Media Advisory: UN’s Commission on the Status of Women highlights women’s full and effective participation and decision-making in public life, 15-26 March

Date: Thursday, March 11, 2021

(New York, 11 March) — Recent research has shown that despite women’s increased engagement and representation in public life, we are far away from achieving full equality at decision-making tables, and online and offline violence against women in public life is also widespread. It is clear that the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated challenges when it comes to women’s rights, decision-making and equal participation in society. Latest data reveals that there is seldom gender parity in decision-making on COVID-19 task teams and response efforts globally, yet in several countries where women hold leadership positions, the response to the pandemic has been particularly effective. When more women are in decision-making positions, more inclusive decisions are made, diverse voices are heard, and different solutions are created. 

The 65th Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), from 15 to 26 March 2021, will focus on examining the progress, gaps and setting a global roadmap towards achieving full equality in public life. This year’s priority theme is, ‘Women’s full and effective participation and decision-making in public life, as well as the elimination of violence, for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls’. The review theme is, ‘Women’s empowerment and the link to sustainable development (Agreed Conclusions of the 60th session here). 

This year’s CSW is an important bridge to the Generation Equality Forum, organized by UN Women and co-hosted by the Governments of France and Mexico, in conjunction with youth and civil society, and will be a pivotal opportunity to change our societies and cement women’s leadership as we recover from COVID-19. The Forum will kick-off in Mexico City from 29 to 31 March, and culminate in Paris 30 June to 2 July 2021. 

During these unprecedented times and against the backdrop of the global pandemic, for the first time in history, the UN Commission on the Status of Women will be held almost entirely virtually. The events organized by UN Women, in collaboration with other UN agencies, organizations and civil society are open for all and listed below. Information on the over 100 official side-events can be found here.  

Members of the Media are invited to attend the following virtual events:

OFFICIAL SESSIONS:

CSW65 Opening Ceremony
15 March 2021, 10:00 to 11:00 AM (ET)

The official opening session of the 65th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women will take place in-person, in the General Assembly Hall at the United Nations Headquarters in New York (the United States of America).  The event is also broadcasted on UN Web TV. More information on official meetings of CSW65 can be found here. 

How to join: The event will be broadcasted on the UN Web TV. 

Ministerial Roundtables

15 March 2021, 4:00 to 5:00 PM and 5:00 to 6:00 PM (ET)

  1. 4:00 to 5:00 PM: Getting to parity: good practices towards achieving women’s full and effective participation and decision-making in public life. Full list of participants can be found here
  2. 5:00 to 6:00 PM: Creating an enabling environment for women’s full and effective participation and decision-making in public life. Full list of participants can be found here

How to join: The events will be broadcasted on the UN Web TV.

Ministerial Roundtables

16 March 2021, 9:00 to 10:00 AM - 10:00 to 11:00 AM – 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM (ET)

  1. 9:00 to 10:00 AM: Getting to parity: good practices towards achieving women’s full and effective participation and decision-making in public life. Full list of participants can be found here
  2. 10:00 to 11:00 PM: Creating an enabling environment for women’s full and effective participation and decision-making in public life. Full list of participants can be found here
  3. 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM: General discussion. Follow-up to the Fourth World Conference on Women and to the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly.

How to join: The events will be broadcasted on the UN Web TV.

CSW65 Closing Session

26 March 2021 (time TBC)
The CSW Closing Session will be held on 26 March. Time will be determined at a later stage. More information on official meetings can be found here.

UN WOMEN ORGANIZED OR CO-SPONSORED EVENTS:

Women’s empowerment in the UN and G20 agendas: policies to support female talents and leadership and to counter GBV
16 March 2021, 1:00 to 2:30 PM (ET)

The women’s empowerment event will be organized by Italy, current Presidency of the G20, with the EU, UN Women and Member States engaged in a debate over the global challenge of ensuring consistent policies to promote the talents and the empowerment of women. These policies require renewed efforts on the part of States, international organizations, businesses and civil society in different but complementary areas: STEMs& Digital Literacy; advancement of women to leadership positions in the private sector; work-life balance; support measures for the economic independence of women to counter GBV; women & the green economy. The debate will be enriched by the participation of representatives of G20 EMPOWER, an initiative promoted by G20 leaders and led by the business world to promote women’s leadership in companies, and of Women20, the G20 engagement group that brings the voice of civil society to the promotion of women’s empowerment. 

How to join: Register in advance here. 

UN Secretary-General’s Town Hall with CSOs
16 March 2021, 10:15 to 11:15 AM (ET)

The virtual town hall will be the UN Secretary-General’s António Guterres annual consultation with women’s civil society. It will provide an opportunity for women’s and youth civil society organisations to engage with the UN Secretary-General on the session’s priority theme: “Women's full and effective participation and decision-making in public life, as well as the elimination of violence, for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls”. The town hall will also build upon discussions from the UN Secretary-General’s meeting with women’s civil society in light of the COVID-19 crisis, addressing ways to build back better and continue protecting and promoting women’s rights and agency within this new context.

How to join: Join the event here.

Partnerships for Implementing Impact-Driven National Actions Plans on Women, Peace and Security in the Context of COVID-19  
16 March 2021, 9:30 to 11:30 AM (ET)

Faced with the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever before to provide support for gender equality and women’s empowerment in fragile and conflict-affected contexts and to encourage additional implementation, financing and partnership efforts on the women, peace and security agenda. The event will share the findings of the recent OECD analysis and research and UN Women’s evaluation on National Action Plans and will feed into policies and practices on gender equality and women’s empowerment in development co-operation. It’s a joint OECD-UN Women side-event, co-sponsored by: Namibia, Jordan and Sweden. Interpretation available in English, Spanish, French, Arabic and Sign language.

How to join: Register in advance here.

Violence against women estimates 2018 and violence against women prevention programming: RESPECT implementation package
17 March 2021, 8:00 to 9:00 AM (ET)

This event will present the latest  WHO report “Violence against women estimates, 2018” and the RESPECT implementation package– a framework for preventing violence against women intended for policy makers to move from policy to practice. The WHO report presents the first global, regional and national prevalence estimates of physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence against women, as well as the first global and regional estimates of non-partner sexual violence against women. The RESPECT package includes steps to implement and scale up promising interventions and links to resources and tools for the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of programmes.

How to join:  Register in advance here.

On the Path to Economic Justice and Rights: Working towards Women’s Economic Empowerment
17 March 2021, 1:00 PM (ET)

In joint efforts with the Leadership Structure of the Action Coalition on Economic Justice and Rights (AC EJR) of the Generation Equality Forum, and as Chair of the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi), Germany is organizing a high-level side event on the women’s economic rights agenda in the context of the Generation Equality Forum. A statement will be made by UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka. 

How to join: Please check more information here.  

Championing Women Leadership in Tech
17 March 2021, 12:00 to 1:30 PM (ET)

This event is co-organized by the EQUALS Global Partnership for digital gender equality, the GSMA, the International Trade Centre, the International Telecommunication Union, Oslo Metropolitan University and UN Women. This joint panel session will examine the root causes of the persistent gender gap among leaders in the tech sector and will present new research findings from the recently published joint EQUALS report titled: ‘Perceptions of Power: Championing Female Leadership in Tech’. The report highlights and examines why there are gender differences in leaders’ perceptions of their leadership qualities. This session will also propose concrete actions that a range of stakeholders can undertake and are undertaking to promote women leadership in tech.

How to join: Register in advance here.  

Making zero tolerance a reality: Peer to peer learning on prevention and elimination of sexual harassment
17 March 2021, 10:30 AM to 12:00 PM (ET)

 A peer-to-peer learning dialogue on the latest work of the Chief Executives Board (CEB) Task Force on Addressing, Preventing and Eliminating Sexual Harassment within the Organizations of the UN system, as well as of the Civil Society partners and UN Member States. The event will explore how we can collaborate to address, prevent and, ultimately, eradicate sexual harassment. It is jointly organized by the Permanent Mission of Sierra Leone to the United Nations, the Group of Friends to Eliminate Sexual Harassment, CEB Task Force on Addressing Sexual Harassment, the UN Secretariat and UN Women. 

How to join: Register in advance here

Marginalized women in fragile and conflict settings – How to make their voices count?
18 March 2021, 10:00 to 11:30 AM (ET)

This event is hosted by Germany, United States, Chile (TBC) and Women for Women International. The event will reflect on the key challenges and gaps that compound the exclusion and hinder the empowerment of marginalized women in fragile and conflict settings. It will take a look at cross-regional policies, implementation and coordination mechanisms that enable meaningful inclusion, representation and visibility, intersectional and rights-based approaches and a focus on women as agents of change.  It will highlight the voices of marginalized women who need to be heard by the international community. A statement will be made by UN Women Deputy Executive Director Anita Bhatia. 

To register for the event, please contact: pol-s2-vn@newy.auswaertiges-amt.de

Generation Equality Forum – Interactive Virtual Side Event at CSW65
19 March 2021, 10 to 11:30 AM (ET)

Organized by the Governments of Mexico, France, and UN Women in partnership with the governments of Canada, Malawi, and the Netherlands. The interactive virtual side event will be a curtain-raiser to the Generation Equality Forum kick-off in Mexico City on 29 to 31 March 2021, intending to build momentum towards the multi-stakeholders’ drive for commitments for gender equality.  With two weeks to go to the Forum in Mexico, the side event will be a unique opportunity to share exciting stories of shared leadership, collaboration and commitments that showcase how the Forum and the Action Coalitions can be a sustained, collaborative acceleration in equality, leadership and opportunity for women and girls worldwide. Organized in three segments, the first one, under the GEF Youth Task Force's leadership, will look at the importance of partnerships, lessons learnt, and the drive to commitments. 

The second segment will feature an intergenerational, multi-stakeholder conversation on the Generation Equality Forum in Mexico. Speakers will discuss highlights of the Forum programme in Mexico and share their stories of inclusive multi-stakeholder leadership and co-creation, the innovative solutions that have evolved during the GEF preparatory process, and their efforts towards driving for action and commitments. The third segment will focus on the importance of women's representation and leadership and strengthening feminist movements. It will highlight how the GEF's multi-stakeholder partnership-building, co-leadership and co-ownership, and feminist movement building model will galvanize gender equality achievements through the Action Coalitions and across the world in the Great Reset after COVID-19. Closing remarks will be provided by UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka.

How to join: Register in advance here.

Ensuring migrant women’s effective participation in public life and elimination of sexual and gender-based violence
19 March 2021, 9:00 to 10:30 AM (ET)

This event is co-organized by Germany, Bangladesh and South Africa, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), UNFPA, UN Women, UNICEF and the Women in Migration Network. This virtual side event seeks to demonstrate the urgency of working with all relevant stakeholders to help prevent and respond to gender-based violence against migrant women and girls. This is even more pressing in the context of COVID-19, which has shone a light on the criticality of guaranteeing equitable access to essential services for all migrants, irrespective of migration status, and protecting and promoting their human rights. The event will underscore the importance of gender-responsive implementation of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration by drawing attention to the specific needs, challenges of vulnerability faced by women and girls at all stages of migration.  

How to join: Register in advance here.

Development Talks: Women in crisis settings – Transforming gaps into synergies
22 March 2021, 10:00 to 11:45 AM (ET)

This event is organized by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) in collaboration with WFP, UNDP, UN Women; EU, Plan International and co-sponsored by Government Offices of Sweden and OECD DAC.

Progress from recent decades is at risk given the challenges the world is currently facing conflicts and humanitarian crises, the climate crisis, COVID-19 pandemic, inequality including gender inequality, curtailed democracy and shrinking democratic space. This high-level side-event will turn our attention to local solutions to reverse the negative trends in the most challenging crisis settings. It will also share insights into how the COVID-19 pandemic can be an opportunity for igniting change and building-back better. Participants will also address how supporting local solutions can lead to more transformative outcomes in crisis settings for all and highlight where the focus of future efforts needs to lie. UN Women Deputy Executive Director Anita Bhatia will participate as a panelist in this event.

How to join: Register in advance here. The event will be broadcasted on this live stream here.  

Equality in Family Law: Committing to Reform
23 March 2021, 10:00 to 11:30 AM (ET)

Women’s rights groups, progressive religious leaders and academics are working together to make the case for the possibility of reform towards equality and justice in family law. Following the launch of the Global Campaign for Equality in Family Law in 2020, the Campaign’s Coordination Committee is organizing this CSW high-level side event on Equality in Family Law: Committing to Reform. UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka is a speaker in this event. 

How to join: Register in advance here. 

The role of women´s rights organizations in the response to and recovery from COVID-19
23 March 2021, 10 - 11 AM (ET)

This session will present UN Women’s Policy Brief No. 20 on “COVID-19 and women’s rights organizations: bridging response gaps and demanding a more just future”, followed by a moderated panel discussion on the critical role that women’s rights organizations play and how best they can be supported as part of responses to the pandemic and beyond. Opening remarks will be provided by Åsa Regnér, Assistant Secretary General and UN Women Deputy Executive Director. Additional and complementary perspectives will be provided by invited discussants Gladys Acosta, Chair of the CEDAW Committee, Elisenda Balleste Buxo, Project Coordinator for the EU co-funded Global Monitor of COVID-19´s impact on Democracy and Human Rights project of the Democracy Assessment Unit (IDEA), and Felogene Anumo, co-leader of Building Feminist Economies Program (AWID). The session is jointly organized by UN Women´s Civil Society Division and Research and Data Section. 

How to join: Register in advance here

Celebrating the Life of Margaret Snyder: A pioneer of the global women’s movement and the UN’s ‘First Feminist’
23 March 2021, 09:00 to 10:30 (ET)

More information TBC 

African Women Leaders Network (AWLN) CSW65 Side Event National Chapters: Driving Women’s Leadership in Africa.
24 March 2021, 7:30 to 9:00 AM (ET)

Since the COVID-19 pandemic erupted in March 2020, African women have been at the forefront of the response to the complex health, socio-economic and security crisis at both national and local levels. Through the national chapters of the African Women Leaders Network (AWLN), women have joined forces to provide support to communities, advocate for women’s leadership and the consideration of their needs in COVID-19 responses and post-COVID actions, ensuring continuity of participation of women in national elections and responding to violence. A year after the beginning of the pandemic, and building on the priority theme of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW65) of “Women's full and effective participation and decision-making in public life, as well as the elimination of violence, for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls”, AWLN is convening a side event to highlight the work of its national chapters across Africa. UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka will participate in this event.

How to join: Register in advance here.

A holistic approach to women’s economic empowerment: Findings from UN joint programming
24 March 2021, 8:30 to 9:45 AM (ET)

This event is co-organized by FAO, IFAD, WFP and UN Women and supported by Sweden (Sida) and Norway (Norad). In order for rural women to achieve their full economic potential, a holistic approach to women’s economic empowerment is needed. Together, through the implementation of the Joint Programme ‘Accelerating Progress Towards the Economic Empowerment of Rural Women’, FAO, IFAD, UN Women and WFP are addressing social norm change and increasing women’s participation and leadership in local governance linked to rural women’s improved economic livelihoods in Ethiopia, Guatemala, Liberia, Kyrgystan, Nepal, Niger and Rwanda. The event will be chaired by Director of Gender, WFP, Kawinzi Muiu, and feature opening remarks by UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka. 

How to join: Register in advance here

Virtual Stakeholder Exchange on the Impact of COVID-19 on Violence Against Women
24 March 2021, 8:00 to 10:00 AM (ET)

The event is co-organized by Sweden and Canada with UN Women/UN Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women (UN Trust Fund) to examine the impact of COVID-19 on violence against women and civil society organisations on the front lines of response– One Year On. UN Women Deputy Executive Director Åsa Regnér will be speaking, joined by representatives from the Government of Sweden, Government of Canada, the European Commission and civil society organizations. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, UN Women and the UN Trust Fund have been committed to highlighting the challenges and adaptive strategies that civil society, especially women-led and women's rights organizations have employed to support women and girl survivors at the times of heightened risks of violence. This event is intended as a one-year follow-up to the UN Trust Fund’s virtual stakeholder meeting on COVID-19 and its impact on violence against women in April 2020. It also provides an opportunity to hear from civil society six months after UN Women’s High-level event on the same issue (29th September 2020) and the launch of the UN Secretary-General’s (UN SG) political engagement strategy on violence against women in the pandemic. The UN SG called on Member States to FUND women’s organisations and services, RESPOND by strengthening services to survivors, PREVENT by addressing harmful social norms that normalise violence against women and COLLECT data to inform policies and programmes. This conversation is of particular relevance as we approach Generation Equality Forum in Mexico where the commitments of the Action Coalitions will be agreed. 

How to join: Register in advance here.

Women Leading Economic Recovery Through Entrepreneurship
24 March 2021, 11:00 AM (ET)

The Women’s Entrepreneurship Accelerator (WEA) is a commitment between five UN agencies and corporate partners to empower 10 million women entrepreneurs by 2030. The panel discussion will be held between the founding partners of the initiative to discuss the critical importance of women’s entrepreneurship for the economic recovery, highlight the need for public private partnerships to support the entrepreneurship ecosystem and invite the private sector partners to jumpstart change for women around the world by joining the Accelerator and growing the initiative over the next decade. 

The discussion will be held virtually on a Zoom Webinar, initiated by welcoming remarks from DED Anita Bhatia, UN Women, followed by a fire-side chat between the partners of the Women’s Entrepreneurship Accelerator initiative. 

How to join: Register in advance here.

OTHERS:

Youth Forum
25 March 2021, 8:00 to 11:00 AM (ET)

The Forum will mobilize young people for the Generation Equality Forum in Mexico. Convening a feminist, empowering space for young people and adolescents to engage, learn, network, and share best practices on how to influence in policy making including intergovernmental spaces and beyond. UN Women Deputy Executive Director Åsa Regnér will speak at the event.

How to join: Register in advance here.

Girls’ Caucus
17 March 2021, 9:00 to 11:00 AM (ET)

Girls’ Caucus is a public forum for girls to discuss the progress in regards to the interests and needs of girls, and offer suggestions on girls' leadership in the implementation of the CSW65 Agreed Conclusions. UN Women Deputy Executive Director Anita Bhatia will speak at the event. 

How to join: Register in advance here.

High-level Intergenerational Dialogue
18 March 2021, 8:30 to 10:30 AM (ET)

The High-level Intergenerational Dialogue will discuss an understanding of meaningful intergenerational co-leadership and will be an opportunity for joint advocacy for young women and non-binary people’s leadership as key to the COVID-19 response and building back better.  The Youth Accountability Framework will be launched. UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka will speak at the event. Open event and live-streamed.

How to join: Please register to the event here.

Advancing Women’s Leadership in Public Finance Institutions
17 March 2021, 10:00 to 11:30 AM (ET)

As of 1 January 2021, only 11 per cent of countries had finance portfolios held by women and less than a third of all heads of national audit offices are women. Join us at this side event for a lively discussion on the barriers that women confront in public finance institutions and the steps that need to be taken to enable greater gender parity in leadership of these institutions.

How to join: Register in advance here.

CSW65 official events: 

Visit https://www.unwomen.org/en/csw/csw65-2021/official-meetings

Entire list of official Side-Events [events co-organised by UN Member States, Intergovernmental organizations and UN entities]: https://www.unwomen.org/en/csw/csw65-2021/side-events or here https://teamup.com/ksjgjdxx23dqs947md  

NGO-organized parallel eventshttps://ngocsw.org/ngocsw65/  

For more information, editorial content and assets on the 65th Commission on the Status of Women, visit  https://www.unwomen.org/en/csw/csw65-2021 and In Focus: CSW65

Social Media: Join the online conversation on Twitter using the hashtags #CSW65, #GenerationEquality, #ActforEqual and by following @UN_Women. You can also find the Social Media package here.

For interviews with senior UN Women officials and speakers at the events, contact media.team@unwomen.org.