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


 Work Plan


Plenary Meetings


Bureau meetings 


Drafting Committee on Migrant Women


Drafting Committee - Recommendation on Combating Sexism


Main tasks of the Gender Equality Commission

Under the authority of the Committee of Ministers, building on the achievements in the area of gender equality, including notably the Council of Europe Gender Equality Strategy 2018-2023, the Gender Equality Commission (GEC) will steer the Council of Europe’s intergovernmental work in the field of gender equality and advise the Committee of Ministers on appropriate action to be taken in its field of competence, taking due account of relevant transversal perspectives. In particular, the GEC will:

  • 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 experiences and good practices;
  • oversee and support the implementation of the Council of Europe Gender Equality Strategy (2018-2023);
  • support governments, parliaments, local authorities, civil society and the private sector for the purpose of achieving real progress 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;
  • engage in co-ordination and joint planning at regional and international level with the European Union, including the Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) and the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE), the UN, in particular UN Women and the United Nations Global Compact, the World Bank, the OAS, the OSCE, the OECD, other intergovernmental organisations and 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;
  • 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 other activities to support 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;
  • hold an exchange of views annually in order to evaluate its activities and advise the Committee of Ministers and the Secretary General on future priorities in its sector, including possible new activities and those that might be discontinued;
  • take due account of building cohesive societies and promoting and protecting the rights of persons with disabilities in the performance of its tasks;
  • in accordance with decisions 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;
  • contribute to the achievement of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, in particular with regards to Goal 5: Gender Equality and Goal 16: Peace, Justice and Strong institutions.

 Terms of reference 2020-2021

Terms of reference of the Drafting Committee on migrant women 2020-2021

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