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Feminist Portals at CSW 67: Gather, Seed & Disrupt from the Global South to New York

Feminist Portals at CSW 67: Gather, Seed & Disrupt from the Global South to New York

For over 60 years, governments, activists, feminists, and advocates have been meeting to discuss gender equality and women’s rights at the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) at the UN headquarters in New York. In the past, CSW has been a space to hold states accountable. However, it has increasingly been eroded by right-wing and anti-rights actors (both state and non-state), corporate capture, and the overarching crisis of multilateralism.

While many feminists have decided to focus their resources elsewhere, CSW remains one of the biggest UN convenings bringing feminists and women’s rights activists together: to learn from each other, connect, and co-conspire. Nevertheless, the reality remains that for many feminists from the global south and marginalised movements, the CSW space is neither accessible nor a space where our demands are heard. The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted this more than ever.

AWID will be partnering with feminist movements from around the globe in three locations - NYC, Nairobi and Bangalore - to host conversations that build transnational solidarity and interrupt the exclusive space of the UN proceedings in New York.

#EmptyChairs will host two conversations and a mini-exhibition in the Feminist Portals at CSW 67:

  1. Installation - The People’s Chair (6 – 8 March 2023) A single chair will be “exhibited” at the portal in NYC, inviting spectators to write their demands, dreams and ideas for a People’s Council. 
  2. Screening of four #EmptyChairs videos (8 – 9 March 2023) Four short videos were made by activists in South Africa, Malaysia, Palestine and Zimbabwe in which they name the barriers to participation in UN spaces and sketch out their visions for a People’s Council. One in Nine Campaign, IWRAW-AP, Al Haq and Anthea Taderera.
  3. The People’s Chair exhibition (9 March 2023) The exhibition is a collaboration between #EmptyChairs and the Women’s Major Group and includes photographic, text and video material and will feature a chair bearing the demands from activists for a just world order. The exhibition will take place in the NYC portal.
  4. #EmptyChairs: Conversation on barriers to youth participation (12 noon - 13h00 EST, 6 March 2023) This one-hour session with activists in New York City and Nairobi will discuss the barriers to youth participation in multilateral institutions like CSW and explore strategies and alternatives.
Poster for #EmptyChairs: Conversation on barriers to youth participation
  1. Imagining a People’s Council: A mini-workshop (15h00 – 17h00 EST, 9 March 2023) A 2-hour workshop in the NYC portal with information and art-making components. The 6 participants will learn more about the #EmptyChairs Campaign and engage with the questions: What would a people-centred, people-driven global human rights system look like? What principles would guide it? What would its priorities be?
Poster of  Imagining a People’s Council: A mini-workshop

For more information, please contact [email protected]