The Gender Equality Commission (GEC) was established to help ensure the mainstreaming of gender equality into all Council of Europe policies and to bridge the gap between commitments made at international level and the reality of women in Europe. The Commission, whose members are appointed by member states, provides advice, guidance and support to other Council of Europe bodies and to member states. The Gender Equality Commission supports the implementation of the six objectives of the Council of Europe Gender Equality Strategy 2018-2023.

 Members of the Gender Equality Commission 2018-2019

 Work Plan 2018-2019


Drafting Committee - Recommendation on Combating Sexism

Main tasks of the Gender Equality Commission

Under the supervision of the Committee of Ministers, the GEC will steer the intergovernmental work in the field of gender equality. In particular, the GEC is instructed to:

  • promote gender equality as a visible priority for the Organisation (internally and externally) and, to this end, support all committees and bodies of the Organisation in ensuring that a gender equality perspective is maintained in their activities;
  • conduct needs’ assessments and provide advice on the development of standards, co-operation and monitoring activities within its field of competence;
  • provide expertise to member States on the development of legislation, policies, practice, training schemes and awareness material to support implementation of internationally agreed standards at national level; and facilitate exchange of experience and good practice;
  • support the implementation of the Council of Europe Gender Equality Strategy (2018-2023);
  • support governments, parliaments, local authorities, civil society and private sector for the purposes of achieving real change on gender equality in member States;
  • promote the inclusion in the political agendas of the Council of Europe member States and beyond of the need to prevent and combat all forms of violence against women and domestic violence;
  • identify a topic of particular relevance in the field of gender equality and organise a thematic conference to exchange experience, good practices and facilitate progress on this topic;
  • advise the Committee of Ministers and the Secretary General on appropriate action to be taken and likewise provide advice as requested on such questions as may arise;
  • engage in co-ordination and joint planning at regional and international level with the European Union, including the Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA), the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE), UN, in particular UN Women and the United Nations Global Compact, the World Bank, the OAS, the OSCE, the OECD, and other intergovernmental organisations and the civil society with the aim of strengthening equality and enhancing women’s rights as an integral part of universal human rights; promote the visibility of the Council of Europe’s standards at these levels through participation in meetings at the level of the UN Commission on the Status of Women, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women and the Human Rights Council;
  • take due account to building cohesive societies and to promoting and protecting rights of persons with disabilities in line with the Council of Europe Disability Strategy 2017-2023 in the performance of its tasks;
  • follow the implementation of the non-binding instruments that it has prepared as well as conventions for which it has been given supervision by the Committee of Ministers;
  • contribute to co-operation and support activities to national initiatives in this field;
  • without prejudice to the mandates of intergovernmental committees of the Council of Europe that already follow the work of monitoring mechanisms, follow the activities of the relevant monitoring and other bodies or convention mechanisms;
  • in accordance with decision CM/Del/Dec(2013)1168/10.2 of the Committee of Ministers, carry out, at regular intervals, within the limits of the available resources and bearing in mind its priorities, an examination of some or all of the conventions for which it has been given responsibility, in co-operation, where appropriate, with the relevant convention-based bodies, and report back to the Committee of Ministers.

 Terms of reference 2018-2019

Terms of reference of the Drafting Commitee to prevent and combat sexism 2018-2019