CSW 58 Recommends Stand-alone Gender Goal

csw5822 March 2014: The 58th Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW 58) agreed on a set of conclusions on its priority theme, ‘Challenges and achievements in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for women and girls.' The Commission called for gender equality, women's rights and women's empowerment to be reflected in the post-2015 development agenda both as a stand-alone goal and to be integrated into all goals through targets and indicators.

To accelerate MDG achievement and prioritize gender equality, women's rights and women's empowerment in the post-2015 agenda, the session's outcome recommends global, regional and national level actions on: realizing women's and girls' full enjoyment of all human rights; strengthening the enabling environment for gender equality; maximizing investments in gender equality and women's rights; strengthening the evidence-base for gender quality; and ensuring women's participation at all levels and strengthening accountability.

The outcome of CSW 58 "represents a milestone towards a transformative global development agenda that puts the empowerment of women and girls at its center,” said UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka. She commended the Commission for providing “valuable guidance” on shortcomings in designing and implementing the MDGs and identifying issues not sufficiently addressed by the MDGs. Such issues include: women's equal access to assets and productive resources; women's disproportionate share of unpaid care work; the gender wage gap; violence against women; women's sexual and reproductive health; and women's participation in decision-making.

In its outcome, CSW 58: welcomed progress made for women and girls on several MDGs while expressing deep concern that overall progress remains “slow and uneven” across all MDGs; expressed special concern about the lack of progress for the most marginalized groups of women and girls and those living in conflict-affected countries; expressed concern that several MDG indicators, including those on environmental sustainability, hunger, poverty and the global partnership for sustainable development, do not provide information about women and girls; recognized that a lack of investment in gender statistics has limited gender-responsive MDG monitoring; recognized several areas that have hindered MDG achievement for women and girls, such as climate change, food insecurity, global financial and economic crises, volatile food and energy prices, unequal power relations between women and men, and discriminatory laws, social norms and stereotypes; and recognized the lack of systematic gender mainstreaming and under-investment in gender equality and women's empowerment as barriers to progress.

CSW 58 convened from 10-21 March 2014, at UN Headquarters in New York, US. More than 6,000 representatives attended the meeting, which included over 135 events by UN agencies and over 300 parallel events hosted by civil society. [UN Women Statement] [UN Press Release] [CSW 58 Website] [Draft Agreed Conclusions]