Conferences and Meetings

Conferences and Meetings

United Nations Commission on the Status of Women Forty-seventh session

United Nations
Commission on the Status of Women
Forty-seventh session
3 - 14 March 2003
Prepared by Haguer Shokr


The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) held its 47th session from 3 to 14 March 2003, at New York Headquarters. It focused on 2 thematic issues:

  1.  Participation and access of women to the media and communication technologies and their impact on the advancement of women.

  2.  Women's human rights and elimination of all forms of violence against women as defined in the Beijing Platform for Action.

Dr. James A. Harris attended this session and he sent us the papers which contained the following:
They discussed the item of "Follow-up to the Forth World Conference on Women

and the special session of the General Assembly" which includes 3 sub-item, the first one was "Review of gender mainstreaming in entities of the United Nations
System", and the Council requested the Secretary-General in its resolution 1996/6 to prepare annually a report on progress achieved in the implementation  of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and in mainstreaming a gender  perspective within the United Nations system. The Secretary-General submitted  a report on this issue and there was an oral report by the Special Adviser to the Secretary-General, Angela E. V. King, on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women and how they are focusing on achieving the Millennium Development  Goals of the Millennium Declaration of September 2000.

In its resolution 2002/25 on the situation of and assistance to Palestinian  women, the Council requested the Commission to monitor the implementation  of the Nairobi Forward-looking Strategies for the Advancement of Women, in  particular the Palestinian women and children, and requested the Secretary- General to review the situation and to assist them by all available means, and he already submitted a report.  

In its resolution 2002/4, the Council requested the Secretary-General to continue to review the situation of women and girls in Afghanistan and he submitted a report on it.

In its resolution 39/5, the Commission requested the Secretary-General to see the preparation of a joint work plan on the human rights of women and the Division for the Advancement of Women on annual basis, and it encouraged him in its resolution 2002/50, to ensure implementation of the joint work plan, to identify obstacles and to make it available to the Commission on Human Rights at its 59th session.

A report by the Secretary-General was submitted and also there was an oral  statement by Ms. Carolyn Hannan, Director Division for the Advancement of Women.

The General Assembly requested UNIFEM to include in its regular reports information about the support of national, regional and international actions to eliminate violence against women. And they submitted a note including such information to the Commission.  

There were 2 reports transmitted to the Commission, one by the Secretary- General on progress in improving the status of women in the United Nations system and the other by the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against women.

At last there was a note by the Secretariat on the proposed programme budget for the billenium 2004-2005.

The second sub-item was "Emerging issues affecting the situation of women or equality between women and men", and the Council decided that the Commission's agenda would include this sub-item annually.

The third one was "Implementation of strategic objectives and action in the critical areas of concern and further actions and decisions".

The Council decided on the multi-year programme of work of the Commission for the period 2002 to 2006 as follow:
(2004): - The role of men and Women in achieving gender equality.
- Women's equal participation in conflict prevention.
(2205): - Review of implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action.
- Current challenges and strategies for the advancement of women.
(2006): - Enhanced participation of women and development.
- Equal participation of women and men in decision-making processes.

They discussed the two thematic issues. There were many speakers and representatives from all over the world, and they all discussed the situation of women in their countries and how it could be improved. Among them, there was Rania Al-Haj Ali from Syria who said thatlegislation in Syria protected women and children against all forms of exploitation, and she urged the Commission to find justice for Palestinian women using all means it had.

There were 2 reports by the Secretary-General on these thematic issues.
The agreed conclusions on these issues are:

  1.  The Commission reiterates the strategic actions of the Beijing Declaration and it also recalls the United Nations Millennium Declaration (2000) to promote gender equality and the empowerment of women.

  2.  The Commission notes that media and ICT offer tools for enhancing women’s full access to the benefit of new technologies.

  3.  The Commission welcomes the convening of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), to be held in Geneva in December 2003 and in Tunis in 2005, and it encourages the high participation of women in the Summit.

Council decided in order to make the communications procedure of the Commission more effective and efficient:
a) That the Commission should appoint at each session the members of the Working Group on Communications on the Status of Women for the next session.
b) To request the Secretary-General to inform Governments about each communication pertaining to them that will be considered by the Commission, and to ensure that the members of the Working Group receive in advance the lists of communications.

And there was a note by the Secretary-General transmitting the confidential list of communications concerning the status of women.

The Commission will hold its forty-eighth session scheduled to take place during the first two weeks of March 2004, at New York Headquarters. It will focus on 2 thematic issues:

  1.  The role of men and boys in gender equality.

  2.  Women’s equal participation in conflict prevention, conflict management and conflict resolution and in post-conflict peace-building.