In Focus: UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW65)

CSW65 - Commission on the Status of Women 2021 - banner

Snapshot | Stories | Interactive | Video | News | Social media

This year, the 65th session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW65), the UN’s largest annual gathering on gender equality and women’s empowerment, will take place from 15 to 26 March, under the 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”. The session this year will be mostly virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is also an important bridge to the Generation Equality Forum, organized by UN Women and co-hosted by the Governments of France and Mexico, in conjunction with youth and civil society, and will be a pivotal opportunity to change our societies and cement women’s leadership as we recover from COVID-19. The Forum will kick-off in Mexico City from 29 to 31 March, and culminate in Paris 30 June to 2 July 2021. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted women disproportionately – from loss of jobs to rise in violence against women and unpaid care work. Although women are at the front line of COVID-19 response as healthcare workers, innovators and leaders, their contributions remain less visible and less valued. Only 3.5 per cent of COVID-19 task forces across 87 countries had gender parity.

So, what happens when women lead? Evidence shows that when women are in power, they invest in often-overlooked policy measures – from expanding healthcare and education to green economies and ending violence against women – that ultimately build sustainable and resilient futures.

Building back better from COVID-19 needs women at the centre, leading, making decisions that serve the planet, address inequalities, and achieve equal power-sharing.

Achieving gender equality in leadership and decision-making is possible. Gender quotas in legislatures and other sectors, zero tolerance to violence, special measures that enable women to enter the political pipeline, and dedicated funding to women’s organizations, have proven to be catalytic in bringing change.

Follow the discussions at CSW65, learn more about the impact of equal power-sharing, and what measures can get us there.

Snapshot of women's leadership

Snapshot of Women’s Leadership in Asia and the Pacific

The 65th session of the Commission on the Status of Women will take place from 15-26 March 2021. This year's priority theme is 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. To find out more about women's leadership in Asia and the Pacific, see this snapshot.

Top stories: This is what leadership looks like


Interactive: Generation Equality Rising


Every day, through our actions, and in the way we lead, talk, question and act, we challenge norms, transform habits, change laws, take action and inspire others to create a world without gender-based discrimination. We are Generation Equality rising. In the throes of a global pandemic, how we act now matters more than ever. More on what we can do now. Interactive version

Video: What it takes to lead

Throughout history and around the world, women have always displayed exemplary leadership. Yet on this day, despite women’s increased engagement in public decision-making roles, equality is far off. Inclusive and diverse feminist leadership is key to sustained global development as the world continues to confront urgent challenges – from the COVID-19 pandemic to climate change, deepening inequalities, conflict and democratic backsliding.

Social media

  • Whether you’re tuning in from the United Nations Headquarters, or from your offices and homes around the world; use #CSW65 and #GenerationEquality to engage online and share how you are participating.
  • Take a look at our social media package with messages in English, Spanish and French. Here you will find guidance for coverage, CSW templates, assets, editorial stories and more content.
  • Access the latest information on logistics, official sessions and side events through @UN_CSW on Twitter and UN CSW on Facebook.

Around the world

For more news and stories on women's leadership from different regions, see UN Women's regional websites: Africa, Arab States and North Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Europe and Central Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean,