Panel with Linda and Liz

Covid 19

Since March 2020, all international activities have been reduced and our work at the UN will remain virtual until the UN opens in the future.

NAWO’s international work includes:

  • Engaging with the annual policy-making gathering the United Nations’ Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) (
  • Upholding the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (
  • Upholding the Beijing Platform for Action engaging with European processes and stakeholders, including the European Women’s Lobby (
  • Working on issues to do with women and girls in other UN processes including the Human Rights Council, Universal Periodic Review, Commission on Social Development etc.
  • Participating in W20 ( (Press release of UN Women and Women 20 call on G20 members…).
  • Acting as the Secretariat for the UK Civil Society Womens Alliance.

Participation in the Economic and Social Council and its subsidiary bodies and/or conferences and other United Nations meetings

Since 1999, NAWO has attended and played an active role in NGO participation at the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). As well as submitting written statements which become part of the official documentation of the Session, NAWO has lobbied particular delegates and has also taken the opportunity to meet with the European Union delegation and European NGOs whilst attending CSW.  In addition, NAWO works together with other civl society women’s organisations in a larger geographical grouping through its membership of the European Women’s Lobby [EWL], the North America and Europe caucus (NA&E) and as Secretariat of the UK Civil Society Women’s Alliance (UKCSWA). Currently our Director is the Chair of  UKCSWA and a member of the NA&E caucus core group. Two Board members – Pat Black and Wendi Momen – are Vice Chairs of UKCSWA.

Geneva Preparation committees

NAWO Board members attended the preparatory NGO forum in Geneva in October 2019 as part of the European and ECE Regional Prepcom for CSW64; NAWO worked with other participating NGOs to ensure robus language on all areas of concern.


The Director, Board members and members attend CEDAW regularly and participated in the special meetings on Trafficking and WPS in February 2019.  The Director and NAWO members attended the examination of the UK under CEDAW and contributed to the Shadow Report.  NAWO continues to work with members to raise awareness of CEDAW and encourage HMG to implement it robustly across the UK. NAWO Director, attended a consultation with the Government Equalities Office in preparation for their report to CEDAW. NAWO members engaged with the Equalities and Human Rights Commission in its work pre and post UK examination under CEDAW with NAWO coordinating the NGOs attending Geneva in February for the examination.

NAWO has always been engaged with CEDAW. In 2014, NAWO consulted widely throughout the membership in preparation for its contribution to the Government response to CEDAW and especially to the Shadow Reports.  Building on expertise gained, in 2014, Rashida Manjoo, UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women visited the UK as part of the CEDAW Committee.  The UK NGO CSW Alliance produced this report in 2014 to reflect on UK Government progress, and the Rapporteur’s comments, ‘UK Women: Rights and Progress’. Rashida Manjoo presented her findings in June 2015, for her initial comments on the UK gender equality situation (see here).

Activities in line with Agenda 2030

NAWO works with both NAWO Membership and Organisations from the UK Civil Society Women’s Alliance to advocate for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, which replaced the Millenium Development Goals.

NAWO considers that all the activities it undertakes towards the empowerment of women are in line with the SDGs, especially since much of its work is educational in the broadest sense.  If the UN body including accredited NGOs are active and actively involved in the arguments against women’s continuing poverty, experience of violence, lack of basic freedoms, prevention of the girl child from attending school, lack of the right to freedom of movement and so forth, then globally its status and its actions are strengthened.

NAWO is a member of UKSSD, which brings together UK NGOs working on Agenda 2030 and authored the chapter on Goal 5 in the shadow report in 2018. NAWO  lobbied for the GEO to consult with civil society in preparation for the HLPF which resulted in a consultation on goals 5 and 10.  NAWO was also invited to participate in consultations with other government departments.

Co-operation with United Nations bodies

A Human Right to Peace

NAWO has also supported the campaign for a new UN Human Right to Peace led by David Fernandez Puyana, Director of the World Campaign on the Human Right to Peace.  The Declaration was brought to the attention of the Human Rights Council and its Advisory Committee as a final contribution from international civil society to the international codification process of the right to peace. The United Nations and its member States and experts have before them a solid text, which should be the basis of the official codification of the right to peace.

This campaign also seeks to debate the necessity for and eventually establish an International Observatory of the Human Right to Peace integrated in the SSIHRL.  This institution would, inter alia, promote and implement the Declaration on the Human Right to Peace world-wide. It would also ensure that the current process comes to a successful conclusion in the UN General Assembly.[1]

NAWO’s particular contribution has been to keep the issue of a gendered lens and a gender focus to the fore in all the work on the Human Right to Peace.

Visit of UN Special Rapporteur, Dr Yakin Ertürk to meet with European and UK NGOs

In the Autumn of 2006 NAWO began negotiations with the office of the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against women with the objective of hosting a European Regional Consultation, this was accepted and confirmed for January 11-13, 2007.  NGOs from Europe and from within the UK gathered to hear Dr. Yakin Ertürk speak and to develop understanding on how the Special Rapporteur’s Office worked and could be accessed by NGOs and individuals with complaints.  This was a  major three-day event inLondon.  All funding, including the costs of the UN Special Rapporteur and her assistant, were raised and funded by NAWO.  This was the first time such an event had been held inEurope.  Alas, it remains unique – the costs are very high

[1] Text from Programme of the INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS ON THE HUMAN RIGHT TO PEACE, Santiago de Compostela –Spain; 9-10 December 2010


NAWO Letter to President Obama

NAWO sent a letter to President Barack Obama of the United States of America in November 2011, read the text of the letter here.