On 3 and 4 May, in Copenhagen, the Council of Europe Gender Equality Strategy 2018-2023, was launched at the international conference “Gender Equality: Paving the Way”, organised in the framework of the Danish Presidency of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe.
The conference focused on ending impunity for violence against women, promoting gender balance in decision-making, respecting the human rights of migrants, refugee and asylum seeking women and girls and addressing gender stereotypes and sexism including the role of men and boys in promoting women’s rights and gender equality.
Following an inspiring address by Her Royal Highness the Crown Princess of Denmark, the Danish Minister for Equal Opportunities Eva Kjer Hansen and Council of Europe Deputy Secretary General Gabriella Battaini-Dragoni in their welcome remarks encouraged the full implementation of the Strategy. The high level panel focused on political commitment to gender equality including issues of gender quotas in decision-making and the impact of the #MeToo movement. In her keynote speech, GREVIO President Feride Acar focused on the crucial role of the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence in ending gender-based violence and promoting greater gender equality.
The thematic panels discussed ways forward in implementing the new Strategy and using the Strategy to address the key challenges for the promotion of gender equality.
It was acknowledged that the degree of gender equality reached in many Council of Europe member States is positive but that great challenges persist in all areas.