From 9 to 20 March, governments, civil society and gender activists will converge at the United Nations in New York to attend the 59th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW59) to take stock of progress made in implementing the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (BPfA) as it marks 20 years after its adoption.

The Gender Links News Service is sending out a daily multimedia newsletter covering CSW59 and will host Google Hangout sessions with international panellists to discuss gender, media and the post 2015 agenda.


The Fourth World Conference on Women held in 1995 resulted in the adoption of the BPfA by 189 member states of the United Nations, which spelled out 12 Critical Areas of Concern to guide the mainstreaming of gender laws, policies, strategies and programmes. The BPFA identified media as one of the critical areas of concern under section Jâ € ” The Gender and Media diagnosis.

The main focus of the CSW session will be on the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, including current challenges that affect its implementation and the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of women. The session will also address opportunities for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of women in the post-2015 development agenda.

The SADC region is one of the regional blocs that has gone a step further than the BPfA by adopting a localised framework to accelerate progress to achieve gender equality. Since its adoption in 2008, the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development (SGP), which is inspired by the MDG3, has made ground-breaking achievements for gender equality in the region. As the member states move towards adoption of the Millennium Development Goals successor, the SADC Gender Protocol Alliance (SGPA) urges governments to consider an inclusive, rights based approach that will ensure rigorous implementation of gender equality at national and regional level.

At the global level, the Global Alliance on Media and Gender (GAMAG) is taking up a campaign to raise awareness around the absence of a stand-alone goal on Gender and Media. GAMAG notes that Section J of the BPFA, which was adopted by the UN General Assembly back in 1995, is still relevant and should be taken forward in the post 2015 SDGs. As such GAMAG will take forward its position paper on Gender and Media to the CSW as a lobbying document to the UN. GAMAG will participate in a high level UNESCO/UN Women roundtable discussion on Gender and the Media. GAMAG will call on the UN to include a media sub-goal and the targets and indicators thereof under goal five which focuses on Gender Equality. GAMAG members will meet on the side-lines of the main UN conference to further strategise on getting section J back on the global agenda and at the centre of the SDGs as well as strengthening other proposed SDGs.

The SGPA is urging governments to:

  • Consider an inclusive post 2015 implementation framework in the form of indicators aligned to the proposed Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Work together with civil society to review the targets of the SGP in line with the upcoming CSW59 discussions and the Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Strengthen existing media provisions to include targets and indicators on gender equality in and through the media.
  • Increase resources of gender equality implementation through building the capacity and financial resources of gender machineries and creating an enabling environment through inclusive policy making and legislature.
  • Mobilise stronger networking and coalition building amongst civil society organisations at a national, regional and global level to ensure speedy adoption and implementation of an inclusive post 2015 framework for gender equality.

On 10 March, 6.15pm at the UN Church Centre Building, Gender Links and the SGPA will hosting a side event to discuss the development of a gender responsive implementation framework for the post 2015 agenda and the importance of strong indicators and targets.


View the SADC Gender Protocol Barometer