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Mothers' Union at UN Commission on the Status of Women 2023

Mothers' Union at the Commission on the Status of Women 2023

23 Mar 2023

Mothers’ Union was again in (virtual) attendance at the Commission on the Status of Women 2023 (CSW67), which was taking place over the last two weeks. The Commission on the Status of Women is often described as the principal global intergovernmental body exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women, and is a body of the UN’s Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). MU has ‘consultative status’ at ECOSOC, entitling us to attend the main sessions of the annual CSW as well as the parallel sessions run by NGOs.

MU staff and members attended a wide range of sessions, although we did scale down our presence this year because the priority theme, around technology and the digital age, was not as relevant as themes in previous years.

Key sessions included:

  • A discussion on the role of faith-based organisations in combating violations of women’s rights. This session’s agenda featured several inspirational presentations by older women, including Ela Gandhi, South African peace activitst (and granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi) and Ruth Messinger, Finkelstein Institute Social Justice Fellow at the Jewish Theological Seminary. The latter, when asked about effective strategies for women’s rights, replied simply ‘Listen to the women!’
  • Several sessions discussed the issue of child marriage, including the situation of children who are not legally married. Girls who give birth while still themselves children are at much higher risk of death in childbirth and their babies also face higher risks than those born to adults.  And girls who marry at a young age are at a much higher risk of domestic violence than those who marry as adults.

MU is already beginning preparations for next year’s CSW68, when the priority theme is on addressing poverty and strengthening institutions and financing. 

You can read the statement by UN Women at the close of CSW67 here.