Liechtenstein is both celebrating its 45th anniversary as a Council of Europe member state and preparing for its Presidency of the Organisation’s Committee of Ministers from November 2023 to May 2024. In the spirit of the Council Of Europe Days Project, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dominique Hasler, is taking this opportunity to reflect on what membership has meant in practical terms for people in her country, highlighting one specific issue in particular: the real and meaningful progress that has been achieved for women’s rights.
“Europe has progressed since 1978, and Liechtenstein has progressed too”, said Ms Hasler. “One of the largest policy changes following our accession to the Council of Europe directly affected half of the Liechtenstein population: women. In 1984, Liechtenstein finally introduced women’s suffrage. It was a long overdue step, that was followed by many more. The promotion of women’s rights and gender equality has been an integral part both of our foreign policy and our internal affairs. Today, Liechtenstein has an empowered, well-educated, and politically engaged female population. This, we are very proud of.”
More recently, Liechtenstein has taken another important step towards gender equality with the ratification of the Istanbul Convention two years ago. “We hope that other states will join us soon”, she said.
Being geographically a small state, membership in the Council of Europe has “helped to further secure Liechtenstein’s sovereignty and to extend its international recognition as an independent state. It has also contributed both to the development of new European standards, and to the protection of human rights, democracy and the rule of law in all of Europe. You can be certain that Liechtenstein will continue to contribute to these important efforts as an active member of the Council of Europe”, observed Ms Hasler.
“When Liechtenstein joined the Council of Europe in 1978, Europe was vastly different. Since then, we have become a community of values”.