viennaACUNS-Vienna Publication

New York City, USA
13–24 March, 2017

The 61st session of the CSW had as a key focus the issue of women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work. The session ended on Friday, March 24th, with the adoption of the agreed conclusions. A wide range of side events (organised by UN Member States) and parallel events (organised by NGOs), over 290 all in all, have been held alongside the discussions in the General Assembly and the consultations on the text from the agreed conclusions. Estimates regarding the number of registered participants to this year’s session range between 8,500 and 9,000, while more than 3,900 of these were NGO representatives from 138 countries.

In the beginning of the session, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres delivered a key note speech, drawing attention to the current global situation, in which women are suffering continuous assaults on their safety and dignity. He stressed that a key element of extremist ideologies which are being enforced in several corners of the world, is the subjugation of women and girls and the denial of their rights. Hence, sexual violence, forced marriage, human trafficking and virtual enslavement are consistently being used as weapons of physical and psychological warfare in today’s world. Furthermore, laws that curtail women’s freedoms are being enacted in certain states, while others are removing legal protections against domestic violence. Discrimination against women and grave infringements upon their basic human rights were said to sound a loud alarm that our common values are under threat. Hence, women’s rights are human rights – and attacks on women are attacks on all of us.

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