An overview of the 61st session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women

An overview of the 61st session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women

Office for Women International Forums The UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW)
Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

Australian delegation returns from CSW61

The 61st session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW61) was held in New York from 13 - 24 March 2017. It culminated in the adoption of Agreed Conclusions after over 100 hours of negotiation.

Australia’s delegation, led by Minister for Women, the Hon Michaelia Cash, returned home having secured in the Agreed Conclusions acknowledgement and support for the full inclusion of Indigenous women in economic life.

Australia was commended for its high-level of participation in the Commission's official sessions, including at ministerial level, our strong support for civil society and the leadership shown in pushing for representation of Indigenous women and girls.

The Australian delegation to CSW61 also included Dr Sharman Stone, Ambassador for Women and Girls; Ms Kate Jenkins, Sex Discrimination Commissioner; officials from the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade as well as three civil society representatives (Ms Leann Wilson, Executive Director, Regional Economic Solutions; Ms Jahna Cedar, Executive Officer, Gumala Aboriginal Corporation, and Ms Elizabeth Shaw, President of Australia's National Committee of UN Women Board).

The delegation demonstrated Australia's strong commitment to gender equality and women's empowerment and willingness to share national experiences and to learn from others.  Australia hosted a number of events during the session.  Highlights included:

  • the annual YWCA roundtable breakfast, which Minister Cash hosted in partnership with the World YWCA General Secretary and President;
  • three side events hosted by Australian civil society organisations and chaired by Minister Cash, notably, the ‘National Action on Indigenous Women's Economic Empowerment‘ event, co-hosted with the NSW Council of Social Services, which showcased best practice towards closing gender gaps and empowering Indigenous women; and
  • a working lunch with Pacific heads of delegations to progress discussions on Pacific priorities for women's economic empowerment and gender equality.