There is almost no media coverage of the 51st Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in any of the various media outlets either here in the U.S. or anywhere in the world. Only 10 media representatives are at the United Nations headquarters (U.N.) to cover this supposedly major world event. Those facts alone would seem to indicate that, perhaps, indeed the CSW is passé.
It is estimated that 4,000 women and 200 girls are in attendance at this final week of the CSW. In addition, there are hundreds of Non-Governmental Representatives (NGOs) and delegates from 45 countries. Those numbers ought to indicate a significant conference of world-wide interest. Compare, for instance, the media attention given this week to the U.S. Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, D.C. which had roughly the same attendance. Actually, there is no comparison –– CPAC generated media excitement and produced coverage in television, radio, print and blogs. That was true of the CSW in times past.
When I came to New York for the Beijing +5 CSW, there was a separate trailer parked outside the U.N. headquarters to handle media credentialing. Lines stretched down the length of the sidewalk for NGOs to get into two other trailers for their credentialing. Now, registration for the CSW, along with registration for other concurrent conferences, is easily handled in the lobby of the U.N.
The lack of media interest is just one more sign that the influence of feminism has peaked and is beginning to wane. It is one more sign that the world is not interested in hearing women drone on and on about so-called “women’s issues.” Even this year, when the theme, “Violence Against Women and Girls,” ought to resonate with all, there is a yawning realization that the CSW, regardless of the topic, will merely talk about the “same-old, same-old” ––– they will argue that the solution to any problem is “gender equality” and they will quote figures and tell anecdotes that falsely conflate serious legitimate concerns with frivolous issues of dubious significance. There is nothing fresh or new on the agenda. One year’s side events are just like the next year’s roster of seminars and workshops.