As a global non-governmental organization (NGO) with General Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, BAPS proudly joined the United Nations sixty-eighth session on the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), held in New York City from March 11th to 22nd.  As the global intergovernmental body focused on advancing gender equality and the empowerment of women, this year the CSW centered on the theme, “Accelerating the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls by addressing poverty and strengthening institutions and financing with a gender perspective.” The conference brought together various stakeholders, including governments, NGOs, and civil society, to discuss the multi-generational impact of achieving gender equality. The Commission consisted of a wide range of meetings, panel discussions, interactive dialogues, ministerial round tables, and intergovernmental negotiations. This experience enabled women from diverse backgrounds to advocate, learn, and share experiences about prioritizing oneself and the community.

“Equality requires investment,” the UN chief Secretary-General António Guterres said, emphasizing the need to urge governments to take action to reduce poverty and inequalities. From inequalities in political power to the male-dominated artificial intelligence field, Mr. Guterres said governments and civil society must work together to ensure efforts include women at the table – in peacebuilding, bridging the digital divide, and ensuring gender equality.

The Youth Forum brought together more than 400 young leaders from across the globe, adding relevance and depth to the dialogue. “It is high time that we stop thinking about you as the leaders of tomorrow and start working with you as the leaders of today,” said UN Women Executive Director Sima Bahous. 

“Attending CSW68 at the United Nations was a transformative experience. I was particularly inspired by the actions that young advocates from different NGOs around the world were taking for the empowerment of women and girls. I witnessed thought-provoking discussions led by women my age and even younger. I left with a renewed sense of purpose and commitment to continue fighting for gender equality in my community,” said Ria Soni, a BAPS volunteer from New York City, who attended the conference. 

Niki Patel, a BAPS volunteer from New Jersey, reflected on the important role women have in helping raise the future and in changing the future. “As a mother to a daughter and as a daughter of South Asian immigrants, I am especially empowered to use my voice for positive change. It was inspiring to witness the historic efforts of powerful women of the past and women of today that are paving the way for our future generations.”

For more information on the United Nations’ commitment to address this priority theme and women empowerment, please visit: