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the united nations commission on the status of women (csw61)

”Working side by side with eight thousand women creates a warm camaraderie and a palpable shared sense of purpose!”, said ICJW President Robyn Lenn on returning from the Commission on the Status of Women 61st Forum, held in March 2017 at the United Nations in New  York. The Priority Theme of this Forum was “ The Economic Empowerment of Women in the Changing World of Work ”. The overall aim was to upgrade gender balance and insist on the implementation of women’s rights globally.    


The CSW Forum annually runs for two weeks in and about the UN buildings in NY. Daily there are six sessions of one and a half hours with ten different NGO events occuring simultaneously in different halls each session, in other words sixty sessions all dealing with global status of women issues are presented each day.   


As President of International Council of Jewish Women, Robyn spoke of her pride in the contribution made by ICJW's five accredited UN  NGO Representatives to CSW 's programmed sessions.


The International Council of Jewish Women promotes women's rights programs for all women, not only Jewish women. This year the organisation convened three CSW sessions in partnership with other organisations. ICJW is the only global Jewish women's organisation to annually organise and collaborate in CSW events with other global NGO organisations at the UN. 


The most outstanding ICJW event at this year's CSW  was organised in partnership with UNICEF and Together For Girls. The session was entitled “It Starts With Safety - Adding Girls To The Global Agenda”. The panel of five young women, some still in their teens, included  a Nigeria , a Syrian refugee, a Pakistani and two American women. Collectively this panel of empowered, educated activists amazed CSW delegates with their knowledge and  dedication to the task  of upgrading the lives and safety of the world's girls and young women. 


Facts gleaned from this powerful session include that one quarter of women resident in universities have experienced sexual assault. Martial arts training empowers girls and women both physically and emotionally. Girls must be empowered at the community level; youth activism is critical and empowers  girls. Boys and men should also become involved . 


The photo below shows the panel of five young women activists and moderator Daniela Ligiero, CEO of Together with Girls.  

Together for Girls CSW61.jpg


Another CSW session with ICJW involvement was “Human Trafficking and Labour - Accessorising Our Lives At The Cost Of Others”.


ICJW partners Stop The Traffik and advocates fair trade and other agencies which work to upgrade the safety of workers, particularly women and children.  


This session's panel concluded that each of us must act responsibly, should know where our goods come from, need to research supply chains of our purchases and be more aware of the scourge of global human trafficking.

At the ICW session entitled “Strategies to Transform Society: Empowering Women For Economic Rights”,
 Robyn renewed her acquaintance with the President of the International Council of Women, Jungsook Kim.

The photo below from left shows Jungsook Kim, President of International Council of Women; Robyn Lenn, President of International Council of Jewish Women; Madeleine Brecher, ICJW UN Representative New York; Fran Butensky, ICJW UN Representative New York; attending the CSW 61 Forum in New York.


The UN CSW Forum each year works with the world’s women, their organisations and leaders to upgrade the status of women worldwide. All who attend and participate are buoyed up with the enthusiasm and friendship of women from many   countries . The hopes of all those who attend are that one day women will achieve their deserved equality in all areas of human rights.  

During CSW61, a letter signed by 1,000 individuals and NGOs, representing about 80 countries, was presented to Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary-General during a town hall meeting with NGOs representing civil society. Click here to download a copy of this letter, which was signed on by ICJW.

You can also download and read the CSW61 Outcome Document here.