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Service for Foreign Policy Instruments
News article29 March 2019Service for Foreign Policy Instruments

Women on the Frontlines: EU at the Commission on the Status of Women


From 11 to 22 March 2019 the sixty-third session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) took place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. The Commission on the Status of Women is the principal global intergovernmental body exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women. Amongst others, six female political and grassroots civil society representatives from Yemen and Syria participated in this sixty-third session of the Commission on the Status of Women.

HRVP Federica Mogherini with women leaders from Yemen and Syria.

The EU High Representative/Vice-President of the European Commission (HRVP) Federica Mogherini chaired a well-attended side event organised by the EU Delegation to the United Nations in New York on “Women on the frontlines: lessons learnt from Syria and Yemen”), the women shared both harrowing personal experiences and their dynamic efforts to make a difference in the context of the two conflicts. The event served as a follow-up in New York to the December high-level dialogue in Brussels between Syrian and Yemeni women representatives.


Invitation to side event: Women on the Frontlines : Lessons learnt from Syria and Yemen.

In addition to this event, the six Yemeni and Syrian women leaders attended several other events as speakers, such as an event organised by the UN’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCRH) on women human rights defenders, and met with EU Member States experts, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the United Nations Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (UN DPPA) and UN Women.

Federica Mogherini spoke of the “extremely courageous” women present on the panel, paid tribute to their work and underlined the importance of working for sustainable peace. Women are not only the major victims of conflicts, they are the most powerful peace-making elements in relation to conflicts. It was vital to make space for such women’s voices to be heard and to build inclusive societies. As put by the HRVP Mogherini, their presence in the EU Delegation was a concrete example of how the EU promotes the voice of women in peace and mediation contexts.

The participation of the six women leaders was made possible through the European Resources for Mediation Support (ERMES) project, as part of the EU’s Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSP). Managed by the European Commission’s Service for Foreign Policy Instruments, the Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSP) provides short- and mid-term assistance on conflict prevention, crisis-response and peace-building actions around the world. In addition to the European Commission, the survey received support from the United Nations Population Fund, UN Women and UNICEF, as well as from the governments of Germany, Norway, Sweden, the United States of America, Italy, Austria and Finland.

For more information:

The EU's Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSP)

Showcase : Promoting Equal Rights for Women in Syria


Publication date
29 March 2019
Service for Foreign Policy Instruments