61st Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women

The 61st Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW61) took place in New York from 13-24 March, 2017. The priority theme for 2017 was ‘women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work’ and the review theme revisited the challenges and achievements in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals for women and girls.

Australia sent an official delegation from across the public, private and civil society sectors, led by Minister for Women, Michaelia Cash. Also serving as part of the delegation were Australia’s Ambassador for Women and Girls, Dr. Sharman Stone, and Australia’s Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Ms. Kate Jenkins. Three non-government delegates accompanied the Minister at CSW61; Ms Beth Shaw, Ms Jahna Cedar and Ms Leann Wilson.

The Australian delegation’s participation at CSW61 contributed to Australia’s international profile being at the forefront of efforts to accelerate the realisation of gender equality and women’s empowerment. Through collaboration between the official delegation and Australia’s strong cohort of civil society representatives, Australia was able to secure strong language within the Agreed Conclusions, including:

  • Securing reference to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People and new language on Indigenous women’s economic empowerment
  • Commitments addressing occupational segregation, including the participation of women in non-traditional sectors such as science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
  • Securing reference to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, a key instrument in the realisation of gender equality and the inclusive realisation of women’s economic empowerment.

More on Australia’s involvement at CSW61, including Australia’s Country Statement, can be found here in the CSW61 Report.

The Agreed Conclusions for CSW61 are available from the Bureau of CSW. 

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