Action for Rural Women and Girls

The 62th Commission on the Status of Women agrees on a strong plan to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls in rural areas

Rural women in Africa

The document calls for action to protect rural women’s and girl’s rights – Photo: women harvesting geranium plants, public domain

By Saionara König-Reis – During the next few weeks we will be featuring a series of articles reflecting some of the central issues discussed by civil society, government representatives and United Nations agencies in the occasion of the 62th Commission of the Status of Women (CSW62) which took place in New York this past March. This year the CSW addressed the challenges and opportunities in achieving gender equality and the empowerment of rural women and girls.

The outcomes of the CSW62 has been welcomed by activists who have been engaged in the negotiations of the final document approved by the Commission. The CSW62 agreed conclusions urge governments at all levels to take a series of powerful actions to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls in rural areas. It recognizes the diversity of this group and addresses the different ways through which they experience institutional, cultural or family-based discrimination.

Among other things it calls for action to end the exacerbated context of gender-based violence in which they live, to put in place anti-discriminatory legislation that protect them and their rights, to enhance women’s role in peacebuilding and in efforts to address climate change, to increase women and girls’ access to technology and education, and to protect the rights of indigenous women and of women’s human rights defenders in rural settings.


This document has been particularly celebrated because in its previous discussion of the situation of rural women and girls in 2012, the Commission had, at that time, failed to reach an agreement (a rare happening for CSW meetings). This year though, the meetings were concluded with the approval of a strong language document that offers concrete steps to be implemented in three main domains, namely:

  • To strengthen normative, legal and policy frameworks
  • To implement economic and social policies for the empowerment of all rural women and girls
  • To strengthen the collective voice, leadership and decision-making

The CSW62 agreed conclusions is a good indicator that States are committed to improving the lives of women and girls in rural areas. The process put in evidence that many governments are attentive to the voices of civil society and are interested in learning about their needs directly from women and girls in the field.

The CSW62 activities also helped build a stronger global alliance and a great exchange of experiences to make progress on these issues, and Dianova is proud to have been part of this movement and to have contributed with written statements and expert events. Moving forward, we remain committed to push for the implementation of the CSW62 final document, attentive to its guidelines for our own programs and engaged in the advocacy efforts of the organized civil society.