We need to ensure an inclusive and gender equitable digital future for all!
This is the postulation of the Political Feminism Program of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung and IT for Change who will be launching their “Charter on Feminist Demands” at a hybrid parallel event at the 67th Commission of the Status of Women in New York on March 9th.
Over the last year, we organized a series of regional dialogues in Asia-Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, Middle East and North Africa, as well as Sub-Saharan Africa to collect feminist visions for a just and inclusive digital transformation. In collaboration of over 100 feminist activist groups, academics and trade union representatives we now present a contextually-embedded vision for the new Global Digital Compact that feminists want.
Their launching event “Fit for Future? – A Global Digital Compact for Gender Justice” takes place on the 9th of March at 2.30 p.m. CET in the UN Church Center (11th Floor). Together with panelists from IT for Change, UNCTAD, UNI Global Union, Ford Foundation, and <A+> Alliance for Inclusive Algorithms we will discuss the calls for urgent action on the UN Global Digital Compact. The event includes a key-note from honorable Svenja Schulze, Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany. To participate online, you can join the event in a livestream on zoom.
Please register here:
FES provides Arabic and French interpretation.
The Commission of the Status of Women is a UN body that monitors gender-based discrimination and seeks to influence international and national contexts for more justice and freedom for women, girls and non-binary people.
In times of economic, political, and health crises, in which right-wing and/or authoritarian politics are on the rise, women's rights are notably at risk of being curtailed. Therefore, it seems particularly important to regularly evaluate the status of their equality. This includes progress and opportunities as well as backlashes in different contexts. Based on this, negotiations can try to challenge the status quo and set new standards for more equal and just living conditions for women, girls, trans, and non-binary people. The CSW creates a binding and annual format. It brings together UN member states, civil society and experts under a thematic agenda. After a two weeks session with delegations from around the word, the CSW is recording their agreements and resolutions to ensure nations further commitment for gender equality.
The priority topic set by the CSW needs to be based on one issue captured in the Beijing Declaration. In 2023, the Commission assembles for the 67th time and focuses on “Innovation and technological change, and education in the digital age for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls”.
For the first time since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Friedrich Ebert Foundation is also represented at the CSW. Together with IT for Change, the Political Feminism Program of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Berlin is hosting the event "Fit for Future? A Global Digital Compact for Gender Justice" on March 9th. At the event, the Friedrich Ebert Foundation presents its political demands for an inclusive and gender-just digital transformation.
The CSW hosts both formal and informal gatherings. While the informal sessions focus on the negotiations of the resolution and are only attended by member state delegations, the formal gatherings are open for everyone. Besides plenary sessions and ministerial roundtables, the formal part includes also expert panels and presentations by member states on freely chosen topics that match the annually changing priority topic of the CSW.
Permanent missions, intergovernmental organizations and United Nations agencies are also represented. In so-called side events, which take place in New York, they host presentations and discussions on national and international perspectives on the situation of women, girls, trans, and non-binary people. Non-governmental organizations have the opportunity to organize so-called parallel events. These are coordinated by the NGO Committee on the Status of Women (NGO CSW). In 2023, some of them will also take place digitally and can be viewed on a separate NGO CSW platform.
The Commission on the Status of Women was established as a functional commission of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in 1946. It was only in 1996 that its mandate was changed and given more importance. Since 1996, the CSW has taken on core tasks in monitoring gender mainstream and establishing women's rights worldwide. It should also ensure a gender perspective in all UN activities.
In doing so, the CSW relies on the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action – an international agenda for guaranteeing and implementing women's rights. It identified twelve key issues that are crucial for monitoring and evaluating the equal participation of women. Namely, they are:
All states that have ratified the Beijing Declaration commit to explaining to the UN how they ensure, promote and protect women's rights nationally. Additionally, the CSW deals every year with a selected main topic, which is based on one ‘critical area’ from the Beijing Declaration. The CSW develops international guidelines and recommendations, which should contribute to a better implementation women’s rights. The CSW is also trying to influence the follow-up of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The aim is to accelerate equality for women in this way as well.