Localizing CSW65 in Europe and Central Asia
The sixty-fifth session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW65) in March 2021 is devoted to the priority theme: Women's full and effective participation and decision-making in public life, as well as the elimination of violence, for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls. This theme correspondences to the priorities identified at the Beijing+25 regional review meeting in October 2019. The Beijing+25 review called for ensuring women’s political participation through two areas: promotion and protection. States were urged to introduce and implement full, affirmative measures in legislation and regulations to ensure parity and equal participation of women at all levels of decision-making. The need for sanctions in case of non-compliance with these requirements and protection of women and girls who are in political life against all forms of violence, abuse, and sexism was highlighted.
To continue this important dialogue and encourage a wider partners’ engagement and contributions for the CSW65, UN Women Europe and Central Asia Regional Office (ECA RO) supported partners in the region to conduct subregional/localized preparatory consultations to examine achievements, challenges, and gaps as well as actions to accelerate the implementation of gender equality commitments both at the local and regional level. For this purpose, UN Women ECA RO partnered with the government of Albania in convening online sub-regional consultations for the Western Balkans and Turkey and with the Senate of Uzbekistan, for the subregional consultations for the Central Asia in February 2021.
On 11 March 2021, regional civil society consultations were conducted to take stock of progress in terms of women’s political participation and the elimination of violence, to discuss the main challenges and obstacles and agree on the main actions to make the required changes. The consultations were attended by representatives of over 60 civil society organizations and activists from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Republic of Moldova, Romania and Ukraine. The meeting was hosted by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Social Protection of Moldova and the “Institutum Virtutes Civilis” Public Association, Moldova.
The consultations provided space to reflect on the challenges and achievements with regards the theme of CSW65 in an inclusive and participatory manner. The discussions will contribute to the CSW65 consultations by voicing the specific sub-regional visions, experiences, and lessons.