UN Commission on Status of Women: Switzerland calls for greater involvement of women in combating climate change

Bern, 14.03.2022 - The 66th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) opens today in New York. The main topics on the agenda are gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls in the context of climate change and environmental disasters.

Women are disproportionately affected by the negative impacts of climate change and environmental and natural disasters. This reality is the focus of this year's session of the CSW. Increasing soil degradation, biodiversity loss, global warming, pollution and extreme events can exacerbate existing inequalities. The risk of falling into poverty is increasing, gender-based violence is on the rise in many places owing to worsening living conditions, and care, nursing and domestic work is becoming more demanding and burdensome. What is more, in recent years we have seen a growing tendency for more women than men to die as a result of extreme climate events. Among climate migrants, women are more vulnerable than men. Moreover, women are significantly underrepresented globally in decision-making bodies where climate policy and aid measures are decided.

Last year's CSW session was mainly held virtually. This year's session will be hybrid, with numerous country delegations participating in person in New York. Switzerland will be represented by Sylvie Durrer, head of the Federal Office for Gender Equality.

A young delegate from the Swiss National Youth Council will also attend the CSW in New York.

Switzerland builds support for its priority issues
Human rights, the involvement of civil society, women’s representation in decision-making, combating gender-specific and domestic violence, the economic empowerment of women, equal pay and better recognition of unpaid care work are at the heart of Switzerland's commitment. The Women's Human Rights App (W'sHR App) will again be made available to delegations this year for the negotiations on the Agreed Conclusions – the outcome document of the CSW. The app, developed by Switzerland, allows negotiators to easily access key legal and basic texts relating to women's rights and gender equality.

Closer link between domestic and foreign policy
Switzerland is working both domestically and internationally to address climate change and promote gender equality and women's rights. Implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is a priority for the legislative period 2019–23 and for the FDFA's Foreign Policy Strategy 2020–23. Furthermore, in spring 2021 the Federal Council adopted the 2030 Gender Equality Strategy, the federal government's first national strategy aimed at the targeted promotion of gender equality.

The CSW is the UN's leading body for the promotion of gender equality. It reports to the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and is tasked with advancing gender equality and the global advancement of women and girls. Switzerland is currently (2021–24) one of 45 CSW member states.

Numerous representatives from civil society will be taking part in the annual CSW conference alongside the official delegations. A variety of side events will be held in parallel to the official programme during the CSW's annual two-week session. Switzerland will also organise, together with the European Commission, the International Land Coalition and other stakeholders, a virtual side event on women's land tenure rights.

Address for enquiries

FDFA Communication
Federal Palace West Wing
CH-3003 Bern, Switzerland
Tel. Press service: +41 58 460 55 55
E-mail: kommunikation@eda.admin.ch
Twitter: @SwissMFA


Federal Department of Foreign Affairs

Federal Department of Home Affairs

Federal Office for Gender Equality