History of NGO CSW

NGO CSW/NY was founded in 1972 under the auspices of the Conference of NGOs (CoNGO). It was formed in preparation for the International Women’s Year (1975), the UN Decade of Women (1975-1985), and the First World Conference on Women held in Mexico City in 1975.

Its mandate was to provide a forum for exchange of information, facilitating a corporation among its member organizations and later, assisting the international community in implementing the Beijing Platform for Action (after its adaption during the fourth International Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995) and other UN agreements. 

NGO CSW has expanded its international presence through the establishment of regional NGO CSW offices. In 1973, CoNGO approved NGO CSW/Geneva, and NGO CSW/Vienna was approved not long after in 1982. In 2015, regional offices in Africa, Arab States/MENA, Asia/Pacific, and Latin America/Caribbean were formed as well.

While NGO CSW/NY has developed and grown since 1972, it has been a key platform for international advocacy toward the promotion of women’s human rights, gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.


Former Chairs of NGO CSW/NY

Ester Hymer 1972-1982
International Federation of Business and Professional (IFBPW)

Kay Fraleigh 1982-1991
International Alliance of Women (IAW)

Mary Power 1991-1995
Baha’i International Community

Sudha Acharya 1995-1999
All Indian Women’s Conference (AIWC)

Eleanor Brown 1999 June-August
International Federation of Women’s Lawyers (IFWL)

Leslie Wright 1999-2003
World Association of Girl Guides (WAGGS), Zonta International

Bani Dugal 2003-2005
Baha’i International Community

Jackie Shapiro 2005-2007
Zonta International

Vivian Pender 2007-2011
International Psychoanalytical Association (IPA)

Soon-Young Yoon 2011-2015
International Alliance of Women (IAW)

Susan O’Malley, Ph.D. 2015-2019
International Federation of Business and Professional Women (IFBPW)