Commission on the Status of Women Sixty-second session 12 – 23 March 2018
Challenges and opportunities in achieving gender equality and the empowerment of rural women and girls
1. The Commission on the Status of Women reaffirms the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the outcome documents of the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly and the declarations adopted by the Commission on the occasion of the tenth, fifteenth and twentieth anniversaries of the Fourth World Conference on Women.
2. The Commission reiterates that the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the Optional Protocols thereto, as well as other relevant conventions and treaties, such as the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, provide an international legal framework and a comprehensive set of measures for realizing gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls and the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all women and girls, including those living in rural areas, throughout their life cycle.
3. The Commission reaffirms that the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the outcome documents of its reviews, and the outcomes of relevant major United Nations conferences and summits and the follow-up to those conferences and summits, have laid a solid foundation for sustainable development and that the full, effective and accelerated implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action will make a crucial contribution to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and to achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls, including those living in rural areas.
4. The Commission reaffirms the commitments to gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls made at relevant United Nations summits and conferences, including the International Conference on Population and Development and its Programme of Action and the outcome documents of its reviews. It recognizes that the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) Accelerated Modalities of Action (SAMOA) Pathway, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, and the New Urban Agenda contribute, inter alia, to the improvement of the situation of rural women and girls. The Commission also recalls the Paris Agreement adopted under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
5. The Commission also recalls the United Nations Declaration on the Right to Development and the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants.
6. The Commission recognizes the importance of relevant International Labour Organization standards related to the realization of women’s right to work and rights at work that are critical for the economic empowerment of women, including those in rural areas, and recalls the decent work agenda of the International Labour Organization and the International Labour Organization Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, and notes the importance of their effective implementation, including in rural areas.
7. The Commission acknowledges the important role played by regional conventions, instruments and initiatives in their respective regions and countries, and their follow-up mechanisms, in the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls, including those in rural areas.
8. The Commission emphasizes the mutually reinforcing relationship among achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls, including those in rural areas, and the full, effective and accelerated implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the gender-responsive implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It acknowledges that gender equality and the empowerment of rural women and girls and women’s full and equal participation and leadership in the economy are essential for achieving sustainable development, promoting peaceful, just and inclusive societies, enhancing sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth and productivity, ending poverty in all its forms and dimensions everywhere and ensuring the well-being of all.
9. The Commission reaffirms that the promotion and protection of, and respect for, the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all women and girls, including the right to development, which are universal, indivisible, interdependent and interrelated, are crucial for women’s economic empowerment and should be mainstreamed into all policies and programmes aimed at the eradication of poverty and women’s economic empowerment, and also reaffirms the need to take measures to ensure that every person is entitled to participate in, contribute to and enjoy economic, social, cultural and political development, and that equal attention and urgent consideration should be given to the promotion, protection and full realization of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights.
10. The Commission recognizes that rural women’s equal economic rights, economic empowerment and independence are essential to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda. It underlines the importance of undertaking legislative and other reforms to realize the equal rights of women and men, as well as girls and boys where applicable, to access economic and productive resources, including land and natural resources, property and inheritance rights, appropriate new and existing technology, financial products and services, including but not limited to microfinance, and women’s full and productive employment and decent work, and equal pay for equal work or work of equal value, in both agricultural and nonagricultural activities in rural areas.
11. The Commission reiterates that the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development needs to be implemented in a comprehensive manner, reflecting its universal, integrated and indivisible nature, taking into account different national realities, capacities and levels of development and respecting each country’s policy space and leadership while remaining consistent with relevant international rules and commitments, including by developing cohesive sustainable development strategies to achieve gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. The Commission affirms that Governments have the primary responsibility for the follow-up to and review of the 2030 Agenda at the national, regional and global levels with regard to progress made.
12. The Commission recognizes that progress in achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls, in particular in rural areas, and the realization of their human rights has been held back owing to the persistence of historical and structural unequal power relations between women and men, poverty, inequalities and disadvantages in access to, ownership and control over resources, growing gaps in equality of opportunity and limited access to universal healthcare services and secondary and postsecondary education, gender-based violence, discriminatory laws and policies, negative social norms and gender stereotypes, and unequal sharing of unpaid care and domestic work. It stresses the urgency of eliminating these structural barriers to realize gender equality and empower rural women and girls.
For the full list of conclusions, click here: http://www.unwomen.org/-/media/headquarters/attachments/sections/csw/62/outcome/csw62-agreed-conclusions-advanced-unedited-version-en.pdf?la=en&vs=3837
African Women’s CSW62 Advocacy Position & Policy Recommendations on the CSW62 Priority Theme: “Challenges and Opportunities in Achieving Gender Equality and Empowerment of Rural Women and Girls”
and Review Theme: “Participation in and access of women to the media, and information and communications technologies and their impact on and use as an instrument for the advancement and empowerment of women”
In a bid to strengthen African women’s participation and contribution to the 62nd Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW62), FEMNET and NGO CSW/Africa in partnership with UN Women and other partners, convened a Regional Strategy Meeting of Civil Society in Johannesburg in October 2017. The convening mapped out key strategies for comprehensive and substantive participation of women and girls living in rural areas. A wider civil society participation pre, during and post CSW62 was also agreed upon. Three National Assemblies in Kenya, Malawi and Cameroon of women living in rural areas were held prior to the regional convening to amplify the voices of rural women and girls to ensure meaningful participation and recognition of their role in shaping and contributing to broader sustainable development agendas. Following this in February 2018, a wider Regional Pre-CSW62 Strategy Meeting of women’s rights organizations was held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The above processes culminated in a common advocacy position and policy recommendations with key messages to be used to lobby governments prior to and during the CSW62; the common position and the regional strategy meeting are key tools in sustaining advocacy momentum and the exchange of ideas, information and strategies beyond CSW62. The Pre-CSW62 Strategy Meeting brought together national, sub-regional and regional representatives of women’s rights organisations, UN agencies and partners working and supporting the work of women’s rights organisations in East, West, North, South and Central Africa.
Below are the consensus recommendations of the Addis Ababa convening that will be presented at the global CSW62 convening in March 2018.
A. Strengthen normative and legal frameworks and eliminate laws and policies that discriminate against women and girls living in rural communities
B. Implement economic and social policies for the empowerment of women and girls living in rural communities
C. Strengthen the collective voice, leadership and decision making of women and girls living in rural communities
D. Participation and access of women to the media, and information and communications technologies and their impact on and use as an instrument for the advancement and empowerment of women
Follow/ Engage online using hashtag #CSW62Africa
 Curbing Illicit Financial Flows and dismantling secrecy jurisdictions to advance women’s rights
 Barriers include and are not limited to harmful and retrogressive media stereotypes, harmful cultural and religious narratives, corruption, gender based violence, financial restraints
Official registration for the sixty-second session of the Commission on the Status of Women, to be held from 12 to 23 March 2018 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, is open through 27 January 2018. Please click here for the invitation letter containing important information and instructions on how to register.
For more information on participation in CSW62 please visit:
We look forward to seeing your representative(s) at CSW62 in New York in March.
If your organization does not have ECOSOC status you are advised to reach out to organizations with ECOSOC status to register yourself.