7.45 p.m., Conference Room 1
  • Regional review of the MDGs Post-2015 and Beijing+20 North America/Europe, a NGO CSW NY side event co-sponsored by the Mission of Latvia, 10 March, 6.30-8 p.m., NLB, CR 2
  • Women and water: multipliers of development, organized by Mission of Switzerland, 11 March, 3-4.15 p.m., Venue: Conference Room C (CB)
  • ICT and the Internet as powerful means in advancing women’s rights and empowerment: Possibilities and Challenges, co-organized by Missions of Estonia, Botswana and Mongolia, 12 March, 11.30 a.m. – 12.45 p.m., Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium
  • Promoting Gender Equality and Empowering Women and Girls through Education, organized by the Nordic Council of Ministers, 12 March, 11.30 a.m.-12.45 p.m.
  • How the Sirleaf Market Women's Fund is Spearheading the Market Women's Movement Across Africa, organized by the Mission of Liberia and the Sirleaf Market Women's Fund, 12 March, 6.30-7.45 p.m., Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium
  • Greater inclusion of women in the professional workforce, organized by the Asia Society,  12 March, 7-8.30 p.m., Asia Society
  • The Beijing Platform for Action and the global development agenda – from the Millennium Development Goals to the post-2015 development agenda, organized by Anglican Communion Office at the UN, 13 March, 10-11.30 a.m., Episcopal Church Centre
  • Strategies to Eradicate VAW through increasing Poverty and Food Security Efforts, organized by Ilitha Labantu, 13 March, 12.30–2.30 p.m., Church Centre
  • Meeting of the Equal Futures Partnership on linkages between gender-based violence and women’s economic and political participation, convened by the Missions of the United States and Denmark, 13 March, 12:30-2 p.m., U.S. Mission
  • “Feminization of poverty in rural areas: innovative funds proposed by Spanish cooperation in order to meet the MDG and Post-2015 Agendas”, organized by the Mission of Spain, 13 March, 3-4.15 p.m. , Conference Room D
  • Mobility as Access: Harnessing urban women’s potential through equitable transport”, UN-Habitat, 18 March, 6.30-7.45 p.m., Conference Room 2
  • “South Sudan Front and Centre: Mobilizing for Peace after the Addis Ababa Cessation of Hostilities Agreement”, co-organized by the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders (GNWP), Cordaid, Peace is Loud, and United Methodist Women, 20 March, 1.15-2.45 p.m., Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium.

The following gender advocates are available for media interviews:

Agnes Leina, Il'laramatak Community Concerns, Kenya
Agnes Leina has nine years of experience working with indigenous women and girls in Kenya to end all forms of violence against women, working with the Coalition on Violence against Women before she founded the NGO Il’laramatak Community Concerns. She has been part of the national working group that contributed to the design of the legislation that has now outlawed Female Gender Mutilation in Kenya.

Aili Liimakka Laue, Inuit Circumpolar Council, Greenland (Denmark)
With strong network-building capacity, Aili Liimakka Laue, member of the Inuit Circumpolar Council, has represented indigenous youth voices in many national and international forums, including Inuusuttut Ataqatigiit, National Inuit Youth Council “Sorlak”, and the UN Indigenous Youth Caucus, to ensure and further develop Inuit culture and society for both present and future generations.

Amy Bank, Puntos de Encuentro, Nicaragua
Amy Bank is co-director of Puntos de Encuentro (, a Nicaraguan non-profit organization dedicated to women's and youth’s -individual and collective- empowerment and rights.  She has played a key role in the creative direction of the campaigns that helped the Women's Network against Violence become the largest women's movement coalition in Nicaragua. Her latest project is a social soap-style TV series “Sexto Sentido” to promote rights awareness.

Chanda Thapa Magar, Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact, Thailand
Chanda Thapa is Regional Indigenous Women Programme Coordinator for Asia Indigenous Peoples’ Pact, where she is responsible for developing and coordinating programmes focusing on empowering Indigenous Women. Her previous experience includes work with diverse women’s groups for peacebuilding and increasing women’s political participation. She also contributed to the drafting and development of the National Action Plan on UN Security Council Resolutions 1325 on women’s participation in peace processes and 1820 on sexual violence in conflict zones. 

Fatima Leonor Gamboa Estrella, Red de Jóvenes Indígenas – Alianza de Mujeres Indígenas de Centroamérica y México, Mexico
Fatima Leonor Gamboa Estrella is a Mayan lawyer who has served as an Attorney for Women of Yucatan State and has collaborated on various projects to prevent violence on indigenous communities. She currently works with Equis Justice for Women, analyzing the rulings of the national network of judges for equity in order to document good practices in the administration of justice. Read her blog.

Hibaaq Osman and Sarah Vaill, Karama, Egypt
Hibaaq Osman and Sarah Vaill are the founder-CEO and Director of International Advocacy & Programme Planning for Karama, a non-profit organization that explores, at a regional level, the impact of Arab Spring transitions on women and aims to increase their leadership and voice in the political sphere, ultimately advancing gender equality. Karama is a grantee of UN Women’s Fund for Gender Equality.

Maissan Hassan, Women’s Memory Forum, Egypt
Also a grantee of UN Women’s Fund for Gender Equality, the Women and Memory Forum seeks to advance the cause of women’s political empowerment and leadership in Egypt by assembling an archive that documents and highlights the role of Egyptian women as leaders, activists and participants in major movements for change. Through data collection and analysis, information dissemination, networking and awareness-raising, the programme compiles women’s narratives confronting traditional cultural stereotypes and prejudices to provide an example of women’s crucial role in formal and informal political life. Read her blog.

Martha Lekitony Ntoipo, Pastoralist Information and Development Organization, United Republic of Tanzania
For the past 10 years, Martha Lekitony Ntoipo has advocated for the rights of women in the Maasai community and their right to participate in decision-making processes, land and property ownership, and for gender equality. She has also promoted campaigns against female genital mutilation and forced early marriages, as part of an ongoing effort to improve the status of women of her community. Read her blog.

The UN Women Global Civil Society Advisory Group (GCSAG)
The GCSAG has 23 members, including leaders of grass-roots, rural and community-based groups, and indigenous peoples’ organizations, as well as scholars, activists and male advocates for gender equality and women’s rights. Some GCSAG members including Tarcila Rivera Zea (Peru), Charlotte Bunch (USA), Sharon Bhagwan Rolls (Fiji), Hibbaq Osman (Egypt), Bandana Rana (Nepal), Josephine Castillo (Philippines), Drude Dahlerup (Sweden), Selma Acuner (Turkey), Marling Haydee Rodriguez (Nicaragua), Violet Shivutse (Kenya), Joanne Sandler (USA) will attend CSW58 and will be available for interviews upon request. During the Group’s last meeting, members agreed to issue a Call to Action to intensify work towards gender equality and women’s empowerment.

Representatives from other organizations attending CSW58 include: Coordinadora de la Mujer (Bolivia); All China Women’s Federation (China); ONEF (Cote d’Ivoire); Women Entrepreneurs Support Association (Kyrgyzstan); International Women's Rights Action Watch Asia Pacific (Malaysia); Mugede (Mozambique); Gender Links (South Africa); and Network of NGOs (Trinidad).