Seminar on "Tackling the gaps in research and the lack of data disaggregated by sex concerning women’s equal access to justice"
The Council of Europe Gender Equality Commission is organising a Seminar on “Tackling the gaps in research and the lack of data disaggregated by sex concerning women’s equal access to justice” on 26 and 27 June 2014. The seminar will be held in the Council of Europe offices in Paris (55, avenue Kléber).
The 5th meeting of the Gender Equality Equality Commission 2-4 April 2014
Discussion and debates were held last week with the Gender Equality Commission. The report of the 5th meeting will be published on this website shortly. See the meeting documents
Switzerland provides an app free of charge to strengthen women's human rights
To make the texts and content of international agreements, UN resolutions and other documents relating to women's human rights more easily accessible,
Switzerland has developed a new application for smart phones and tablets.
Violence against Women, the Council of Europe response
[19/03/2014] On 19 March 2014, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe held the Thematic Debate on “Violence against Women, the Council of Europe response”. All speakers acknowledged the importance and value of measures undertaken by the CoE to support member states in their efforts to prevent and combat violence against women, and in this context, highlighted the significance of the
Council of Europe Strategy on Gender Equality (2014-2017) and the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (Istanbul Convention) as the only legally-binding instrument in Europe and the most far-reaching international treaty to tackle violence against women. Well targeted co-operation and synergies with other regional and international organisations, in particular EU, UN Women, OHCHR, OAS and OSCE, have raised the visibility of the Council of Europe work in the area of gender equality and protection of women against violence and led to widespread acceptance of the Istanbul Convention as a global tool to tackle gender-based violence.
The Analytical Study of the results of the 4th round of monitoring the implementation of
Recommendation Rec(2002)5 on the protection of women against violence in Council of Europe member states was made available to the participants. The study provides a comprehensive overview of the situation in 46 out of the 47 member states of the Council of Europe with regard to measures to tackle violence against women and domestic violence, and provides a valuable source of information for all those involved in preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence.
Council of Europe Gender Equality Strategy presented in Zagreb
On the occasion of International Women's Day, the Head of the Croatian Gender Equality Office, Ms Helena Stimac Radin,
presented on 6th March the Council of Europe Gender Equality Strategy 2014-2017, which they have translated into
Compilation of good practices in member States on Access to Justice for Women Victims of Violence
Council of Europe Highlights in 2013 - Gender Equality and Violence against Women
2013 was a year rich in activities and achievements for the Council of Europe Trasversal Programme on Gender Equality. The adoption of the Council of Europe Strategy on Gender Equality (2014-2017) marked an important step in advancing the Organisation’s efforts to achieve de facto gender equality and support the implementation of standards in member states. The Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women (Istanbul Convention) has become known to wider audiences within international organisations, governments, civil society organisations and the general public …
Switzerland’s position on Gender Equality in the Post-2015 Agenda in line with the Council of Europe Gender Equality Strategy.
The Federal Council recently approved the Swiss Position on a Framework for Sustainable Development Post – 2015. It promotes both a stand-alone goal on gender equality and a transversal approach, integrating gender-sensitive targets in the formulation of other goals. It also addresses the symptoms and the root causes of inequality and discrimination. Particular attention is paid to preventing all forms of violence against women and girls and to recognizing women as actors. Switzerland’s position is consistent with the five strategic objectives of the
Council of Europe Strategy on Gender Equality (read
Interview with Pan European Networks (PEN)
The Council of Europe Transversal Programme on Gender Equality,
Gender Equality Commission and ongoing work in the priority areas,
violence against women and the Istanbul Convention as a tool for change,
good examples and practices in the member states are some of the topics
covered by a recent interview with the Pan European Networks (PEN) which has just been published. Please click on the
following link to read the full article.
Hearing on "Access to Justice for Women Victims of Violence"
The Council of Europe Gender Equality Commission in partnership with
the French authorities organised a Hearing on “Access to justice
for women victims of violence”. The Hearing is part of the activities and on-going work in the area of Equal Access of Women to Justice –defined as a priority by the Council of Europe Gender Equality Commission (GEC).
Click here for further information
Secretary General of the Council of Europe: Ratify the Council of Europe’s convention on violence against women
[25/11/2013] On the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, Secretary General Jagland encouraged states to ratify the Council of Europe’s convention on violence against women.
Secretary General welcomes multiannual gender equality strategy
Strasbourg, 13 November 2013:
Addressing the Gender Equality Commission at its 4th meeting in
Strasbourg, Secretary General Jagland today welcomed the elaboration of the multiannual gender equality strategy, recently adopted by the Committee of Ministers, and said he was impressed by the Gender Equality Commission's achievements with regard to six ambitious objectives:
26 of 28 steering committees and three monitoring bodies have now appointed Gender Equality Rapporteurs to ensure that the gender dimension is given due consideration in their work;
A visible and influential Network of National Focal Points in the area of gender equality has been established;
Co-operation with partner organisations has been further developed, for example around the promotion of the Istanbul Convention;
Support has been provided to countries in neighbouring regions;
With 25 signatures and six ratifications (seven when Austria ratifies tomorrow), we should feel proud and reassured about the way the Istanbul Convention is gaining ground and recognition in Europe and beyond;
and concerning gender equality within the Council of Europe secretariat – the percentage of women at
senior management level has increased from 30% (2011) to 43% in 2013. Women at
middle management level are now 30% (28% in 2011). A gender-mainstreamed analysis of our recruitment and selection processes has been conducted by an independent expert to identify and address possible bias and gender stereotypes in our current practices.
Accelerating progress towards gender equality: the Council of Europe strategy for 2014-2017
Although the legal status of women in Europe has improved during recent decades, effective equality is far from being a reality. Even if progress is visible (educational attainment, labour market participation, political representation), gender gaps persist in many areas, maintaining men in their traditional roles and constraining women’s opportunities to affirm their fundamental rights and assert their agency. The most pronounced expression of the uneven balance of power between women and men is violence against women, which is both a human rights violation and a major obstacle to gender equality.
On 6 November 2013, the Committee of Ministers adopted the Council of Europe Gender Equality Strategy for the period 2014-2017 [link to Strategy].
The overall goal of the Strategy is to achieve the advancement and empowering of women and the effective realisation of gender equality in Council of Europe member states. The Strategy sets five strategic objectives:
Combating gender stereotypes and sexism;
Preventing and combating violence against women;
Guaranteeing Equal Access of Women to Justice;
Achieving balanced participation of women and men in political and public decision-making;
Achieving Gender Mainstreaming in all policies and measures.
The Strategy emanates from an unprecedented mobilisation in the Council of Europe through its new Transversal Gender Equality Programme. It presupposes that all Council of Europe decision-making, advisory and monitoring bodies should support and actively contribute to its implementation. The Committee of Ministers has invited the Gender Equality Commission to follow closely the implementation of the Strategy and asked the Secretary General to report annually on progress achieved.
"The Human Rights of Women: Good Practices in Gender Justice" - Buenos Aires, Argentina, 25-27 September 2013
[30/09/2013] Marja Ruotanen, Director of Justice and Human Dignity, represented the Council of Europe at the International Seminar on “Human Rights of Women: Good Practices in Gender Justice” (Buenos Aires, Argentina, 25 - 27 September 2013). The International Seminar brought together high level representatives from governments and justice institutions of Latin America, representatives of regional and international organisations and human rights bodies. In her intervention, Ms Ruotanen highlighted the pioneering work of the Council of Europe in the areas of human rights, rule of law and democracy, with particular focus on issues related to gender equality, access to justice and the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combatting violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention) as a global tool to en gender based violence and ensure access to justice for women victims of violence. Link to the website of the event.
Link to the website of the event
NFPS in the News
Read the interview with Carlien Scheele (Chair of the GEC) entitled “Opening Doors by Setting a National Focal Point Network”, in the September edition of the OSCE’s newletter “Gender Monitor”
International Day of the Girl Child - Friday 11 October 2013
Empowering girls for a better future
A group of United Nations and regional human rights experts proposed
today a list of key action points for governments, civil society
organisations, the private sector and global policymakers to give all
the “Malalas” in the world a better future through education.
“The exclusion of girls from the education system carries too high a
cost to girls themselves, their families and the wider society to be
ignored,” the experts stressed in a statement* to mark the second
International Day of the Girl Child, on Friday 11 October 2013, while
calling for swift action to eliminate barriers to girls’ education.
The human rights experts noted that despite a significant reduction in
school drop-out figures in developing countries – from 102 million in
2000 to 57 million in 2011 – gender disparity in enrolment at the
primary and secondary levels remains high, according to the UN. The
difference is even more striking at the higher levels, especially in
certain regions with girls accounting for 55% of the out-of-school
“Barriers to the fuller participation of girls at all levels of
education include the burden of care in the household, patriarchal norms
that undervalue girls’ education, the threat of sexual violence in and
out of school, early and forced marriages and adolescent pregnancies,”
they noted, with religious, political, cultural stereotypes or other
ideological factors also thwarting the right to primary education for
Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 4-5 July 2013 Every day, and the world over, we are exposed to
images and information from a wide array of sources which play a crucial
role in shaping our opinions, values and ideas of what is a desired
and acceptable behaviour for women and men. Unfortunately, the visibility
given to women in mass media, whether in text, audio, or audio-visual
form is more often than not based on stereotypical portrayals of what
is feminine and masculine. To raise the media's and the general public's
awareness of gender equality issues in the media and discuss and exchange
good practices on effective ways of combating gender stereotypes, the
Gender Equality Commission of the Council of Europe, in partnership
with the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science of the Netherlands,
is organising a conference on the theme of media and the image of women,
to be held in Amsterdam on 4-5 July. The Conference aims to attract
a wide range of participants, including the Council of Europe Network
of National Focal Points on Gender Equality, representatives of national
media regulatory authorities, journalists and representatives of the
"No Hate Speech Movement"
Strasbourg] An overflow of xenophobia, intolerance and discrimination
inundates cyberspace: Hate Speech online has recently turned into a
major form of human rights abuse, with serious consequences both online
and offline. Spreading, inciting, justifying or promoting expressions
of hatred amongst young people on internet has become a pressing challenge
for today’s societies. The Council of Europe’s answer to these compelling
threats is the Youth project on combating Hate Speech Online, an initiative
aiming at fighting racism and discrimination in the online articulation
of hate speech
Thorbjørn Jagland: Women's role in society is "strongest transformative force" in the world today
On the occasion of International Women's Day, Council of Europe Secretary
General Thorbjørn Jagland paid tribute to the increasing role that women
are playing in societies worldwide. From politics to business and their
role in achieving peace, he described women’s role in society as the "strongest
transformative force in the world today." The Secretary General, however,
warned that women "still earn less, decide less and they are more often
than men victims of violence". Jagland called upon governments to ratify
the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against
women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention) and to promote gender
Video message of the Secretary General
57th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women
On the occasion of the fifty-seventh session of the
Commission on the Status of Women from 4 to 15 March 2013 the Council of Europe held a
side-event entitled "Violence against Women: our concern, our response". See a podcast of the side-event