UN CSW 61: Women and the World of Work – an Overview

The GWI Perspective

Download the GWI Written Statement for CSW 61 here: CSW61 GWI written statement


Download the CSW 61 Agreed Conclusions here: Agreed-Conclusions


In the opening statement at NGO/CSW forum on Sunday, March 12, Susan O’Malley (Chair) stated that the work of CSW is grounded in human rights under UNCHR 23.2, that everyone has the right to equal pay for equal work and that our work at CSW is the implementation of those rights, not just in the statement of them.

Round table discussions, side events and parallel events over the two weeks of CSW61 were aimed at finding solutions to the following questions along with many others.

  • “How can we strengthen and support women in this changing world of work”?
  • “Women work harder and longer but their work is not valued / recognized. How do we change the norms”?
  • “How do we change perceptions and attitudes”?
  • “How do we create zero tolerance for violence against women both in the home and in the workplace”?
  • “What are the barriers to economic justice for women and what do we do about them”?

In her opening statement, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngucka (ED UN Women) pointed out that we do have strong instruments that we could take advantage of including CSW itself.

CSW needs to address the elimination of barriers that discriminate against women and girls such as the building of solid legislative frameworks and alliances, to include women and youth in all discussions, and to recognize the contributions of all NGOs, human rights organizations, the labor sector, civil society, and academia. In addition, we need to call attention to the threats that prevent forward movement and to fight xenophobia by upholding rationalism and humanism and have respect for human dignity.

Economic empowerment for women is all about justice. Society must live up to women, not the other way around. Empowerment works best when laws serve everyone, not just men or not just women. Changes in discriminatory laws would affect 3 billion women and girls. As an example: If a male and a female are candidates for the same job or position, the woman is asked if she wants and family and is generally discriminated against. No one asks a man if he wants a family.

Good affordable education for women is one way to allow women and girls a sustainable chance for economic empowerment… and equality in the household is essential along with freedom from violence. Little will be done to achieve empowerment for women and SDG 5 if women are still subjected to violence whether it be sexual, physical or psychological. Men perpetrate violence and get away with it. When women have access to education, they are in a better position to develop their skills and leadership in the world, whether in education, politics or entrepreneurship. It is essential that women learn financial literacy and become competent with digital technology. We need a cultural shift with more women leaders, more women in uniform, more women at the peace tables. With these capabilities, they are better equipped to face the stresses of modern day challenges and they are better able to cope with human rights issues such as equal access ownership, whether it be land, property or rights.

The empowerment of women in the world of work, will enrich themselves, the family and
ultimately render sustainability to the global economy.


A draft of the full GWI report is available here. CSW61 Delegate Report-by Topic-edited-04.12.2017


The full list of GWI delegate reports in their entirety can be found on the GWI website. Member Center password is required. http://www.graduatewomen.org/forums/forum/csw61-new-york/


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