Call to Action to follow up on the UN Commission on the Status of Women 2014

4 June 2014

CSW Hala asking a question

Each year the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts sends a delegation of young women to the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) to ensure that the voices of girls and young women are heard by the UN. By providing a platform for our members to directly engage with decision-makers, WAGGGS delegates seek to influence decision-making at a global level - this includes influencing key priority areas present in the final Agreed Conclusions, the major outcome document of the CSW.

The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is the principal global policy-making body that focuses on gender equality and advancement of women at the United Nations. In March every year, representatives of UN Member States gather in New York to evaluate progress on gender equality, identify challenges, set global standards and formulate concrete policies to promote gender equality and advancement of women worldwide. You can read more about CSW and how our Member Organizations can engage in our Brief for Member Organizations.

This year’s CSW was particularly important because it focused on measuring the impact of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on girls and women and paving the way to the new development framework to replace the MDGs once they expire in 2015. We want to let you know about the important work of our delegation at CSW and are pleased to share that the advocacy work of our 2014 CSW Delegation saw the inclusion of strong language on the following WAGGGS priority areas in the Agreed Conclusions document: 

  • The need for a stand-alone goal on gender equality and empowerment of girls and women in the post-2015 development agenda 
  • The need to address the rights of girls and women across all stages of their life-cycle 
  • The need for a rights-based approach to eliminate discriminatory social norms and practices 
  • Recognition of the vital role non-formal education plays in the empowerment of girls and young women and ending violence against girls and women 

Please read the WAGGGS reaction to the CSW 58 Agreed Conclusions.

This is what Hannah Bauer, member of WAGGGS delegation working on the policy shared on her experience in policy-making at CSW.

"We often questioned the actual influence of an individual on the negotiations at CSW. Considering the amount of participants, it is hard to precisely measure dialogue and influence. As for the WAGGGS delegation, being well trained, prepared, and determined as well as connected to our national delegations, we easily spread our key messages. And we were listened to! There was no doubt that we, representing 10 million girls and young women, were determined to change this world for the better and no matter where we went, we were recognized and our messages, inputs, ideas, and comments were listened to, respected, and judging by the outcome document, the agreed conclusions of the CSW 58 – influential."

After CSW 58 annual session and adoption of the Agreed Conclusions, the work is far from being complete, in fact, it’s just the opposite!

CSW world we want for girlsWe call on WAGGGS Member Organisations to ensure their Governments are following up on the commitments they made with regards to the Agreed Conclusions of CSW58. In particular, a call for governments to support policies and programs which address the 4 key priority areas above.

Next year’s CSW will undertake a review of progress made in the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action 20 years after its adoption in 1995. Keep an eye on our website for the call for applications to join WAGGGS delegation to CSW 2015.