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The 58th session of Commission on the Status of Women (CSW58) is taking place at United Nations Headquarters from 10-21 March, 2014. The focus of this year’s session is on the Challenges and Achievements in the Implementation of the Millennium Development Goals for Women and Girls.

With the Millennium Development Goals set to expire at the end of 2015, this session of the Commission of the Status of Women offers an important opportunity for Members States, UN organizations, civil society, NGOs and women’s organizations to build on the lessons of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and take stock of progress and remaining challenges. These discussions come at a critical time, as UN Member States look ahead to define the future global development roadmap – also known as the post-2015 agenda. 


The Commission on the Status of Women is the principal global policymaking body dedicated exclusively to addressing gender inequality and the advancement of women.

The Commission meets annually at United Nations Headquarters in New York to evaluate progress on gender equality, identify challenges, set global standards, and formulate concrete policies to promote gender equality and women's empowerment worldwide.

Established in 1946 as a functional commission of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), it reports to the Council to promote women’s rights across various fields, and makes recommendations on problems requiring immediate attention.

Forty-five Member States of the United Nations serve as members of the Commission at any one time.

The principal output of the Commission on the Status of Women is the agreed conclusions on priority themes set for each year. The annual report is submitted to the ECOSOC for adoption.


UNFPA is concentrating efforts to address why the empowerment of women and girls, sexual and reproductive health and rights, and the rights of young people, as well as population dynamics more generally, are central to the achievement of the MDGs and to ensuring sustainable development in the context of the post-2015 development agenda.

This is particularly critical for MDG 5, the goal on improving maternal health that lags the farthest behind.

UNFPA looks forward to an outcome to the CSW58 that adequately reflects issues of gender equality, the empowerment of women and girls, human rights, young people and sexual and reproductive health and rights, and the elimination of harmful practices such as child marriage female genital mutilation/cutting. All must be part of any future sustainable development.

This year is also pivotal because it marks the 20th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD). The comprehensive ICPD@20 Global Review recently led by UNFPA – a landmark UN review of progress, gaps, challenges and emerging issues in relation to the ICPD Programme of Action – points to enormous development gains over the past two decades. But it also reveals that persistent inequalities and discrimination continue to undermine the human rights of far too many women and girls. That is why, as we build a new sustainable development framework, it is critical to put the most marginalized and vulnerable women and girls at its centre.

Throughout the Commission, UNFPA will also sponsor and take part in various side events focusing on gender equality, the girl child, women in humanitarian crisis, eliminating maternal mortality and morbidity through the empowerment of women, and linkages between HIV and sexual and reproductive health and rights.

 Related publications:

The Millennium Development Goals Report 2013
ICPD Beyond 2014 Global Report
Empowering People to Ensure a Sustainable Future for All
State of World Population 2013
Engaging Men and Boys
UNFPA-UNICEF Joint Programme on Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting: Accelerating Change


News and Updates

22 March 2014

UNFPA Welcomes Outcome of the 58th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women

UNITED NATIONS, New York — UNFPA, The United Nations Population Fund, welcomes the agreement by the 58th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) that clearly reaffirms the international community’s commitments to gender equality and the empowerment and human rights of women and girls. We also welcome the Commission’s reaffirmation of the importance of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development. more
18 March 2014

Engaging Adolescent Boys and Young Men for Gender Equality

UNITED NATIONS, New York – Adolescent boys and young men are critical allies in the battle for gender equality and must be proactively and positively engaged at an early stage. They can be educated to challenge gender stereotypes, promote positive constructions of masculinity, and practice attitudes and behaviours based on equality and respect for human rights. This was the focus of discussions at a side-event hosted by UNFPA during the 58th session of the Commission on the Status of Women. more
17 March 2014

Sound of Silence: Dealing with the Legacy of Sexual Violence as a Weapon of War

UNITED NATIONS, New York – Women often suffer the worst consequences of armed conflict. As targets of sexual violence, they endure unspeakable atrocities on the margins of the world’s battlefields. As part of this year’s Commission on Status of Women, UNFPA co-hosted a high-level panel addressing sexual violence in conflict and the needs of victims and survivors, with a special emphasis on learning from the experiences of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Rwanda. The event was also the occasion to launch “Sound of Silence”, a book of photographs that portrays the lives of women survivors of conflict-related sexual violence in Bosnia and Herzegovina. more
12 March 2014

Empowering Youth to End Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting

UNITED NATIONS, New York - “We want to stress the fact that youth cannot and will not be ignored. We may be young, but we have experienced female genital mutilation. We know how it feels. We understand it. Ending it is a battle we can win. It can end with us. We are ready for action.” This was the voice of Aissata Camara, one of the young participants invited to take part in a side-event of the 58th Commission on the Status of Women focusing on the role that governments and civil society can play to empower young people to end female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C). more
11 March 2014

Building the Future of Africa by Empowering Women and Youth

UNITED NATIONS, New York – As the 58th session of the Commission on the Status of Women opened in New York, UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, and the World Bank Group convened a high-level side event to focus efforts on a landmark partnership to promote regional peace, security and development in Sub-Saharan Africa. UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin and representatives of the World Bank were joined by Ministers from Benin, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Niger, who shared their experiences on addressing these issues in their countries. more
11 March 2014

Accelerating Progress on the Millennium Development Goals for Women and Girls

UNITED NATIONS, New York - The Heads of United Nations organizations came together during the 58th session of the Commission on the Status of Women to release a high-level joint statement emphasizing the important role of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment globally. more
06 March 2014

International Women’s Day: Progress for Women and Girls is Progress for All

As we commemorate International Women’s Day and celebrate the many achievements of women and girls, we should also remember that for far too many, the ability to live a healthy, productive life free from violence, to fully enjoy their rights, remains an aspiration. So today is also a time to recommit ourselves to delivering once and for all on the promise of gender equality, women’s empowerment and sexual and reproductive health and rights for all women and girls everywhere. more