Thousands of activists from around the world. Hundreds of parallel and side events. National delegations from every corner of the globe. The 62nd Commission on the Status of Women (CSW62) takes place from 12 - 23 March 2018 in New York, and will focus on challenges and opportunities in achieving gender equality and the empowerment of rural women and girls.

We hope to ensure that protection of women human rights defenders (WHRDs) as mentioned in the agreed conclusions at CSW. We also hope to see governments and people in general have a better idea of the vital role WHRDS play around the world, and the challenges facing them, to be able to address these issues in future policies.

How you can get involved?

1. Participate in Shrinking Space for the Feminist Movement side event in NY and online

Will you be in New York for CSW62? Be part of the side event “Shrinking Space for the Feminist Movement with a Focus on Gender Activism in Rural Space” on 19 March 2018, organised by The Danish UN Mission, CIVICUS, Women Thrive Alliance, FEMNET. The event will be held 3-4:15pm NYC time, in the Express Bar at the UN Headquarters on the 3rd floor.

This interactive event will bring together women human rights defenders working in rural communities from all over the world and their allies to discuss and share civic space challenges, concerns and solutions. We will invite governments and other actors who can work together to ensure civic space for gender activists working in rural spaces.

Can’t be in New York?

  1. We'll be live streaming one of the event breakout groups and their conversations with our inspiring WHRD speakers.
  2. We’ll also be live streaming a live shooting of the Civic Stage podcast, hosted by Innovation for Change, featuring speakers from the side event and the innovative ways they’ve found to combat the closing of civic space in their contexts - from rural to urban
  3. Join us on Facebook and Twitter, via the hashtag #SheDefends and the handle @CIVICUSalliance! Tell us about the restrictions you and your partners face when working for gender equality in rural communities, ask questions, express your concerns and insights now and on 18 & 19 March. Questions will be responded to by speakers at the event.

2. Join the campaign for women human rights defenders working in rural spaces

This year’s campaign will focus on highlighting the issues faced by women human rights defenders working in rural spaces, and especially supporting their rights to organise and speak up.

  1. Step 1: Download and print the campaign poster for this year, or handwrite your own! Use the “write in” option to send a message directly to your government, or the “general” version if you do not wish to call out your government directly.
  2. Step 2: Take a photo of yourself holding your sign and post it on social media, making sure to tag @CIVICUSAlliance #SheDefends on Facebook or Twitter. Are you operating in a country in which this type of message could risk your safety or security? Then take a picture holding the poster in front of your face to maintain your anonymity and send it to CIVICUS at and we will post it on your behalf.
  3. Step 3: Participate in the Thunderclap Campaign here. It allows people from across the world to share a collective social media message together at the same time. By signing up, Thunderclap will post directly to your Facebook and/or Twitter page at 8am EST on March 19th ahead of our event at CSW62. We think this is important because our voices are louder together! Please share the link to the Thunderclap with your coworkers, friends, and family. You’ll find more visuals and suggested posts here,

3. Stay tuned in online

Participate in the live broadcast of the Innovation for Change (I4C) Civic Stage Podcast on 20 March from 14:30 - 15:00 via the CIVICUS Facebook page. Civic Stage explores how social change happens, and the new ideas and ways of working that are helping people and communities solve specific challenges.

This month’s podcast is titled ‘From the village to the city, how women activists are innovating to strengthen and protect civic space.’ Show host Kara Andrade will focus on ways in which women activists are protecting sex workers and building rural women’s co-operatives, as well as #Metoo and global responses to sexual harassment.

  1.  Join us on Facebook and Twitter, via the hashtag #SheDefends and the handle @CIVICUSalliance