Durstyne Farnan, OP on 67th Commission on the Status of Women

Durstyne Farnan, OP on 67th Commission on the Status of Women


6,000 +women descended upon New York City March 5th for the 67th Commission on the Status of Women.  What a sight and what a delight.


Eleven Dominican Sisters from the U.S. and outside the U.S. attended the event from March 4 to 18th. The sisters came from Michigan and from the Philippines, England, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Vietnam. It was a first for all these women to come to New York City and for the International sisters to come to the U.S.  


The sisters began their commission with a long line up to obtain their badge on March 5th and then we returned to the Center at Mariandale in Ossining, New York where they were greeted by area Dominicans.  It was an opportunity to meet and greet. At the end we gathered in the Chapel and formed two circles and danced to one of the Universal Dances of Peace entitled Shanti Prashanti This was a perfect beginning to two weeks of input and conversation on the priority theme:  Innovation and technological change, and education in the digital age for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.


It was so gratifying to see so many women from Africa present for the Commission. Of course their hope is to have the conference in Africa so that more women can participate mainly because of distance and the difficulty in obtaining a U.S. visa even for a United Nations event.  


The commission is a global policy-making body dedicated exclusively to promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women.


Some of the input sessions were focused on:

  • Promoting women's and girls' equal social, economic and political rights in Afghanistan
  • Towards a green and digital future: opportunitoes and challenges for women and girls in public life and the workplace
  • Ending online GBV: how feminist approaches can create inclusive online spaces for all women and girls
  • Rural women's rights and access to technology in Tanzania
  • Why is data critical for gender equality?


One of the most important outcomes of these two weeks is the outcome document
called the Agreed Conclusions. There are 93 paragraphs in the document. I highly encourage you to read them and see what paragraphs you feel particularly drawn to that you can work on in the coming months.  The first several paragraphs are the reiteration of the various conventions that have taken place e.g. Being Platform for 
Action in 1995 and other conventions on women.


Read the document Agreed Conclusions of CSW67


The negotiating delegation went into March 18th at 2:45 am to prepare the final agreed conclusions.

A 181 Member States and observers: 3 heads of state, one head of government, two vice-presidents and 116 ministers participated in the final agreed conclusions of the Commission on the Status of Women 67. This incredible participation of member states reflects the importance of gender equality for all women and for the 2030 Agenda, for future generations.


Maria del Carmen of Argentina was the facilitator of the outcome of the agreed conclusion document. They finished their deliberations at 3:28 am . She recommended that there be an Improvement in  the methodology of work and develop a more friendly process and a shorter document.  She also recommended that there be negotiators in all the official languages to make the process more inclusive and that the mission staffs have an opportunity to meet with civil society in order to make it a very rich document. The first country to offer remarks following the conclusion of the Agreed Document was Pakistan at 3:30 am . 


Although the countries agreed on the outcome, many missions had recommendations to the agreed conclusion as well as recommendations for the future work of CSW 68.


All in all. We have a lot to follow up and study. 
Hopefully, more women will be able participate in person next year. And hopefully, the U.S. will find an easier way for women to secure visas to attend the Commission on the Status of Women 68.


Sr Durstyne Farnan, OP - Dominican Leadership Conference, UN Representative

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