Global Resources

Nothing about us without us! Statement on the CSW Methods of Work Resolution

Author: Various organisations
Publication Date: Mar 2015

Signed by over 300 women’s and human rights organisations from around the world, ‘Nothing About Us Without Us!’ represents a powerful statement in response to the 59th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW59) Methods of Work Resolution. Speaking as representatives of feminist and women’s organisations working toward the full realisation of rights for women and girls, the opening paragraph expresses the outrage felt at their exclusion from both the negotiation of the Political Declaration, and the CSW Methods of Work resolution.

The document states regret that in the context of increasing attacks on the human rights of women and girls, and where once the CSW was held as a place for women to express their views and influence policy, it seems that governments are intent on closing out NGOs from robust participation and skirt responsibility for implementing the Sustainable Development Goals.

The statement makes clear that the signatories do not come to CSW to attend side-events, but to hold governments to account to the commitments they have made to guarantee gender equality, and advance progressive policies. If CSW can no longer provide that forum for policy change and accountability that fully involves NGOs and other stakeholders, then they will stay at home. To ensure the continued relevance of the CSW to women’s lives, the signatories demand that the Methods of Work resolution:

• Recognise the role of the CSW in fully realising the human rights of women and girls, including through its norm-setting role
• Ensure collaboration with the CEDAW Committee and the Working Group on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women in Law and in Practice
• Enhance the role of civil society in the Commission, including by making negotiations of any Agreed Conclusions open to observation by NGOs (and not just a select few)
• Ensure that NGO interventions are interspersed with those of governments in the general debate
• Increase participation of NGOs in panels, roundtables and other interactive dialogues
• Ensure that the CSW plays a role in monitoring the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, which contain robust commitments to gender

[adapted from source]