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NHRI advocacy to continue at UN women’s body

Graphic: Opening of the CSW meeting, which is held annually in New York

NHRIs will continue their campaign for independent participation at the UN Commission on the Status of Women when the global body meets in March.


National human rights institutions (NHRIs) from around the world will continue their campaign for independent participation at the UN Commission on the Status of Women when the global policy making body meets in March.

The 61st Session of Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) will take place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from 13-24 March 2017.

"Our goal at this year's meeting is to build on the very positive developments we achieved in 2016," said Pip Dargan, Deputy Director of the APF secretariat and APF Gender Focal Point, who will coordinate NHRI lobbying efforts at CSW on behalf of the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI).

In an historic step forward, the Agreed Conclusions issued at the end of CSW 60 in March 2016 included a standalone paragraph to encourage the CSW Secretariat to consider how it could enhance the participation of NHRIs.

"One of the principal reasons we have been able to make such progress is that governments now have a greater appreciation of the unique perspective and insights that NHRIs bring to global discussions of the issues facing women and girls," Ms Dargan said.


Female police officer takes part in an NHRI training workshop, Maldives

Empowering women so they have expanded life choices requires deliberative change to economic policies, to laws and institutions, and to attitudes and cultures.

Read more in the concept note for the NHRI side event on promoting gender equality and women's economic empowerment.


The priority theme for CSW 61 is women's economic empowerment in the changing world of work.

As part of the two-week gathering, the APF and GANHRI will host a side event to showcase the efforts of NHRIs from around the world to support women's workplace participation and economic empowerment.

The side event, to be held on 17 March 2017, is co-sponsored by the Permanent Missions of Afghanistan, Australia, Chile, Costa Rica, Germany, Morocco, New Zealand, Qatar and the United Kingdom.

It will feature presentations from the NHRIs of the Philippines, Morocco and the United Kingdom. Florence Simbiri-Jaoko, GANHRI Special Envoy and former Chairperson of Kenya's National Commission on Human Rights, will chair the discussion.

"For the first time in history, governments have set the concrete deadline of 2030 for the elimination of gender inequality. NHRIs can be vital partners for governments to help deliver on this promise," Ms Dargan said.

"At a domestic level, NHRIs monitor and encourage implementation of UN recommendations relating to gender equality and they can also provide practical redress for women who have experienced employment discrimination," she said.

"More broadly, they can also help to challenge social norms and stereotypes by working with employers, industry sectors, credit agencies, banks and finance institutions."

Date: 13 February 2017


Image credits

  1. Opening of the CSW meeting, which is held annually in New York - UN Women/J. Carrier, Flickr; http://bit.ly/2ledJC3
  2. Female police officer takes part in an NHRI training workshop, Maldives - Human Rights Commission of the Maldives