NGOs attend CSW for many reasons, which may include some reasons listed below:
- a thematic focus on key issues.a macro
- focus on broader structures and mechanisms.
- advocacy for representation at CSW.
- sharing of good practice. and
NGOs with a thematic focus on key issues tend to remain with that focus across multiple CSWs.
An Australian NGO focussed on addressing violence against women may keep a thematic focus across CSW Annual Sessions. So for example, at the CSW 55th Session where the Priority Theme was Education, Science and Technology and Employment, the advocacy focus may have been shaped around how violence is an overarching issue that impacts on women and girls in attaining their rights in education, sexual harassment in employment, etc. and examples drawn from these experiences could be brought to CSW.
At the CSW 56th Session, where the Priority Theme was ‘The empowerment of rural women and their role in poverty and hunger eradication, development and current challenges’, the advocacy focus may have brought the voices of rural women into CSW and looked at specific strategies to address violence within this context.
At CSW57, where the priority theme was the ‘Elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls’, there may be stronger advocacy across all areas of addressing violence against women and girls. Outcomes documents from each of the CSW Sessions can be used to strengthen advocacy and concrete outcomes on return to Australia from CSW annually.
Another focus could also be around specific populations, or specific rights-based discussions, e.g., migrant workers, women with disabilities or refugees may be an illustration of a specific population that advocates at CSW. An example of a rights-based discussion may be around the rights of the child, where groups wish to strengthen the particular position of girls and young women. In these cases, NGOs and CBOs may advocate with Member States to try for a Resolution on these issues. However, it must be noted that this approach may take many years to bring key issues onto the international agenda.
This means that representatives heading to CSW may need to communicate and collaborate with grassroots organisations in Australia to gather information prior to CSW and possibly to seek funding to support representatives from such organisations to bring their own voice and experience to CSW.