Attending UN CSW62

Two ICJW Executive Members – Vivien Brass, Chair of ICJW’s Asia Pacific Region, and Susie Ivany OAM, Vice-Chair of the ICJW Committee on the Status of Women in Jewish Law – traveled from Australia to New York to attend UN CSW62 for the first time.

The theme of the Commission on the Status of Women was “Challenges & Opportunities in Achieving Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Rural Women and Girls.”

NGO CSW NY enables civil societies to engage at CSW. In the 2 weeks of the NGO CSW Forum (with over 400 sessions) it enables participants to be informed, engaged and inspired to continue the grassroots efforts and advocacy needed to lift woman and girls out of poverty, out of violence and into realising their full potential and human rights. Attendees are members of approved NGOs.

We attended as members of the ICJW delegation. As first time attendees it was an
overwhelming experience trying to navigate the system. 5,500 people, 15 concurrent
events in 4 locations spread over a few mile radius.

Each morning began with a briefing in the General Assembly Conference room organised by NGO CSW/NY, UN Women and the Bureau of the Commission on the Status of Women. Presentations were made by representatives of these organisations followed by questions from NGO representatives. Engagement among the participants was encouraged. We took the opportunity to attend the reception with women from the four corners of the earth.

We attended an event on trafficking and technology co-sponsored by ICJW. The Panel of NGO leaders in this arena discussed how technology can be used by perpetrators to exploit victims or assist the law in prosecuting.

Regional caucuses are held weekly to discuss the progress of the negotiated outcome document. Efforts are encouraged to promote dialogue between NGOs and UN member states. Advocacy training is also offered.

The NGO CSW highlights the work of a multitude of organisations doing extraordinary work at the grassroots level. It’s a huge learning curve and a privilege to be at such an extraordinary event.