The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW)


The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) takes place at the United Nations in New York every year around February / March.  This is the largest global gender equality policy  space and each year draws over 5,000 attendees from Governments, Civil Society and International Non Government Organisations.  

Each year there is a Priority Theme that is discussed and a consensus outcomes document results from the discussions.  This Outcomes Document not only measures the changes that have occurred since the last review, it also provides the platform for  global policy and legislative action that needs to take place to further advance the area under discussion.  As well as the Priority Theme, there is a Review Theme.  The Review Theme monitors and evaluates a previous policy area.  

NRWC participation in CSW starts through local discussions with members and member organisations to develop a submission to the Australian Government on the Priority Theme.  The submission clearly states the advance, areas for consideration and recommendations needed to improve the situation of women and girls from Rural, Regional and Remote areas of Australia.  The submissions from NRWC and other submissions submitted by Women’s Alliances, organisations, and feminist groups support the Office for Women (OfW) in Australia and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFAT) in developing their Country Statements and reviewing their own policy / legislative and programmatic situations.  Since 2019 NRWC has worked collectively with a small group of technical specialists to assist in drafting of language  supporting the issues of rural regional and remote women from Australia in for the Outcomes Document. 

At CSW each year, there is the opportunity to present in Side Events and / or Parallel Sessions. 

For more information on CSW and it’s programme of work 


Participation in CSW by NRWC

CSW 66th Session (2022)

The sixty-sixth session of the Commission on the Status of Women will take place from 14 to 25 March 2022. At this stage it is not known if we will be able to attend the meeting in New York or if this will be a virtual or hybrid meeting.  

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 programmes;    

Review theme: Women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work (agreed conclusions of the sixty-first session) 

Communities from the Rural, Regional and Remote parts of Australia sit at the nexus of climate, sustainability and development.   Whether it is a good harvest, floods, natural disaster, it is those outside of the urban sprawl that are impacted most harshly.  In times of climate stress, natural disaster or Climate change the systemic disadvantages suffered by rural and regional communities, are likely to worsen and further widen the gap between rural and urban areas.

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CSW 65th Session (2021)  

The sixty-fifth session of the Commission on the Status of Women took place from 15 to 26 March 2021. 

In light of the evolving COVID-19 situation,  and taking into account the latest guidance from the United Nations Secretary-General and the World Health Organization (WHO), the CSW65  Ministerial Meeting took place in a hybrid format with mostly virtual meetings. 

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. 

Review theme: Women's empowerment and the link to sustainable development (agreed conclusions of the sixtieth session)

All Side Events, and Parallel Sessions were undertaken virtually.  NRWC presented two virtual parallel sessions :  ‘Rural Women Addressing Communication Barriers’  &  ‘How to Improve the Lives of Rural Women, an Australian approach’.

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CSW 64th Session (2020) : 

The sixty-fourth session of the Commission on the Status of Women took place from 9th to 20th March 2020

Priority Theme : Beijing + 25 Review : Realizing Gender Equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.  

Leading into this review NRWC members participated in the Australian National NGO Review, the NGO Asia Pacific Regional Forum on Beijing + 25 and the Asia Pacific Ministerial Conference on Beijing+25 Asia Pacific Beijing+25 Review held in ESCAP Bangkok, Thailand.  For more information click here 

Attendance at CSW 64th Session was cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions.  

All parallel events and side events were cancelled due to COVID-19

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CSW 63rd Session (2019) : 

The sixty-third session of the Commission on the Status of Women took place from 11th to 22nd March 2029

Priority theme: Social protection systems, access to public services and sustainable infrastructure for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls;

Review theme: Women’s empowerment and the link to sustainable development (agreed conclusions of the sixtieth session);

NRWC presented two parallel sessions :  ‘What Australian Women Want’ & ‘Australian Women’s Leadership’

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CSW 62nd Session (2018)  : Priority Theme : Empowering Rural Women and Girls (12 to 23 March 2018).  NRWC member Jo Stewart-Rattray worked as Technical Advisor with the Australian Government Delegation in the lead up to CSW and during CSW in New York.  

The National Rural Women’s Coalition presented a parallel session : “Participation in and access of women to the media, and information and communications technologies and their impact on and use as an instrument for the advancement and empowerment of women” on 14 March 2018. 

The National Rural Women’s Coalition was represented at CSW  Alwyn Friedersdorff, Keli McDonald, Lisa Shipley, Rechelle Leahy, Leonie Noble, Dorothy Coombe, Sarah Parker, Dr Kim Webber, Hannah Wandel  and NRWC supported delegates Donna Digby and Angela Powditch to attend.  


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Phone: 0455 844 101

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