“Gender equality is at the very heart of human rights and the Council of Europe values, and, in this regard, local and regional authorities have a key role to play,” stated Gudrun Mosler-Törnström (Austria, SOC/G/PD) at the Third Ukrainian Women’s Congress on 10 December 2019 in Kyiv, Ukraine.
She highlighted that although gender equality remains a challenge at all levels, the change starts at the local level. Local policies and initiatives can help to improve gender equality and protect women’s rights by countering traditional gender roles and stereotypical misconceptions. “This is one of the reasons why, we local authorities, with the support of our national associations, need to integrate a gender perspective in our practices and procedures,” she stated.
Ms Mosler-Törnström invited women to take an active role in local and regional political life and make use of the Congress recommendations and resolutions advocating gender equality and a balanced representation of women and men in decision-making. She also reminded that the ongoing decentralisation process in Ukraine is a great opportunity to enhance and mainstream gender equality, and that achieving it at local and regional level would contribute to the realisation of Ukraine’s commitments to the United Nations 2030 Agenda, in particular to the 5th Sustainable Development Goal – Gender Equality.
“Making gender equality a reality at local level is about changing our mindsets and reach out to all citizens. Only then we can ensure democratic sustainability and resilience in local communities,” concluded Ms Mosler-Törnström.
Ms Mösler-Törnström's participation in the 3rd Ukrainian Women's Congress was organised in the framework of the project “Strengthening democracy and building trust at local level in Ukraine”, implemented by the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities as part of the Council of Europe Action Plan for Ukraine 2018-2021. The project aims to improve the quality of local democracy in Ukraine by strengthening institutional frameworks and by supporting local authorities and their national associations in their efforts to promote ethical decision-making and more citizen-oriented, responsive and transparent local governance.
- Congress' co-operation activities with Ukraine
- Video of Ms Mosler-Törnström's speech: