International Relations

CFUW International Relations
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    CFUW believes in the importance of advancing gender equality worldwide. We have a long tradition of advocating for the education, equality and health of women and girls worldwide. CFUW monitors and reports to UN Committees and Commissions on the human rights situation of women and girls in Canada and worldwide. We engage in different advocacy campaigns to encourage the Canadian Government to fully meet their human rights obligations under various United Nations Conventions and agreements. Some of the key conventions and agreements we monitor include the Beijing Platform for Action and the Convention of the Elimination of Discrimination against Women.

    CFUW retains special consultative status with the United Nations Social and Economic Council (ECOSOC). We participate in the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women every year by sending a delegation of our members to engage with the international community on issues of gender equality. CFUW is represented on the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, Education Sectoral Committee.

    United Nations Commission on the Status of Women

    The United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is the principal global policy-making body dedicated exclusively to gender equality and advancement of women. Every year, representatives of Member States and civil society gather at United Nations Headquarters in New York to evaluate progress on gender equality, identify challenges, set global standards and formulate concrete policies to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment worldwide. The Commission meets once a year in March for two weeks. 

    Each year CFUW sends a delegation of 20 members to attend the Commission on the Status of Women meetings in New York. The opportunity to attend as a delegate is open to all CFUW members. The deadline to express interest in a delegate position is usually in late November. Please note that Delegates are responsible for the cost of their own accommodation, travel and meals.


    CFUW has had the exciting opportunity to have its statement read at the UN General discussion on multiple occasions.

    Click here to read CFUW’s 2022 written statement on “Achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls in the context of climate change, environmental and disaster risk reduction policies and programmes;”.


    To address the priority theme of the 66th United Nations Commission on the Status of Women “Achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls in the context of climate change”, CFUW is pleased to host a panel discussion on Wednesday, March 23 at 12pm EST with young people in Canada who are taking action & leading the way toward climate justice.

    International Women’s Day

    CFUW members across Canada come together each year to celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD). CFUW members organize many exciting IWD events, including panel discussions, conferences, rallies and film screenings. Each year CFUW fundraises for a new gender equality project in the lead up to International Women’s Day. The projects are chosen from applications sent in by international and national organizations that support women’s rights. 

    CFUW’s 2020 Fundraising Project “Promoting Justice for Women in Colombia”

    CFUW’s International Women’s Day 2020 Fundraising Project is “Promoting Justice for Women in Colombia,” a project supported by Inter Pares and implemented by their Colombian counterpart Humanas. CFUW is excited to partner with Inter Pares for a second year. Inter Pares is an organization that has worked for over 40 years with organizations from around the world to build peace and promote social justice.

    Last year CFUW raised over $3,000 for Inter Pares and Humanas! Humanas has held workshops in Antioquia and Quibdo on sexual and gender-based violence and gathered information to present to Colombia’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. CFUW fundraising has made a difference in ending gender based violence in Colombia.

    Rita Morbia, Inter Pares Co-Executive director shared with us a few words on this exciting partnership:

    As one of Canada’s foremost and longest-running women’s organizations working on a diverse array of issues that intersect with women’s equality, CFUW is an important force in Canada in the struggle for women’s rights.  Inter Pares is grateful for CFUW’s generous support of our work with Humanas to promote justice and peace for women in Antioquia, Colombia.

    United Nations Universal Periodic Review

    The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a unique process which reviews the human rights records of all UN Member States. UPR is overseen by the United Nations Human Rights Council. This process gives member states the opportunity to outline what they have done to improve human rights in their countries. Universal Periodic Reviews take place every five years. Canada was last reviewed in 2017 and will be reviewed again in 2022. 

    CFUW is actively involved in the Universal Periodic Review (UPR). Our organization has participated in the consultative process with Canada’s Continuing Committee of Officials on Human Rights. CFUW has partnered with other NGOs to write shadow/parallel reports to the United Nations.

    CFUW submitted a report on October 5, 2017, to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights focused on violence against women (VAW) in Canada. The report highlights Canada’s need for critical actions and legislation to protect women and girls from violence. CFUW continues to monitor the Government of Canada policies to advance gender equality.

    CFUW’s Past involvement: