Over the years, the Council of Europe's activities to promote the cause of women have taken a number of forms, such as legal measures, mobilising public opinion and training and research.

One of the main threads running through all these activities is the principle that there can be no lasting solution to the social, economic and political problems of society unless women are fully involved in the process.

Women's status, real equality, emancipation, sexually-related violence, the problem of women and disability and human trafficking are just some of the other aspects around which the Council of Europe has developed activities, such as awareness campaigns, all of which are intended to bolster legal equality of the sexes and make it a reality.

In 2009, women made up on average 28.6% of government ministers in Europe and 21.7% of members of parliament. This is slight progress compared with the 19.9% of women ministers in 2005, but there has been no change in their representation in national parliaments. Besides, the figures remain well below the 40% minimum recommended by the Council of Europe.

Europe must stop violence against women and sexist hate speech Europe must stop violence against women and sexist hate speech
Statement by the Secretary General
Secretary General Strasbourg 7 March 2016
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Europe must stop violence against women and sexist hate speech

Ahead of tomorrow’s International Women’s Day, Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland salutes an EU initiative to join the Istanbul Convention, and calls on member States to prevent sexist hate speech.

“I welcome the European Commission’s initiative to join the Istanbul Convention,” he said. “This will be a major step in our efforts to end violence against women and domestic violence. It will help create a coherent European system to combat this outrageous crime which is still widespread in Europe today."

The Istanbul Convention is a unique, legally binding treaty that criminalises violence against women in all its forms. It seeks to prevent violent acts, protect and support victims and prosecute perpetrators. It provides a mechanism to monitor implementation of the convention, including an independent expert group (GREVIO). (more...)

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8 March - International Women's Day

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Did you know that... Did you know that...

... International Women's Day is a public holiday in several European countries, including Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Azerbaijan and Armenia?