The rural is political: our activities at CSW62


On March 12th 2018, the 62nd CSW session was opened at the United Nations headquarters in New York City. We were represented by Anke Stock, Sascha Gabizon, Hanna Gunnarsson and our partner Agnes Mirembe (ARUWE, Uganda) and Sonia (BaliFokus). Many important conclusions were reached and agreed upon, among which: increased financing and official development assistance in order to leave no rural woman or girl behind, their full and equal participation at all levels of decision-making, and the enforcement of legislations to end discrimination against rural women and girls. To this, we can add the implementation of fiscal policies to promote gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, building and strengthening access to funding, sustainable energy and other technologies in climate change mitigation, increasing finances for quality, affordable and accessible health care facilities and services for rural women and girls, as well as the strengthening of HIV/ AIDS prevention, treatment and care in rural areas. These were accompanied by plenty other promising conclusions driven by the #FeministVision

  • Download the CSW62 outcome document here.


Together with UN Women and the German Ministry of Development Cooperation (Bundesministerium für Entwicklungszusammenarbeit), we convened a side event with the title “Turning Promises Into Action: Gender Equality in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” at the Permanent Mission of Germany to the UN in New York. Our partners from Kyrgyzstan and Uganda presented our women2030 community-based data approach to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) monitoring. The event was very successful, the room was packed out, and led to fruitful discussions.

  • Read more about it here & access presentations.


We had a very successful event on the gender dimensions of hazardous chemicals presenting the scoping study done last year in Indonesia and Nigeria. Sonia from BaliFokus presented the sources of mercury exposure in Indonesia, highlighting that people from rural areas are particulalry exposed to harmful chemicals pollution due to lack of information. Priscilla Ackapa, of WEP, while presenting the scoping study from Nigeria also emphasised that even she had found lack of awareness of POPs (hazardous chemicals). Sanam Amin of APWLD looked at how the use of harmful chemicals in pesticides disproportionately affect rural women. The event then organically turned into a story-sharing session, where many participants shared how they had encountered harmful chemicals in their daily life. It was a beautiful moment, with calls for commitment, policy change and solidarity.

  • Download the scoping study.



Sascha Gabizon was one of the panellists at Henrich Boell Stiftung’s event “Strengthening rural women’s voice and agency in climate finance actions side event”, presenting our work on the NAMA in Georgia on gender responsive energy cooperatives.

  • Watch the event in full here.



As the 2018 World Water Day fell during the CSW62, this session gained historic importance as it was the first time in the entire decade that access to water was on the agenda. Priscilla Achapka, from Women Environmental Program (WEP) Nigeria, took to the stage global water issues, especially those faced by women and girls living in rural areas – like in Nigeria. “Water affects everyone, no matter where you are, who you are”, says Priscilla. However, climate change-derived water issues disproportionately affect women, and in this, Priscilla calls for dialogue, collaboration and partnership to resolve current water problems and to lead the way for long-term successful sustainable development.



Sad news reached the CSW62 participants on the first week of the conference: Marielle Franco, a black, lesbian, mother standing up for human rights had been assassinated and our international colleagues from the Philippines had been labelled “terrorists” by their government. Several solidarity actions and petitions were held, calling for an end to the multiple threats women’s human right defenders are facing for simply standing up for our rights!



At the outskirts of CSW, we also had the chance to meet with our colleagues of the Women’s Major Group (the official UN observer group consisting on women’s and gender equality organisations following Sustainable Development Goals processes. Our Sascha is the regional organising partner for UNECE). Two meeting were held, one focusing on strategy and introducing new members to the High Level Political Forum (HLPF) process. With HLPF around the corner and the upcoming elections for WMF approaching, we also met with the other organising partners to discuss our governance structure, election process and how we shall work together to best ensure transformative outcomes at this years’ SDGs forums.