Commission on the Status of Women

The Commission on the Status of Women is a functional commission of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). It is the principal global policy-making body dedicated exclusively to gender equality and advancement of women. Every year, representatives of Member States gather at United Nations Headquarters in New York to evaluate progress on gender equality, identify challenges, set global standards and formulate concrete policies to promote gender equality and women's empowerment worldwide.

The Commission was established by ECOSOC resolution 11(II) of 21 June 1946 with the aim to prepare recommendations and reports to the Council on promoting women's rights in political, economic, civil, social and educational fields. The Commission also makes recommendations to the Council on urgent problems requiring immediate attention in the field of women's rights.

Annual Sessions

Every year, over the course of a fortnight in mid-March, representatives of Member States gather at United Nations Headquarters in New York to evaluate progress on gender equality, identify challenges, set global standards and formulate concrete policies to promote gender equality and women's empowerment worldwide. Discussions focus on a selected priority theme, with the outcome of the Commission’s consideration taking the form of agreed conclusions, negotiated by all States. In addition, the Commission will review progress made against the conclusions of an earlier session.

In March 2017, Ireland’s Permanent Representative to the UN was elected by acclamation as Chair of the 45-member Commission for the Status of Women for its sessions in 2018 and 2019.

Link to the website of the UN Commission for the Status of Women. During the session in New York, selected discussions are broadcast live and may be viewed online at UN WebTV.