Over the years, the Council of Europe's activities to promote the cause of women have taken a number of forms, such as legal measures, mobilising public opinion and training and research.

One of the main threads running through all these activities is the principle that there can be no lasting solution to the social, economic and political problems of society unless women are fully involved in the process.

Women's status, real equality, emancipation, sexually-related violence, the problem of women and disability and human trafficking are just some of the other aspects around which the Council of Europe has developed activities, such as awareness campaigns, all of which are intended to bolster legal equality of the sexes and make it a reality.

In 2009, women made up on average 28.6% of government ministers in Europe and 21.7% of members of parliament. This is slight progress compared with the 19.9% of women ministers in 2005, but there has been no change in their representation in national parliaments. Besides, the figures remain well below the 40% minimum recommended by the Council of Europe.

International Women’s Day 2018 International Women’s Day 2018
Statement by Karen Ellemann, Minister for Equal Opportunities of Denmark, on behalf of the Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers
Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers Strasbourg 8 March 2018
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Karen Ellemann

Karen Ellemann

This year the International Women’s Day is taking place against a strong background of global action in favour of women’s rights, equality and justice.

Denmark is proud to contribute to these efforts in the framework of its chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe.

The Council of Europe has just adopted a new Gender Equality Strategy 2018-2023, to help progress towards de facto gender equality at all levels and in all areas. Denmark will host the launching conference of this new strategy, entitled “Gender Equality: Paving the way” in Copenhagen on 3-4 May 2018. One of the Chairmanship’s objectives is to strengthen gender equality work in the Council of Europe with a particular focus on how to involve more men in promoting gender equality.

We appeal to all member States to turn the current momentum into action, to bridge gender gaps and structural barriers in order to achieve full empowerment of every girl and woman.

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Did you know that... Did you know that...

... International Women's Day is a public holiday in several European countries, including Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Azerbaijan and Armenia?