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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 2018-2023 and working methods include intergovernmental work, cooperation projects and gender mainstreaming.

 At a glance


Just out – New study on the impact of COVID-19 on Women’s Access to Justice in Europe

The COVID-19 pandemic had, and still has, a major impact on gender equality, as it has persistently challenged decades of gender equality advancements. There have been major backlashes at many levels: the rise in domestic violence, unemployment, the resurgence of very traditional role expectations. Another specific backlash relates to equal access to justice. Women face a variety of legal, institutional, socio-economic and cultural barriers in their access to justice. These were undeniably exacerbated during the pandemic.
Produced within the framework of the EU/Council of Europe Partnership for Good Governance II: Women's Access to Justice (2019-2022), the study was enriched by contributions from members of the Council of Europe Gender Equality Commission (GEC), the pan-European intergovernmental steering committee on gender equality policies.

 Link to the English version

Migrant & refugee women and girls

In May 2022, the Committee of Ministers, meeting in Turin, adopted the Recommendation CM/Rec(2022)27 on protecting the rights of migrant, refugee and asylum-seeking women and girls.

Drawing on Council of Europe treaties including the Istanbul Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and the Convention on action against trafficking in human beings, the recommendation addresses issues faced by women and girls: from adequate transit and reception facilities, to their health needs or establishing gender-sensitive asylum policies.

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Stop sexism

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. It is currently available in 26 languages as well as in the English and French official versions. 

An action page and a brochure give concrete guidance regarding the implementation of the Recommendation.

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