The fifty-sixth session of the Commission on the Status of Women took place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from 27th February to 9th March 2012. The priority theme for this year’s event was the empowerment of rural women and their role in poverty and hunger eradication, development and current challenges.LVCT’s Executive Director Dr Nduku Kilonzo presented in the panel discussion on elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls on 29th February 2012. Her presentation was on the Provision of Support Services to Women and Girls Victims/Survivors of Violence which centered on what needs to be done to have a holistic and multi-sectoral response. She identified gaps, challenges and considerations for national systems that would facilitate scale up of services among other issues.Dr Kilonzo noted that the mandate for responding to violence against women is often with Ministries of Health, Police, Justice and Social services which develop sector specific responses in line with their Ministry responsibilities. “These ministries do not speak with each other, do not undertake joint planning and have no common referral pathways. The result is the lack of common frameworks that outline common points of reference, processes, roles, referral pathways, evidence requirements and training” she noted. She said there is an urgent need for in-country mechanisms that coordinate different stakeholder including civil society actors. She stressed that investment in services must be based on systems.The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is a functional commission of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). It is the principal global policy-making body dedicated exclusively to gender equality and advancement of women. Every year, representatives of Member States, UN entities, and NGOs in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) from all regions of the world gather at United Nations Headquarters in New York to evaluate progress on gender equality, identify challenges, set global standards and formulate concrete policies to promote gender equality and women's empowerment worldwide.The two-week session include a high-level round table, interactive dialogues and panels, and parallel events.