What is CSW?
Every year, the United Nations holds the world’s biggest gathering on women’s rights – the Commission on the Status of Women. Over two weeks, representatives from UN Member States, civil society organisations, UN entities, global leaders, policymakers and campaigners gather at the UN Headquarters in New York to discuss the advancement of gender equality. CSW is the principal global intergovernmental body exclusively dedicated to gender equality and women’s empowerment.
Hero image of CSW68.
Each year, CSW focuses on a priority theme. This year, the 68th session of the Commission (CSW68), will focus on ‘Accelerating the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls by addressing poverty and strengthening institutions and financing with a gender perspective.’
There is an additional review theme that follows up on progress on the agreed conclusions from the session held five years previously (CSW63), which is ‘Social protection systems, access to public services and sustainable infrastructure for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.’
Why is Equality Insights an integral part of this year’s theme?
Improving the circumstances of women and girls experiencing poverty has been a consistent focus and declared priority since the first United Nations World Conference on Women in 1975. The international community has long recognised that addressing poverty to accelerate the achievement of gender equality requires gender-sensitive data. The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action paragraph 68 (a) called for improved “gender and age-disaggregated data on poverty and all aspects of economic activity.”
Despite this, limited progress has been made in measuring or addressing the relationships between gender and poverty globally, or reforming the social and economic systems, structures, institutions and processes that link them.
Equality Insights, through successive, multi-stakeholder collaborations involving academia, civil society, and men and women experiencing poverty, is the world’s first individual-level, gender-sensitive measure of multidimensional poverty that has been created, trialed, iterated, and used in seven countries.
Equality Insights provides a technical solution to the lack of individual-level and gender-sensitive poverty measurement and holistic data that integrates social, economic and environmental considerations. What is needed now is the political will to implement it further and have it available as a routine measurement option.
Read our official NGO Statement on the UN Women website here – available in Arabic, Mandarin, English, French, Russian and Spanish.
What will Equality Insights share at CSW?
Save the date for this not-to-be missed session! Thursday 21 March, 10am EDT at CCUN, 11th Floor.
Poverty measures in widespread use hide lived realities. Assessing the circumstances of households makes it difficult to see the influence of gender, age, disability and other factors on lives and opportunities. Ignoring differences inside the household also underestimates global poverty and inequality by around one-third. And focusing on money or a few aspects of life overlooks many challenges that people with experience of poverty say define it.
While these limitations have been recognised, change requires an alternative – and change-makers.
This panel session showcases Pacific leadership in developing and implementing an innovative individual-level gender-sensitive measure of multidimensional poverty. Speakers will provide an overview of the Equality Insights measure and survey, and insights from use in Tonga and the Solomon Islands. They will explore factors that enable innovation, and what gender-sensitive data make possible for policy makers and advocates, towards accelerating change that leaves no one behind.
Stay tuned for speaker updates!
Past involvement at CSW:
Equality Insights hosted a webinar for the Commission of the Status of Women (CSW66) exploring ways to accelerate women’s economic empowerment using gender-sensitive data. Economic empowerment initiatives often focus on strengthening women’s capacities and opportunities. However, many barriers women face are systemic, rooted in patriarchal norms and unseen by male decision-makers, because they don’t experience them. Progress is further hampered by lack of age and disability disaggregated data about multiple barriers to women’s economic empowerment. Individual-level, multidimensional data on poverty and inequality can help reveal these barriers.
With COVID-19 reversing gains on poverty and inequality, such data is critical to ensure gender-equal recovery. In this webinar, panelists illustrate how availability of disaggregated data enabled gender-responsive action, with a focus on action in the Pacific.
Speakers (roles at the time of the event, March 2022)
- Joanne Crawford – Special Advisor, Equality Insights (IWDA)
- Vaela Falefehi Ngai – Director, Women’s Development Division for the Solomon Islands Government Ministry of Women Youth Children and Family Affairs
- Ruth Maetala – Director, Dignity Pasifik, Solomon Islands
- Kim Robertson – Adviser, Human Rights and Social Development Division, Pacific Community (SPC)
- Chris Ryan – Statistician, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP)