Canadian women join over 25,000 others at virtual United Nations Commission on the Status of Women

MARCH 26, 2021

Over the past two weeks, twenty-seven delegates from women’s clubs across Canada, joined over 25,000 activists from around the world to participate in this year’s virtual United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. The United Nations Commission on the Status of Women is the principal intergovernmental body exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women. Due to the pandemic, the annual New York City-based conference took place in a hybrid format with mostly virtual meetings.

The Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW) is a non-partisan women’s organization with Consultative Status with the United Nations (UN). From nearly 100 clubs across Canada, CFUW sends delegates to join official representatives from UN Member States, UN agencies, and other accredited civil society organizations to discuss the progress and gaps in advancing the status of women in all regions of the globe.

Since the Commission was established in 1946, civil society organizations like CFUW have taken a leading role in strengthening political commitment to gender equality and advancing the dialogue on the empowerment of women and girls. CFUW focuses on the prevention of violence against women, mitigating the impacts of climate change, and establishing a public system of child care as strategies to advance the status of women in Canada and abroad.

On March 24, CFUW was proud to host a virtual panel discussion on how to mobilize communities toward positive change which featured Jackie Neapole of the Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women (CRIAW), Dr. Stephanie Mullen from the University of Ottawa, Shelagh Day of the Feminist Alliance for International Action (FAFIA) and Ashwini Selvakumaran, a Youth Ambassador with Plan International Canada.

The two-week conference concluded on March 26 after UN Member States reached an agreement on how countries can work together to accelerate gender equality and ensure that women’s rights are respected and protected.
CFUW delegates look forward to sharing the information they have learned over the past two weeks with other members of CFUW and community leaders in their area. To learn more about joining CFUW and gender equality in Canada, visit

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