Amongst the factors that are impacting women, they may be at higher risk of being victims of violence during a recession. The conference is also talking about woman's jobs being more likely to be cut during the recession.
Writer Thalif Deen is covering the meeting for the IPS.
Addressing the CSW, U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs Sha Zukang said: "Historically, economic recessions have placed a disproportionate burden on women."
He pointed out that women are more likely than men to be in vulnerable jobs; to be under-employed or without a job; lack social protection; and to have limited access to and control over economic and financial resources.
The most widespread negative impact could be in the Asia-Pacific region which has one of the highest ratios of women of working age. And, among working women, about 65 percent are in vulnerable employment, largely in the region's informal sector.
Many of them have no benefits - such as maternity leave and pensions - or job security, and are at great risk of falling into poverty in economic downturns, according to the Bangkok-based U.N. Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).
Women's unequal access to decent and productive employment opportunities costs the Asia-Pacific region about 42 to 47 billion dollars a year.
Thelma Kay, director of ESCAP's Social Development Division, told IPS that in many families, household expenditures, such as for food and child-rearing, are managed by women.
"Women dependents are having to care for their entire families on less income, and working women are having to support families with their wages alone, which, on average, are lower often considerably than men's," Kay said.
On top of that, she said, food prices have spiraled over the last two years, forcing women to make difficult financial choices.
"And where school costs become unbearable, it is the girl-children who are more likely to be taken out of the classroom," Kay said.