Council of Europe Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić has welcomed the launch of the Parliamentary Assembly Vigdís Prize for Women’s Empowerment. Speaking at a side event on the eve of the fourth Council of Europe Summit, she said the prize – named after former Icelandic president Vigdís Finnbogadottir – would reward achievement and inspire change. Each time a woman became the first in her field she made a path for other women to follow, helping society to become truly equal, she said.
“The barriers to women’s empowerment are many and high. But as our understanding of them evolves, so does our action to overcome them. In all of this, systems – and political will – are vital. But so too are the pioneers who shake our assumptions and open our eyes to the possible,” she said.
She also highlighted Council of Europe action to ensure balanced participation of women and men in political and public decision-making, especially the ground-breaking Istanbul Treaty on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence.