• Centre for Creative Initiatives in Health and Population (CCIHP)


  • Aliansi Satu Visi (ASV);
  • CEDAW Working Group;
  • Hollaback! Jakarta;
  • Institut Kapal Perempuan;
  • Kalyanamitra;
  • Komnas Perempuan;
  • Remaja Independen Papua/Independent Youth
    Forum Papua (FRIP/IYFP);
  • Perkumpulan Keluarga Berencana Indonesia (PKBI);
  • Perkumpulan Lintas Feminis Jakarta;
  • Perkumpulan Pamflet Generasi;
  • RUTGERS Indonesia;
  • Sanggar SWARA;
  • Women on Web;
  • Yayasan Kesehatan Perempuan (YKP); 
  • YIFOS Indonesia


  • Hope for Women
  • Society for Health Education (SHE)
CSW68 setting the scene for Beijing+30: Another CSW in the Books

by Menka Goundan and Shamala Chandrasekaran

CSW68 Overview

The 68th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW68) was held from March 11-22, 2024 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. The priority theme of the commission was “Accelerating the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls by addressing poverty and strengthening institutions and financing with a gender perspective.”

Over the two weeks, robust discussion on the gendered poverty and the architecture of global financial institution was discussed in various official panels, statements, side events and parallel sessions.

The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is UN’s largest annual gathering on gender equality and women’s empowerment. This year was no different as thousands of women’s rights advocates, member state delegates, development practitioners, and feminists gathered in New York to participate in the myriad of activities happening either within the UN Head Quarters or outside on sides of the commission.

The UN Secretary General’s report in the lead up to the commission had noted that globally, 10.3% women live in extreme poverty, despite Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 1 calling for an end to poverty in all its manifestations by 2030. At the cusp of SDG+10 in 2025, progress towards ending poverty needs to be 26 times faster to achieve the 2030 Agenda.

You might like: Asia-Pacific Women’s Civil Society Organisations’ Road to CSW68

ARROW at the CSW68

The Asian-Pacific Resource and Research Centre for Women (ARROW) made two oral interventions during the official program of the CSW68. During these statements, we acknowledged that gender inequality is a serious threat to the achievement of the SDGs and other commitments, including the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.

Menka Goundan from ARROW speaking during the Interactive Dialogue of the CSW68.
Watch as ARROW’s Programme Director, Menka Goundan, delivers an oral statement during the Interactive Dialogue of the CSW68.

We noted that it was undeniable that poverty, gender, and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) are interconnected. Women and girls are disproportionately affected by poverty due to unequal access to resources, education, and employment opportunities. Not to mention other causes such as child, early and forced marriages and increased burden of unpaid labour and care work which has far-reaching economic consequences.

ARROW's Programme Manager, Shamala Chandrasekaran, delivers an oral statement during the General Discussion of the CSW68.
Watch as ARROW’s Programme Manager, Shamala Chandrasekaran, delivers an oral statement during the General Discussion of the CSW68.

In the general discussion statement, we further iterated that SRHR have a direct impact on economic growth and development. Women and girls in all their diversities have a greater chance of higher education by choosing to delay their marriage, pregnancy and make other important informed decisions that affect themselves, their health and well-being and ultimately their economic conditions. This provides better opportunities for better jobs, access to more resources, and also enables their full participation in the society, with the whole community benefiting.

Therefore, we made the following recommendations at CSW68:

  • Adopt a comprehensive approach that addresses poverty, strengthens institutions, ensures financing with a gender perspective, reduces and redistributes unpaid labour and care work, and upholds sexual and reproductive health and rights, so we can make meaningful progress towards gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls in all their diversity.
  • Ensure meaningful and sustained political participation of women and girls throughout policy making and budget cycle including defining the architecture of financing and budgeting.
  • Commit financial, human and infrastructural resources towards implementing health policies, including universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights.
  • Invest in robust data collection and monitoring systems to track progress in addressing poverty, gender inequality, and sexual and reproductive health and rights. Transparent and reliable data is essential for evidence-based policy-making and establishing accountability mechanisms that witness meaningful and inclusive participation of women, girls and young people.
  • Recognize, reduce and redistribute the unpaid care work burden on women by increasing national budget allocations for public services and bringing in equal pay policy, skills upgrading for women and opportunities for decent work.
  • Ensure an enabling environment for civil society and commit dedicated resources to support and enable engagement. Representation, active and inclusive participation requires core, flexible, and sustained funding for feminist networks and grassroots organizations.
  • Strong measures need to be taken to fulfill and protect women’s Human Rights as enshrined in global agreements, including the Beijing Platform for Action, International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), CEDAW and other Human Rights Standards.

CSW68’s Agreed Conclusions

In the final hours of the commission, member states adopted the Agreed Conclusions (AC) which analyses the progress towards the goals around the theme set for the year along with a set of concrete recommendations to the member states, UN, other international organisations and key stakeholders for actions and investments to accelerate progress towards ending women’s poverty and advancing gender equality.

The ongoing challenging environment for SRHR was evident during the negotiation process at the CSW68. We witnessed strong pushback against gender responsive language including on the inclusion of ‘gender-based violence’ and on the issues concerning sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) in the AC text. The recently introduced austerity measures by the UN further intensified the negotiation process by limiting the time available for Member States to negotiate and this contributed to settling for a further weakened text.

This is a picture from the opening of the CSW68 where the secretary-general of the United Nations, António Guterres, is addressing the member states, stakeholders, civil society, and young people.

Despite the challenges, we still have some gains with the text recognising that women and girls are disproportionately affected by poverty which in turn impacts their access to health-care services including universal access to sexual and reproductive health-care services. Gender-based violence and sexual reproductive health are also retained in the text despite the push back.

The text also recognises that “the human rights of women include their right to have control over and decide freely and responsibly on all matters related to their sexuality”. The AC reaffirms gender-responsive implementation of the 2030 Agenda and acknowledges the importance of women’s full, equal, effective and meaningful participation and decision making in addressing poverty and strengthening institutions and financing.

There were also recommendations on 1) increasing investments in sexual and reproductive health-care services, health technologies including digital health technologies and tools; 2) taking concrete actions to reduce out of pocket spending and; 3) ensuring universal access to sexual and reproductive health-care services. In addition to this, the AC reflects sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights in accordance with the Programme of Action (PoA) of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) and the Beijing Platform for Action and the outcome documents of their review conferences.

69th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW69) and ARROW

In the lead up to CSW69, the thirtieth anniversary of the Beijing Platform for Action in 2025; the next 12 months are critical and marks key engagement opportunities like the ICPD PoA’s thirtieth anniversary, the Beijing +30 regional consultations, and The Summit of the Future. ARROW and partners will engage actively in these spaces to ensure the amplification of the Global South voices in conversations where women’s human rights continue to be upheld and progress towards gender parity continues and is accelerated.


  • Association Marocaine de Planification Familiale (AMPF),
  • Morocco Family Planning Association


  • CommonHealth;
  • Love Matters India;
  • Pravah;
  • Rural Women’s Social Education Centre (RUWSEC);
  • Sahaj;
  • Sahiyo;
  • SAMA – Resource Group for Women and Health;
  • WeSpeakOut;
  • The YP Foundation (TYPF)


  • Lao Women’s Union;
  • The Faculty of Postgraduate Studies at the University of Health
    Sciences (UHS)

Sri Lanka

  • Bakamoono;
  • Women and Media Collective (WMC),
  • Youth Advocacy Network – Sri Lanka (YANSL)


  • Federation of Reproductive Health Associations of Malaysia (FRHAM);
  • Joint Action Group for Gender Equality (JAG);
  • Justice for Sisters (JFS);
  • Reproductive Health Association of
    Kelantan (ReHAK);
  • Reproductive Rights Advocacy Alliance Malaysia (RRAAM);
  • Sisters in Islam (SIS)


  • Hope for Women;
  • Society for Health Education (SHE)


  • Colourful Girls Organization;
  • Green Lotus Myanmar


  • Beyond Beijing Committee (BBC);
  • Blind Youth Association of Nepal;
  • Blue Diamond Society (BDS);
  • Nepalese Youth for Climate Action (NYCA);
  • Visible Impact;
  • Women’s Rehabilitation Centre (WOREC);
  • YPEER Nepal;
  • YUWA


  • Aahung, Centre for Social Policy Development (CSPD);
  • Forum for Dignity Initiative (FDI);
  • Gravity Development Organization; Green Circle Organization;
  • Indus Resources Center (IRC);
  • Idara-e-Taleem-O-Aaghai (ITA);
  • Rehnuma – Family Planning Association Pakistan;
  • Shelter
    Participatory Organisation;
  • Shirkat Gah;
  • The Enlight Lab


  • Democratic Socalist Women of the Philippines (DSWP);
  • Galang;
  • Healthcare Without Harm;
  • Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities;
  • Likhaan Centre for Women’s Health;
  • Nisa UI Haqq Fi Bangsamoro;
  • PATH Foundation Inc. (PFPI);
  • Women’s Global Network for
    Reproductive Rights (WGNRR)


  • End Female Genital Cutting Singapore
  • Reproductive Rights (WGNRR)


  • MONFEMNET National Network