The Gender Equality Commission (GEC) was established to help ensure the mainstreaming of gender equality into all Council of Europe policies and to bridge the gap between commitments made at international level and the reality of women in Europe. The Commission, whose members are appointed by member states, provides advice, guidance and support to other Council of Europe bodies and to member states. The Commission has identified three priority topics for its work until 2014: Access to Justice, Women and Media and Violence against Women.
Under the supervision of the European Committee for Social Cohesion, Human Dignity and Equality (CDDECS), the DECS-GEC will conduct the intergovernmental work in the field of gender equality assigned to it by the Committee of Ministers.
ensures that a gender perspective is maintained in the activities of other committees and bodies of the Organisation;
conducts needsí assessments and advises on the development of standards, co-operation and monitoring activities within its field of competence;
provides expertise to member states on the development of legislation, policies, practice, training schemes and awareness material to support implementation of internationally agreed standards at national level;
supports the implementation of the Council of Europe Gender Equality Strategy (2014-17);
supports a network of national focal points from government, parliaments, local authorities, civil society and business for the purposes of achieving real change on gender equality in member states;
annually identifies a topic of particular relevance in the field of gender equality and organises an annual thematic conference to exchange experience, good practices and facilitate progress on this topic;
advises, through the CDDECS, the Committee of Ministers and the Secretary General on appropriate action to be taken and likewise provide advice as requested on such questions as may arise;
engages in co-ordination and joint planning at international level with the European Union, UN Women and other intergovernmental organisations and civil society;
advises on gender equality issues within the Secretariat of the Organisation;
in accordance with decisions CM/Del/Dec(2013)1168/10.2 of the Committee of Ministers, carries out, at regular intervals, within the limits of the available resources and bearing in mind its priorities, an examination of some or all of the conventions for which it has been given responsibility, in co-operation, where appropriate, with the relevant convention-based bodies, and reports back to the Committee of Ministers.