When ACWW was founded in 1929, the only goal of the organisation was to promote the voices of Rural Women. We would love to be able to bring every member of ACWW to the United Nations to represent themselves, or indeed know that our members could safely raise concerns with their own governments - but this sadly isn't reality. We therefore do all we can to gather information from our members, and ensure that their voices are heard at national and international levels.
Globally, the challenges facing Rural Women are often similar. Access to education, safe local transport, healthcare, or social protection systems like pensions, are a concern for every Rural Woman around the world. We are committed to the Sustainable Development Goals and believe that greater representation of Rural Women is critical to their success. We will continue to use our Constultative Status with the United Nations to amplify the voices of our members and platform them whenever possible.
We recognise that the impacts of our projects are only sustainable when they exist in an enabling environment, with progressive legislation within local and national governing bodies.
ACWW approaches this process from two directions:
1. Empowering women to take their place in decision-making in their communities. This can be achieved by promoting awareness of the rights of women, providing access to a network of supportive women, and sharing knowledge.
2. Engaging with UN processes that hold governments to account when they fail Rural Women. This can be achieved through our consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council, where we have access to key deliberative opportunities. We use our network and contacts through multiple governments, organisations, and mechanisms at the UN to lobby for the rights of rural women globally.
Ever since its inception in 1945, the United Nations has been actively engaged with NGOs and has recognised the importance of partnering with them to advance the organization’s ideals and help support its work. In 1946, only 41 NGOs were granted Consultative Status by the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). But this number has grown and today, thousands of NGOs enjoy this status with the Council. These organizations are represented all over the world and work in many different areas including with education, health, poverty eradication, human rights, gender equality and Indigenous issues.
ACWW was granted Consultative Status in 1947 - continuing the work of providing expert input at the global level that had started with our relationship with the League of Nations' Nutrition Committee in the 1930s.
The United Nations Economic and Social Council. With ECOSOC, we have access to critically important mechanisms such as the Commission on the Status of Women, the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, the Human Rights Council, and other processes.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. With the FAO, we advocate for the importance of family farming, women’s land rights, Indigenous seed protection, food security and food sovereignty.
UN Education and Scientific Council. At UNESCO we advocate for equitable access to quality education at all levels for women in all their diversity, the importance of traditional and inherited knowledge, Indigenous languages, and global citizenship.
ACWW is an elected member of the NGO-UNESCO Liaison Committee for the 2020-2022 mandate. We represent the more than 400 NGOs who hold Official Partnership status with UNESCO, and in 2021 ACWW chaired the 12th International Forum of NGOs in Official Partnership.
ACWW is a member of the NGO Major Group, one of the Major Groups and Other Stakeholders at the UN established as part of the 2030 Agenda. We work with like-minded organisations from around the world to advance our goals and ensure our members are heard.
The official Side Event was held on 18 March 2022, and was titled "Rural Economic Empowerment & Financial Independence Post Covid-19".
ACWW's commitment to tackling inequality on the global stage
Examining the "Role of Rural Women in Global Citizenship"