Empowerment of Women
The Empowerment of Women programme leads capacity building, networking and awareness raising activities to reinforce women’s participation in public and political life.
The aim of the Empowerment of Women Programme is to reinforce the multilateral and multilevel cooperation between the relevant stakeholders through the sharing of tools, methodologies and best practices in order to develop a context that facilitates the empowerment of women and girls in the Southern Mediterranean.
Concretely, it aims at:
- fostering women’s participation in public life by providing them with online and onsite spaces and/or tools;
- supporting women access’s to rights by sharing tools to combat violence against women, particularly new forms of violence;
- encouraging and supporting North-South and South-South cooperation for the empowerment of women.
Firstly addressed in the framework of the Transmediterranean Programme, launched in 1994 and then, through the Intercultural Dialogue programme launched in 2005, the North-South Centre launched in 2011, the North-South Process for the Empowerment of Women (NSPEW), as a result of the Recommendations adopted at the Conference on “Women as agents of change in in the Southern Mediterranean Region” (Rome, 24-25 October 2011).
This process is supported by the Recommendation 1996 (2012) of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), in particular in reference to item 8 : “The Assembly believes that the consolidated experience of the European Centre for Global Interdependence and Solidarity (North-South Centre) is an important asset in the elaboration, implementation and evaluation of action plans with Morocco and Tunisia, as well as in the establishment of co-operation with other countries in the region.”
The NSPEW is in line with the Council of Europe’s commitment to promote gender equality in Europe and beyond, namely through the Council of Europe Gender Equality Strategy 2018-2023, the Council of Europe Policy towards Neighbouring Regions and its co-operation priorities, the recommendations of the Conference on Combating Gender Stereotypes in and through Education (Helsinki, 9-10 October 2014), and the promotion of the Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention) beyond Europe.
The project is also aligned with the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, in particular with reference to the Sustainable Development Goal 5: to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
On the occasion of the Human Rights International Day that marks the last day of the United Nations 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign, the North-South Centre of the Council of Europe reaffirms its commitment to end violence against women by drawing the attention on the victim-blaming attitudes that marginalise and stigmatise the survivor and make it harder to come forward and report the abuse. There is currently a massive underreporting of all forms of violence against women that is not disputed in both developed and developing countries.