27-28 April 2023 

Room 1, Palais de l'Europe, Council of Europe

Strasbourg, France


Conference co-organised by the Council of Europe and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iceland, in the framework of the Icelandic Presidency of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe



About the conference

The conference focused on the role of men and boys in gender equality policies and in policies to combat violence against women.  

From mental health and well-being, achievement, and education to equal participation in the family and gendered segregation in the labour market, the role of men and boys in issues relating to gender equality has long been a subject for debate. The conference provided an opportunity to discuss and promote the need for strategies on the role and place of men and boys in gender equality policies and in policies to combat violence against women. 

Violence against women is one of the most widespread human rights violations in European societies. Questioning harmful aspects of traditional norms of masculinity, while recognising that masculinity takes many forms, offers an opportunity to implement sustainable violence prevention initiatives and interventions. 

The conference therefore focused on the following themes:

  •     Men and boys as agents of change
  •     Negative impacts of social norms and gender stereotypes
  •     Men and gender equality in care
  •     Role of men and boys in combating violence

The Barbershop

The Icelandic Barbershop method, a tool to get men involved in the discussion about gender equality, will be the format of the first part of the event.

The Icelandic Barbershop concept looks at innovative ways for men to mobilise and motivate other men to address discriminatory stereotypes of masculinity. Barbershop events provide a setting to discuss and reflect about men’s behaviours, privileges, and roles creating barriers for women‘s empowerment and how men can instead become agents of change in promoting gender equality.