unpaid care work

65th Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women

The sixty-fifth session of the Commission on the Status of Women will take place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from 15 to 26 March 2021.

Representatives of Member States, UN entities, and ECOSOC-accredited non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from all regions of the world are invited to attend the session.

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;

Review theme: Women’s empowerment and the link to sustainable development (agreed conclusions of the sixtieth session)

Explore official meetings and organization of the session at unwomen.org/en/csw/csw65-2021/official-meetings.

Bureau

The Bureau of the Commission plays a crucial role in facilitating the preparation for, and in ensuring the successful outcome of the annual sessions of the Commission. Bureau members serve for two years. In 2002, in order to improve its work and ensure continuity, the Commission decided to hold the first meeting of its subsequent session, immediately following the closure of the regular session, for the sole purpose of electing the new Chairperson and other members of the Bureau (ECOSOC decision 2002/234).

The Bureau for the 65th session (2021) of the Commission on the Status of Women comprises the following members:

  • H.E. Mr. Mher Margaryan (Armenia), Chair (Eastern European States Group)
  • Ms. Jo Feldman (Australia), Vice-Chair (Western European and other States Group)
  • Ms. Ahlem Sara Charikhi (Algeria), Vice-Chair (African States Group)
  • Mr. Na Sang Deok (Republic of Korea), Vice-Chair (Asia-Pacific States Group)
  • Vice-Chair for the Latin American and Caribbean States Group; to be nominated

Preparations

  • Expert Group Meeting: 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

Organization of the Session

The Commission’s two-weeks session will include the following activities:

Official Documents

Session Outcomes

The outcome of the Commission’s consideration of the priority theme during its 65th session will take the form of agreed conclusions, to be negotiated by all Member States.

NGO Participation

Side Events

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on the Status of Women-NY, please visit ngocsw.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on the Status of Women-Vienna, please visit ngocswvienna.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on the Status of Women-Geneva, please visit ngocsw-geneva.ch

NGO CSW-NY Youth Leaders & Young Professionals Launch Event

Come learn how young people can engage in the gender equality discourse during 2021!

NGO CSW/NY has recently revamped our Youth Leaders & Young Professionals (YLYPs) Program. To introduce our new program, we’re hosting a launch event to inform and prepare for youth engagement in the NGO CSW65 Forum and the Generation Equality Forum. Come ready to share your ideas and how NGO CSW can support your work in 2021.

Register here!

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on the Status of Women-Vienna, please visit ngocswvienna.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on the Status of Women-Geneva, please visit ngocsw-geneva.ch.

[Webinar] Care & Labor Rights: Challenges from the Capitalist Pandemic

Save the Date, virtual meeting details TBA. Interested attendees are encouraged to check organizer websites or contact co-conveners in the meantime.

Care & Labor Rights: Challenges from the Capitalist Pandemic

This webinar by Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era (DAWN) and the Women’s Working Group on Financing for Development is part of a series of action-oriented dialogues on the macro agendas and the current crises: Macro Solutions for Women, the People and the Planet.

Wednesday, 29 July 2020 @ 9 am NY/ 10 am Montevideo/ 2 pm London/ 15 hrs Brussels/ 16 hrs Nairobi/ 20 hrs Bangkok

Speakers:

Corina Rodriguez, Executive Committee Member, DAWN

Shahra Razavi, Director, Social Protection Department, International Labour Organisation

Laura Alfers, Director, Social Protection Programme, Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO)

Concept Note

The COVID-19 Pandemic has starkly exposed the multiple inequalities that are intertwined in the world of work. First, it has forcefully revealed something that feminists have been repeating for a long time: the role of care is central  to sustain life in our societies. In a context of a health crisis,  where “staying at home” is one of the main strategies to face the emergency, care arrangements  have become more complex while  sexual division of labor continues to weight on women. Furthermore, there is an added pressure in the form of forced teleworking, which leads to situations where the boundaries between paid work and unpaid care work become blurred, working conditions become precarious and rights are easily violated.

Secondly, those in the informal economy bear heavier burdens in this crisis. Not working and staying at home has meant losing jobs and  livelihoods for the majority of informal workers and their families. Physical distancing is difficult to apply to those working in public spaces, such as street or market vendors, paid domestic workers or others in manufacturing or retail trade. The majority of workers in the informal economy are having less access to income resulting in increasing poverty and plunging workers and households into more precarious living conditions. The dimensions of this crisis are severe: The International Labour Organisation (ILO) reported that informal workers in Asia and Latin America endured an income decline of 81 percent during the first month of lock-downs. The situation of migrant workers has been particularly affected, given the higher exposure to occupational health and safety risks, no appropriate protection, exclusion from social protection measures directed towards nationals, as well as the restriction of movement and the accelerated destruction of jobs.

The context has also exposed the weakness of social protection systems to deal with the situation, and in most cases the applied immediate public policy responses have been insufficient.

Third, in the current context, it is important to analyse those groups of workers that are exposed in a differentiated form. On the one side are those in “front-line” jobs: health workers, workers at essential retail shops, paid domestic workers. The “front-line” is a predominantly feminized “front-line” workforce. In tandem, workers in platform jobs, many of which have seen an increase in the demand for their services but also higher levels of exploitation of their working conditions.

While some countries and some working sectors are coping more successfully with the emergency situation, most, especially those countries in the Global South, face a more serious form of exploitation already imposed by the pre-existing global financial capitalist model.

Can the harshness of the exposure of deepening inequalities serve as a spark to ignite and accelerate processes of transformation towards a “new normal” that is indeed new and different from the old normality? What feminist strategies can we draw on to activate an agenda of transformation in the world of work that serves women, people and the planet? What new challenges do we face and how should we adapt our analysis, our advocacy, our activism? What space can we create so that the post-COVID-19 pandemic does not continue to be a capitalist pandemic?

This webinar aims at reflecting on these questions and will be organized with four 10-12 minutes presentations, followed by a session of Q&A.

Objectives

  • To draw key elements of the agenda of transformation in the world of work from a feminist perspective;
  • To Identify common strategies across movements working on informal economy, care and work with different groups and constituencies (migrants, domestic workers, grassroots women, rural women, women in health sector);
  • To map advocacy spaces and mechanisms within the UN that may be used to activate our agenda of transformation of the world of work;
  • Facilitate cross-movement building and solidarity among civil society groups and activists mobilizing for care, workers rights, gender equality.
DAWN is a network of feminist scholars, researchers and activists from the economic South working for economic and gender justice and sustainable and democratic development. DAWN promotes critical analysis on global issues (economic, social and political) affecting the livelihoods, living standards, rights and development prospects of women, especially poor and marginalized women, in regions of the South. DAWN seeks to support women’s mobilization within civil society to challenge inequitable social, economic and political relations at global, regional and national levels, and to advance feminist alternatives.

The Women’s Working Group on Financing for Development (WWG on FfD) is an alliance of women’s organizations and networks who advocate for the advancement of women’s human rights and gender equality in the Financing for Development related UN processes.

Co-Conveners:

Rosa Lizarde, Global Director, Feminist Task Force; rosa.lizarde@feministtaskforce.org  

Emilia Reyes, Program Director, Policies & Budgets for Equality & Sustainable Development, Gender Equity: Citizenship, Work & Family; emilia@equidad.org.mx

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on the Status of Women-Vienna, please visit ngocswvienna.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on the Status of Women-Geneva, please visit ngocsw-geneva.ch. For more information on the NGO Committee on the Status of Women-NY, please visit ngocsw.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org.