An Update from the UN: Commission on the Status of Women 66 Outcomes

Women of Catholic NGO’s gathered at the conclusion of the CSW 66 to celebrate

The Commission on the Status of Women 66 completed two weeks on March 25th with negotiations on the Agreed Conclusions Document as well as the Methods of Work. The various parallel events addressed different dimensions of the priority theme: Achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls in the context of climate change, environmental and disaster risk reduction policies and programs. 

The outcome document contained some Seventy-five (75) paragraphs that were negotiated and adopted.  Like all documents there were some wonderful statements and some disappointments.  Countries were not willing to go the whole nine yards on women’s requests.

In the last two hours of the negotiations, member states talked about what they liked in the Agreed Conclusions and what they disliked. It was the first open exposition of what goes on behind closed doors, and the issues of contention.  Very useful for seeing what member states care about. 

Climate Change got little coverage or disagreement.  Rather, the contentious phrases were “multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination” and diversity phrases.  Several states disassociated themselves from those phrases and said they would not consider them an agreed language.  Several countries said that they interpreted sexual and reproductive health and rights to refer to maternal and neonatal care, not to a right to abortion. 

Some conservative countries wanted stronger statements on family rights and a mention of sovereignty.  

On the progressive side, there were complaints about the omission of intimate partner violence, the Global Compact on Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration, and the Generation Equality Forum.  The delegate from France delivered a poem about the omission of GEF, with the Mexican delegate at his side. 

Susan Lee, Rector Emerita, St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Fall River, Massachusetts offered insights into the final document. She is also the President of the US Caucus on Women.

The US delivered two statements, one at 7:06 on the Agreed Conclusions, and one at 8:55 on Ukraine, delivered by Amb. Thomas-Greenfield (Sofija Korac, the gender negotiator, is behind her). Here is her text:

To hear the final session on the Agreed Conclusions of CSW 66 the link is here.

All in all it was a wonderfully packed two weeks with over 700 side/parallel events from around the world and around 27,000 women participated. The Dominican Leadership sponsored a webinar on the opening day of the CSW66, March 14entitled: Climate Change and Environmental Injustice: Empowering Women toward a more sustainable future.  Here are the links to the recordings in English and Spanish.

Next year’s Priority theme will be: Innovation and technological change, and education in the digital age for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls. The Review theme will be:  Challenges and opportunities in achieving gender equality and the empowerment of rural women and girls (agreed conclusions of the sixty-second session).