Over the two weeks of the UN CSW, NGO CSW/NY organizes almost 800 events during the Forum that inform, engage and inspire grassroots efforts and advocacy needed to empower women and girls. This provides civil society organizations (CSOs) and activists the opportunity to engage in the processes and CSW sessions without ECOSOC-accreditation or a UN grounds pass.
What is the UN CSW?
The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is the principle global intergovernmental body dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women.
During the two-week session, UN entities, Member States, and civil society discuss issues pertaining to women, girls, and gender equality. The Commission assesses progress and gaps in the implementation of global women's rights documents like the Beijing Platform for Action (BPfA), as well as issues happening on the regional, national, and local levels.
Each year, the Commission focuses on specific themes related to gender equality, known as the 'priority' and 'review' themes.
Learn more about the CSW on UN Women's website here
What is the difference between the two?
The NGO CSW Forum is totally separate from the official UN Commission on the Status of Women session. Below are some important distinctions between the two events.
NGO CSW Forum:
Organized by NGO CSW/NY (a civil society organization)
Civil society forum (not part of the formal UN system)
Do not need to be ECOSOC-accredited to attend
Has Parallel Events hosted by civil society
Organized by UN Women (a UN agency)
Official United Nations Commission
Must be ECOSOC-accredited to attend
Has Side Events hosted by Member States, UN agencies, and ECOSOC-accredited NGOs
Aspects of the NGO CSW Forum:
One of the key components and the most popular aspect of the NGO CSW Forum is the Parallel Events. Each year, we invite civil society organizations around the globe to apply to host a Parallel Event, regardless of their ECOSOC status. These events are totally organized by the host organization and address the CSW priority theme in some way.
Conversation Circles provide a place to raise issues and exchange ideas on different topics in a semi-structured space during CSW66. Each conversation presented a specific topic related to women’s rights and gender equality and were guided by co-facilitators who are experts on the topic.
Hosted by the NGO CSWs in the Regions and the North America & Europe Caucus, regional caucuses are informal, loosely moderated spaces for participants to discuss and reflect upon regional advocacy and their region's most relevant and pressing issues.
CIVIL SOCIETY BRIEFINGS
Co-hosted by NGO CSW/NY and UN Women, the civil society briefings bring together civil society, UN agencies and Member States to share the state of play as developments within the CSW and outcome document negotiation process unfolded.
Meet fellow activists and connect with old friends. The NGO CSW Forum is the perfect place to network with other organizations and advocates in the global gender equality and women's rights movement. NGO CSW/NY and the YLYPs host different sessions that allow for networking and connection between participants.
Advocate for your organization and the issues you're passionate about to Member States and the UN during the NGO CSW Forum. NGO CSW/NY and the YLYPs host advocacy trainings and provide advocacy resources to ensure that you are prepared to engage effectively.
NGO CSW Forum Testimonials
It was an incredible experience and I loved connecting with women and NGOs around the world, and learning about their challenges and successes.
The range of topics in the Parallel Events was tremendous and the quality of the speakers very high. I learned a lot - and it gave me hope in time when equal rights seem to be going backwards.
Thank you for making the effort to continue to bring forth a forum that is not only enjoyable, but needed for the women of our world today.
This was a great experience, and I am honored to have met these amazing girls!
The forum has great potential to democratise UN spaces as well as regional collaboration among feminist groups...The decentralisation that came with the virtual forum, listening to speakers from locations across the world was a very empowering experience.
We have learned so much from this annual forum and our participation was one of the milestones of our organization.
A very successful, participatory forum it was!
I am very grateful for this learning and networking event. What an opportunity!
I am so humbled to get the chance to participate at the NGO CSW. Thank you ! Being at home with a toddler and two other children feeling a little cut off to my activists' life and world, it meant so much to me to see other strong women fighting for women's rights.
Everything was well organized and enriching. It was a pleasure to participate within conversation circles.