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Programme Director’s February 2021 Message

This is your chance to engage with the world and help women everywhere through the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW).

Each March we have the chance to engage with other women across the world at CSW. Last year the usual sessions in New York were cancelled, due to COVID, just as we were all preparing to get on our planes to the USA. Nevertheless there were agreed conclusions drawn up by government representatives but we did not have the usual opportunity to influence the discussions and the final document. This year the whole convention is available online. Will you join us?

Current soroptimists can gain access to the sessions in the UN as official delegates whilst anyone can join the ‘parallel sessions’ outside the UN; these are organised by civil society. Some of the sessions inside the UN will be available to all on UN web tv, a great source for learning about all things UN.

Can I tempt you to join us this year so that you can learn about the benefit of our having consultative status with the UN through the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)? Many of our members are asking this question so now is the time to engage and discover!

Each year there is a priority theme plus a review theme. For CSW65 these are:

  • Priority 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;
  • Review theme: Women’s empowerment and the link to sustainable development (agreed conclusions of the sixtieth session)

Soroptimist International (SI) hopes to have a side session in the UN, has published a statement about our position on the themes (E/CN.6/2021/NGO1/27) and in partnership with other organisations (E/CN.6/2021/NGO/16), whilst SIGBI has worked with others through the UK CSW Alliance (E/CN.6/2021/NGO/123, E/CN.6/2021/NGO/130).

Civil society groups will hold parallel sessions outside the UN through NGOCSW. We have been accepted for a parallel event – “Combatting trafficking/slavery throughout life’s course using education, awareness and action”


Normally, as an accredited organisation we can send up to 20 delegates to the UN but this year there is no limit. If you are a member of SIGBI, create an account at and, if you are on our database, we will approve your registration. You need to do so now so that there is time for all this to happen.

If you want to engage in the sessions outside the UN please go to and follow the links.

This is your chance to engage in order to learn about and influence the opportunities we have, working through the UN, to help women and girls be the best they can be, from local to global. Please do join us.

Kay Richmond
SIGBI Director of Programme