From February 25-March 7, 2008, the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) met for its 52nd Session. The CSW is a commission of the United Nations Economic and Social Council. Since 1946, the CSW’s forty-five member state representatives have met on a yearly basis to evaluate progress on gender equality, identify challenges, set global standards and formulate concrete policies to promote gender equality and advancement of women worldwide. This year, the members agreed on six new conclusions and resolutions.
Agreed conclusions on financing for gender equality and the empowerment of women
CSW recalls and reaffirms the many UN resolutions related to gender equality in every aspect of political, economic, and social life, and the importance of the gender mainstreaming tool in working in each of these areas. Stating concern about the lack of State political and budgetary commitment to these areas, as well as the increasing feminization of poverty, negative consequences of structural adjustment programs, and under-resourcing in the U.N. system, CSW urges all governments and public and private sector organizations to take action. CSW lists 39 action areas, including, for example, funding for women’s involvement in conflict resolution and peacebuilding, and increased access for women to bank loans, credit, and legal assistance. Access the full resolution here.
Release of women and children taken hostage, including those subsequently imprisoned, in armed conflicts
CSW states grave concern over continued armed conflicts and violence against civilians, including the taking of women and children as hostages. CSW condemns hostage taking and its results as a continuing violation of international humanitarian law. It calls on parties to armed conflict to allow humanitarian access to hostages, and to the U.N. Secretary General to facilitate the immediate release of civilian women and children. Access the full resolution here.
Ending female genital mutilation
Recognizing that female genital mutilations is harmful to girls and women, and is a human rights abuse, the CSW emphasizes the importance of education and community awareness by all who can help eliminate attitudes and practices harmful to girls. CSW calls on states to strengthen their efforts to address the issue, including legislation prohibiting the practice, among several other recommended actions. Access the full resolution here.
Situation of and assistance to Palestinian women
This resolution states concern for the situation of Palestinian women as a result of illegal Israeli practices. CSW expresses concern about the increasing poverty of women in occupied territories, lack of access to medical care (including women giving birth at checkpoints), and deterioration of economic and social conditions. The Commission calls for women’s involvement in peaceful resolution of conflicts, demands that Israel comply with international human rights laws, and calls for humanitarian aid. Access the full resolution here.
Strengthening of the International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW)
The CSW recognizes the importance of strengthening independent research, particularly for implementing gender mainstreaming policies and practices, and applauds INSTRAW’s progress and contributions in this area. The CSW calls upon States to contribute financially to INSTRAW, and for the Secretary General to support the Institute. The commission requests INSTRAW collaborate to promote better access to education for women and girls, and the mainstreaming of gender perspectives in all policies and programming. Access the full resolution here.
Women, the girl child and HIV/AIDS
This resolution reaffirms existing efforts. The CSW expresses concerns, among many, that the HIV/AIDS pandemic affects women and girls disproportionally and that their vulnerability and access to treatment is increased because of their unequal status. The Commission urges governments to strengthen women’s position so that women can better protect themselves from HIV, to address special challenges faced by older women and those with disabilities, to strengthen sexual and reproductive health initiatives, to prevent and eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls, and to ensure equal access to treatment. CSW calls for a gender perspective in all matters of assistance, programs, and policies relating to HIV/AIDS. Access the full resolution here.
Compiled from: “Commission on the Status of Women Fifty-Second Session: Advance unedited versions of CSW52 Agreed Conclusions and Resolutions,” U.N. Division for the Advancement of Women, 13 March 2008.