At Freedom Corner, protest organisers are reading a statement to the media. This about 11.00 AM.


The 60th Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW60) kicks off on Monday 14th March to 24th March 2016 in the UN Headquarters, New York. FEMNET will join over 8,000 NGO representatives and governments delegation to discuss and agree on actions for implementing the priority theme women’s empowerment and its link to sustainable development, and the review theme on ending violence against women and girls.

Effective participation and contribution by African women’s rights organizations before, during and after the 60th CSW meetings and side events is significant and opportune, as it is happening a few months after the historic adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in September 2015. Several women’s rights organizations (including FEMNET) were at the helm of mobilizing and facilitating African women and girls’ participation, engagement and influencing of the Post-2015 development agenda discussions and negotiations that culminated in the 2030 Agenda.

The role of women’s rights organizations in the entire follow-up and review architecture of the 2030 Agenda cannot be underscored. This is especially in leveraging their collective power and voice at national and regional spaces to ensure that the global commitments spelt out in the 2030 Agenda translate into evidenced local actions. In addition, the much-needed role of harmonizing accountability mechanisms for the 2030 Agenda with already existing commitments relating to the respect, protection and fulfilment of women’s human rights, such the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa popularly known as ‘Maputo Protocol’, Africa’s Agenda 2063 and Beijing Platform for Action, is one that women’s rights organizations must champion.

In February during the Africa Pre-CSW60 Strategizing meeting,  representatives of African women’s rights organizations, CSOs, academia and media working to ensure gender equality and women’s empowerment in Africa met in Nairobi, Kenya from 10 – 12 February 2016 to develop a common position and roadmap for engaging with African governments prior to, during and after the CSW60 and recommended key policy actions. Click to download, read and share the Policy Recommendations.

Engage/ Follow conversations on Twitter: #CSW60Africa #CSW60 #2030Agenda #GlobalGoals, #LeaveNoOneBehind #TheAfricaWeWant




“We will never give in to the prevailing web of conservatism against women in all regions of the world…
We shall not allow fundamentalists and extreme groups to disarm women from their rights.
Women will not become the last bastion of colonialism.
We will continue to struggle for our rights.”
-Mervat Tallawy, President of National Council of Women, EGYPT & Head of Egyptian Delegation at CSW 57

This 12-pages Report of the 58th Session of the CSW, captures moments, experiences and reflections of FEMNET’s delegations who were engaged in the various side events, caucus meetings and negotiations meetings etc and what this meant to them and more so in their work of elevating the status of African women and girls.

The ​CSW has been described by many as an opportunity to network, to share and exchange good practices – but it is also an important avenue for increased dialogue, interaction and lobbying with member states.​ As one delegate was reminded “the African Women make the difference at CSW by their active involvement, contribution and commitment!” Indeed, CSW-58 presented the team an opportunity to engage with other advocates from around the world ahead of Post-2015 negotiations.

Enjoy reading/turning the pages and do share with others and send us your feedback to

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My Experience at the 58th Session of the CSW

This was my ‘first’ CSW. First in the sense that the previous one I attended was a totally different experience where I got to plan a side event, attend a couple more and then leave. This experience however was completely different. My colleague and I traveled a week before CSW to participate in a number of meetings. We were privileged to speak at the Open Working Group 9 which was focused on an analysis of the 19 focus areas proposed by the Co-Chairs to inform the next development framework.

This opportunity was made possible as FEMNET is a member of the Women Major Group, one of the nine major groups formed through Agenda 21 to ensure civil society engagement. This is critical as has been said before, “Development cannot be achieved by governments alone.” We articulated the missing link in the 19 focus areas on ‘women’s rights’, ‘SRHR’ and ‘unpaid care’ and also used this opportunity to reiterate our call for access, control over and ownership of resources as well as the importance of gender parity and decision making for women in both the public and private sphere.

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Advocacy Statement for CSW 58

This is a living document – your inputs are welcome.

With less than 800 days to the end date of the MDGs, we call for accelerated implementation of measures to achieve the MDGs and fully support initiatives that are people-centered, and that place women’s human rights and development at the center. One of the key achievements of the MDGs has been gender parity in education. This has so far been measured in terms of enrolment in primary school and could further be scaled up to ensure quality in education, enrolment and retention up to tertiary level and an increase in the number of trained female teachers . In the current context of Africa’s economic growth, especially with the discovery of oil and other precious resources, it is crucial that women’s empowerment remains a key focus so as to eliminate all barriers that prevent women’s access to infrastructure, credit, employment, and markets.

Read more in the attached document.

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