Beyond crisis: Driving gender equality and empowerment for women and girls of all ages through social protection

This is an in-person side event organised as part of the 68th Commission on the Status of Women (CSW68)



Time and venue: Monday, 18th of March 2024, 11:30 am - 12:45 pm (EST), United Nations General Assembly (Conference Room 12)

Format: In person, with live streaming 

Organisers: HelpAge InternationalInternational Labour Organization of the United Nations (ILO)Irish Aid (Government of Ireland)

Description: With increasingly frequent compounded crises and stressors, including economic shocks, new and protracted conflicts, and extreme weather events caused by climate change, which have converged with pre-existing levels of poverty and inequality, the need for stronger and more universal, adequate, comprehensive and sustainable social protection systems that successfully integrate a gender perspective across the life-course has never been more pressing. Through a panel discussion featuring multiple stakeholders and a combination of theoretical perspectives and evidence, the session aims to raise awareness of the opportunities that social protection offers to accelerate the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls of all ages, including older women.


  • Cynthia Samuel-Olonjuwon, Special Representative to the UN and Director Office for the United Nations, ILO 
  • Government representative from a low- or middle-income country (to be confirmed)
  • Silke Staab, Research Specialist at UN Women
  • Emma Kaliya, Director of the Malawi Human Rights Resource Centre and representative of HelpAge International’s Global Network
  • Jose Arroyo, Manager of Corporate and Responsibility and Labor Affairs, USCIB
  • Annika Wünsche, DGB Germany, International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC)
  • Asian Development Bank representative (to be confirmed)

Moderator: Ambassador Dónal Cronin, Deputy Permanent Representative of Ireland to the United Nations