The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is a functional commission of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), which was established on 21 June 1946. Its goal is to create universal gender equality. To that aim, the representatives of its member states gather once a year in New York to evaluate progress made in the fields of gender equality and womens' advancement and to identify challenges and obstacles. The sessions usually result in agreed conclusions, in which the Commission sets global standards and formulates concrete policies to promote gender equality and advancement of women worldwide.
The Commission consists of one representative from each of the 45 Member States. These are elected for four year terms by the Council on the basis of equitable geographical distribution: thirteen members from Africa; eleven from Asia; nine from Latin America and Caribbean; eight from Western Europe and other States and four from Eastern Europe.
As participation at the CSW is not exclusively limited to the representatives of Member States, UN entities and ECOSOC- accredited NGOs from all regions of the world attend the sessions.
The Commission chooses a priority theme for each year and ends its session with agreed conclusions on this specific theme. They encompass an assessment of progress, as well as of gaps and challenges. In addition, the conclusions contain a set of concrete recommendations for action by governments, intergovernmental bodies and other institutions, civil society actors and other relevant stakeholders, to be implemented at the international, national, regional and local level.
The Commission also adopts several resolutions on a wide range of issues.
Its annual report is submitted to the ECOSOC for adoption.