Minister in the Presidency for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities (DWYPD), Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, is leading a South African delegation at the United Nations 66th Session of Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW66) at UN Headquarters in New York.
The conference is scheduled to take place from 14 – 25 March 2022 in a hybrid format, where representatives of UN Member States, including UN entities and non-governmental organisations accredited by the UN from all regions of the globe, will participate.
The 66th session will be considered under the priority theme, ‘Achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls in the context of climate change, environmental and disaster risk reduction policies and programmes’.
The department said the priority theme for the 66th CSW session builds on the priority themes of previous sessions of the CSW, especially the Agreed Conclusions of the 62nd and 63rd sessions.
“These underscore the need for gender-responsive strategies to address climate change and environmental challenges, and to support the resilience and adaptive capacities of women and girls,” the department said in a statement.
The DWYPD noted that climate change and environmental degradation is a global challenge that burdens all humanity, but not equally.
“The world’s poor, the majority of whom are women, are affected disproportionately,” the department said.
As the world continues to grapple with the rapid onset of environmental disasters, and responds to the continued degradation posed by climate change, the DWYPD emphasised the importance of ensuring that the plight of women is firmly on the agenda, and that women from different backgrounds are able to lead and participate in the design of, as well as implementation of programmes and resilience efforts.
The Commission on the Status of Women is the principal global intergovernmental body exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women.
A functional commission of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) was established by ECOSOC resolution 11(II) of 21 June 1946.
The CSW 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.
During the Commission’s annual two-week session, representatives of UN Member States, civil society organisations and UN entities gather at the UN headquarters, where they discuss progress and gaps in the implementation of the 1995 Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.
The representatives also discuss key global policy documents on gender equality and the 23rd special session of the General Assembly held in 2000 (Beijing+5), as well as emerging issues affecting gender equality and the empowerment of women.
Member States agree on further actions to accelerate progress and promote women’s enjoyment of their rights in the political, economic and social fields.
The outcomes and recommendations of each session are forwarded to ECOSOC for follow-up.
“The department, as the custodian of government’s women empowerment and gender equality mandate, is charged with coordinating South Africa’s participation at the United Nation CSW session.
“South Africa also secured Chairship of the Bureau for the 66th and 67th sessions of the Commission on the Status of Women in 2022 and 2023,” the DWYPD said.