Civil society groups from Asia-Pacific agree on recommendations to tackle women’s poverty, ahead of CSW68


Civil society representatives from Asia-Pacific met at the CSO Forum in Bangkok.
Civil society representatives from Asia-Pacific met at the CSO Forum in Bangkok. Photo: UN Women/ Pairach Homtong

Sixty-five representatives of civil society organizations and grassroots women’s groups, together with women’s rights activists and feminists from across Asia and the Pacific met in Bangkok, Thailand on 4-5 February at the Asia Pacific Civil Society Forum (CSO Forum) on the 68th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW68).

The CSO Forum aimed to collectively examine and identify actionable regional priorities and put forth recommendations for the Asia-Pacific Consultation on CSW68 on the priority theme: ‘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.’

Voices from the Forum


“We are looking at the very profound issues of economy and financing. It is a very important point for us to build momentum towards what we want to see at CSW and in the Beijing review,” said Sarah Knibbs, Deputy Regional Director of UN Women Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific in her opening remarks.

As an outcome of the meeting, the CSO Forum called upon Asia-Pacific Member States to:

  • Ensure access, availability, affordability, adaptability, and quality of services that address the impacts of climate change and that the design, development, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of all climate-related policies and services including Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights.
  • Improve public investment in health and develop social protection systems including universal access to health to ensure sexual and reproductive rights for all women and girls, especially the most marginalised
  • 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 organisations.
  • Take strong measures to fulfil and protect women’s Human Rights as enshrined in global agreements and human rights standards including the Beijing Platform for Action, International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).

The recommendations were disseminated to the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) Member States as well as UN entities, and other stakeholders during the Asia Pacific Regional Consultation on CSW68 hosted on 6-7 February 2024 in Bangkok, Thailand; and will be shared throughout the CSW68 session to be held from 11 to 22 March 2024 in New York, United States.

The CSO Forum was organized by the Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development with support from UN Women Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific.