March is for Women: International Women’s Day & UN Conference on the Status of Women (CSW)

by Beth O’Connell, EUU and UUFP member, and vice-president of IWC

In the month of March, the international community is putting the spotlight on women’s rights and empowerment, which have been especially challenged during the Covid-19 pandemic.

On March 8, the United Nations marks International Women’s Day with its theme: “Women in Leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world.”

That theme is also aligned with the focus of the 65th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), which calls for “women’s full and effective participation and decision-making in public life, as well as the elimination of violence, for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.”

The International Convocation of Unitarian Universalist Women, or IWC, which has special consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council, will participate in this annual CSW conference. The two-week session reviews the status of women worldwide and shapes global standards on gender equality. It asks: What progress and setbacks in equality and empowerment are women encountering around the world?

Logo -- csw forum 65You can easily participate in the many Parallel Events during the conference at the NGO CSW Forum, as this year they will be online from March 15 to 26. IWC invites you to join three events it is hosting with panelists from the projects it supports to empower women and girls.

Please note you must first register for FREE here to attend the Parallel Events (attendees are dubbed “advocates”).

After registering, you can sign up directly for the three IWC panels by clicking on the blue links below.


  1. The Shadow Pandemic: Confronting Domestic Violence in India, Philippines, Transylvania
    Saturday, March 20, 9:00 AM EST 14h00 CET 15h00 Romania

    NGO CSW65 Virtual Forum: Virtual Meeting Details (
  2. Women’s Leadership Training: Innovations in India, Kenya and Transylvania
    Wednesday, March 24, 8:00 AM EST 13h00 CET 14h00 Romania
    NGO CSW65 Virtual Forum: Virtual Meeting Details (
  3. Climate-Smart Strategies Creating Bold Bolivian Women!
    Friday, March 26, 1:30 PM EST 18:30 CET 19:30 Romania
    NGO CSW65 Virtual Forum: Virtual Meeting Details (

For detailed descriptions of these Parallel Events, check out the IWC website.

There are also scores of other events by international organizations that you can sign up for at the NGO CSW forum once registered. For any questions, you can contact IWC vice president Beth O’Connell at

And if your fellowship would like to highlight women’s rights and empowerment at its service in March, please see the materials IWC has put together to honor women.

THE SHADOW PANDEMIC: Domestic violence in the wake of COVID-19