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Gender equality is an important policy goal of the Council of Europe. Priority areas of intervention are defined by the Gender Equality Strategy 2024-2029 and working methods include intergovernmental work, cooperation projects and gender mainstreaming.

 At a glance


Joining forces with women’s organisations and civil society

On 11-12 July 2024, in Budapest, the Gender Equality Division will organise the conference “Synergy for change: Civil society raising awareness on violence against women in a context of global challenges.

The event will bring together around 100 participants especially from civil society organisations (CSOs) active in preventing and combating violence against women which are key partners in promoting and monitoring the implementation of the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combatting violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention).

What are we aiming at?

  • Foster exchanges among civil society, experts, international organisations and experts across Europe.
  • Share promising practices of the use of the Council of Europe, Women Against Violence Europe Network (WAVE) and  UN Women methodology, advocacy resources and tools.
  • Enhance the ability of civil society to promote the Istanbul Convention, advocate for end violence against women and promote gender equality, including addressing new topics and challenges.
  • Define the ways forward to join forces to advance gender equality in Europe and beyond with a Call for action.

The conference will pay special attention to new and ongoing challenges, such as the digital dimension of violence against women, the backlash against gender equality, and other global issues. The event will comprise general plenaries, group work, and a World Café. It will open with a video greeting from Jeroen Schokkenbroek, Director of Equal Rights and Dignity of the Council of Europe.

The Conference is organised within the framework of the Council of Europe Ending violence against women: multi-country programme.

 Concept note


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In March 2019, the Committee of Ministers adopted the Recommendation CM/Rec(2019)1 on preventing and combating sexism: it calls for specific action in respect of language and communication; internet and social media; media, advertising and other communication methods; workplace; public sector; justice sector; education institutions; culture and sport and the private sphere. An action page and a brochure give concrete guidance regarding the implementation of the Recommendation.

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Migrant women and girls

In May 2022, the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers adopted the Recommendation CM/Rec(2022)17 on protecting the rights of migrant, refugee and asylum-seeking women and girls. The Recommendation brings together the provisions of existing Council of Europe and international standards and the policies that can best ensure the empowerment and protection of migrant, refugee and asylum-seeking women and girls.

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