The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) was established as a functional commission of the Economic and Social Council by Council resolution 11(II) of 21 June 1946 to prepare recommendations and reports to the Council on promoting women's rights in political, economic, civil, social and educational fields. The Commission also makes recommendations to the Council on urgent problems requiring immediate attention in the field of women's rights. The object of the Commission is to promote implementation of the principle that men and women shall have equal rights. The Commission's mandate was expanded in 1987 by the Council in its resolution 1987/22.

Following the 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women, the General Assembly mandated the Commission to integrate into its programme a follow-up process to the Conference, regularly reviewing the critical areas of concern in the Platform for Action and to develop its catalytic role in mainstreaming a gender perspective in United Nations activities.

The Economic and Social Council modified the Commission's terms of reference in 1996, in its resolution 1996/6. In 2000, a comprehensive review and appraisal of progress made in the implementation of the Platform for Action was undertaken by the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly (Beijing +5) entitled "Women 2000: gender equality, development and peace for the twenty-first century". The Assembly adopted a Political Declaration and Further Actions and Initiatives to Implement the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action(the Outcome Document). The Commission's current and future work, as determined by its multi-year programme of work 2002-2006 is closely related to both, the Platform for Action and the Outcome Document so as to ensure their effective implementation.

The Commission which began with 15 members, now consists of 45 members elected by the Economic and Social Council for a period of four years. Members, who are appointed by Governments, are elected on the following basis: thirteen from African states; eleven from Asian states; four from Eastern European states; nine from Latin American and Caribbean states; and eight from Western European and Other states. The Commission meets annually for a period of ten working days.

For documents click on the link of the Official website of the UN for CSW50