The theme of the 58th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW58), which took place in New York on 10-21 March 2014, was “Challenges and achievements in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals for women and girls”. Also on the meeting agenda was Women’s and girls’ access to technology.

This edition addresses the negotiations and barganing in agreements during CSW 58 around information and communication technologies (ICTs) and women’s rights, as well as the prospects for 2015, a key year for the women’s movement agenda. Debates around women’s reproductive health and rights issues were a clear example of this. Once again advocates need to spend their efforts in defending previous agreements instead of building on them for visible progression.

Section J on Women and Media of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action is still the only instrument to work with in terms of ICTs and women’s rights issues, and has resulted in very little forward movement.

The most outstanding advances from this year’s CSW in terms of ICTs and women’s rights notes a persisting gender gap in access to ICTs as stated in the agreed conclusions, and it urges governments and other institutions, including the private sector to take actions to enhance women’s full enjoyment of all human rights.



Two weeks to push for greater recognition of our rights

What did we do for two weeks in New York? We participated in one of the most interesting and combative meetings for the advancement of women's rights worldwide. The annual session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is a major event on the calendar of governments and women's organisations because it is where discussions take place on advances and unmet goals under the Beijing Platform for Action and other agreements reached at the Fourth World Conference on Women in 1995. Almost 20 years after the signing of this Platform by all of the world's governments, the monitoring of fulfillment and the need to continue reaffirming and advancing the achievement of women's rights continues to draw concerted attention and heated discussion from government and civil society representatives. These debates are crucial to ensure that the agreements reached in Beijing do not merely remain on paper or as good intentions frozen in time.

Fighting the backlash: Moving the agenda forward at the CSW

The 58th session of the Commission on the Status of Women was held in New York from 10 to 21 March 2014. While there were strategic moves forward in relation to ICTs and tech-related violence against women, the APC Women's Rights Programme discuss both the highlights and the frustrations the women's movement faces in pushing the women's rights agenda forward.

CSW58: "We need to move beyond agreements towards public policies that will fulfil the commitments made to women"

The 58th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) took place from 10 to 21 March 2014 at the United Nations headquarters in New York. “Challenges and achievements in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for women and girls" was this year's priority theme. The participation of women's organisations in CSW sessions provides an opportunity for delegations to highlight and promote the incorporation of specific gender equity goals. After many years of work, women's organisations have achieved a voice of their own at these meetings. But participation is not enough. Holding governments accountable to the effective implementation of the commitmentsthey signed onto, is the new challenge. To analyse these and other questions, writer Florencia Flores Iborra spoke with Dafne Sabanes Plou, who participated in CSW 58 and shared her views on the issues discussed during the session.

Alberto Cerda: "There are many more international agreements to protect intellectual property than to protect people's privacy"

Alberto Cerda is the international affairs director at Derechos Digitales, a Chilean NGO, and a specialist in intellectual property and privacy issues. In this interview, he analyses the legislation and policies being adopted in Latin America to deal with online violence against women involving the invasion of privacy, and the responsibility assigned to internet intermediaries and individuals.

Good women, girls and HIV: Morality over health at the Commission on the Status of Women

Every March, the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) meets at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City. This year’s theme was the Millennium Development Goals, because a new development framework is being worked out beyond 2015. In addition to the events about technology, this year’s Commission on the Status of Women negotiated a resolution on HIV. Negotiating the resolution on Women, the girl child and HIV/AIDS was difficult and went late into the night.

Jac sm Kee on Take Back the Tech! @ CSW58: Access and control of technology is critical to advance on women´s rights

The International Knowledge Network of Women in Politics spoke with Jac SM Kee, Manager of the Women's Rights Programme, Association for Progressive Communications at the event "ICTs and the Internet as Powerful Means in Advancing Women's Rights and Empowerment: Opportunities and Challenges" which took place in New York at the 58th UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW58).

Leading up to the Beijing Review: Strategising for Section J

A strategising meeting for Beijing Platform for Action Section J was held on 13 March during this year’s CSW 58. The meeting was attended by representatives of APC, Isis International, Women and Media Collective, and Search for Common Ground, to plan for Beijing+20, emphasising Section J concerns, particularly the use of all media and ICTs to be seen as an issue that cuts across all the 12 critical areas of concern in the Beijing Platform.

CSW58: Jan Moolman from APC explains centrality of media and ICTs in conversations about development

As part of an NGO parallel event at CSW58, hosted by the Southern Africa Gender Protocol Alliance and Gender Links, Jan Moolman, Women's Rights Programme project coordinator from APC, explains how important information and communication technologies and the media are in advancing gender equality and protecting women's rights.

LAC countries submit position letter on CSW58 agreed conclusions

The position of Latin American and Caribbean countries on the CSW58 agreed conclusions emphasises the inseparable link that exists between human rights and development. The signing organisations, which include APC, also express concern over the non-incorporation of the human rights of women in the agreed conclusions and the elimination of references to sexual and reproductive rights.