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Mothers’ Union and United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW)

Global Advocacy to Raise the Status of Women and Eliminate Discrimination: Mothers’ Union and UNCSW

The Commission on the Status of Women is “instrumental in promoting women’s rights, documenting the reality of women’s lives throughout the world, and shaping global standards on gender equality and the empowerment of women.”1 

It is the principal global intergovernmental body exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women, and is a functional commission of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations.

ECOSOC was established in 1946, in order to promote, report on and monitor issues relating to the political, economic, civil, social and educational rights of women. Mothers’ Union has consultative status with ECOSOC.

Each year, Mothers’ Union attends the Commission’s annual two-week session in New York, with a delegation of members and staff. We work alongside a range of other NGO’s representing the voice and views of our members and promoting the empowerment and equality of women, and influencing and advising Government delegations from various member states. This is with the intention that each year at UNCSW, member states sign up to a set of agreed conclusions, which they will then implement with their own Governments.

A guiding principle of the Commission is to:

“...raise the status of women, irrespective of nationality, race, language or religion, to equality with men in all fields of human enterprise, and to eliminate all discrimination against women in the provisions of statutory law, in legal maxims or rules, or in interpretation of customary law.”

With consultative status, Mothers' Union has an important role to play in making sure that the voice and needs of our members and women around the world are present in these agreed conclusions, and in holding Governments to account after UNCSW to ensure action is taken to uphold these.

UNCSW 2018

The sixty-second session of the Commission on the Status of Women took place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from 12 to 23 March 2018. 

  • The priority theme was on the “challenges and opportunities in achieving gender equality and the empowerment of rural women and girls”
  • The review theme was on “participation in and access of women to the media, and information and communications technologies and their impact on and use as an instrument for the advancement and empowerment of women (agreed conclusions of the forty-seventh session)”.

Read our 2018 statement to UNCSW and meet our 2018 UNCSW delegation.

UNCSW 2019 

The sixty-third session of the Commission on the Status of Women will take place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from 11 to 22 March 2019. 

  • The priority theme will be on “social protection systems, access to public services and sustainable infrastructure for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls”.
  • The review theme will be on “women’s empowerment and the link to sustainable development (agreed conclusions of the sixtieth session)”.

Please check back for further information on the 2019 UNCSW and how you can get involved.

For information on our global grassroots work to help raise the status of women and eliminate discrimination see our projects and our programmes.

[1] UN Women, Commission on the Status of Women, accessed 20 July 2018

Mothers' Union/Anglican members at UNCSW

A delegation of Mothers' Union and Anglican Communion members from Sudan, Canada, Democratic Republic of Congo and Ghana speak from the 62nd United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW)