CSW: Commission on the Status of Women

Topic A: Women in Prisons

According to the World Female Imprisonment List, there are more than 700,000 incarcerated women and girls around the world. Since 2000, the worldwide male prison population has increased by 18%, while the female prison population has increased by 50%. This disparity requires the attention of the Commission on the Status of Women, established as a mechanism to promote, report on, and monitor issues relating to the political, economic, civil, sexual, social, and educational rights of women. Of particular note in debating this topic is that while there are women in prisons across the globe, a significant proportion of women in prisons are educationally, economically, or socially disadvantaged in some way. Incarcerated women also face the risk of sexual violence, as well as a significant risk of recidivism. As such, the Commission’s mission will be to craft resolutions which address this multifaceted issue in the most comprehensive way possible.

Topic B: Women in Sports

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted in 2015 by many countries, specifically acknowledges sports as significant enablers for female empowerment. Sports have been a male-dominated realm globally, encouraging aggressive masculinity and upholding traditional gender roles that contribute to gender inequality while also offering uniquely powerful potential for female empowerment. Shaped and restricted by political, economic, and social forces, women and sports represent an intersection of many issues of gender equality.

Women’s involvement in sports is a microcosm of numerous broader societal issues such as the wage gap, social stigma from traditional gender roles and biological differences, and sparse or misdirected media coverage--and features a distinctive, highlighted disparity due to its physical nature. Beyond participation in sports, ways to increase female representation in positions of authority in the sports industry must also be addressed, as a more diverse leadership will encourage the field to be more inclusive of women and other minorities. Delegates preparing for this debate will be encouraged to examine how their country’s national government and national sporting federations view organized female athletics, as this will shape their views on an international stage. Some countries, such as Saudi Arabia, do not allow women to be spectators at sporting events, while others are world-renowned for their development of strong athletic programs for women that regularly place in international competitions such as the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Background Guide: 
Update Paper: