Retour Equal rights for women and girls: the role of men and boys

Council of Europe Strasbourg 8 March 2023
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Equal rights for women and girls: the role of men and boys

Icelandic Minister for Foreign Affairs and President of the Committee of Ministers Thórdís Kolbrún Reykfjörd Gylfadóttir, President of the Parliamentary Assembly Tiny Kox and Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić have made the following statement:

“Today, on International Women’s Day, we reaffirm our unwavering commitment to ensuring gender equality and protect women’s rights. Men and boys can and should play a bigger role in advancing gender equality. They must be actors of positive change, challenging sexism and speaking up when they see women being harassed or treated unfairly”.

“Gender equality benefits everyone, men and women alike. No one should be tied to a specific gender role. Gender stereotypes perpetuate harmful ideas of what is considered “appropriate” behaviour – for both men and women – and constitute a barrier to real gender equality”.

“Gender inequality may also lead to violence. The Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (known as Istanbul Convention) is the Organisation’s primary tool for combating gender-based violence and promoting gender equality. The convention calls on all members of society, especially men and boys, to contribute actively to preventing all forms of gender-based violence. The Council of Europe Gender Equality Strategy also encourages men and boys to promote gender equality. Very recently, a Parliamentary Assembly Resolution highlighted the crucial role and responsibility of men and boys in stopping gender-based violence”.

“Human rights are universal, and fighting against all forms of discrimination, including sexism and racism, is crucial for achieving equality and justice for all. Men leaders - whether in politics, in business, in the media, in sports or cultural institutions - must lead by example towards equality for all.”

Welcome to the Council of Europe Office in Pristina

The Council of Europe Office in Pristina began its cooperation activities in the areas of human rights, rule of law and democracy in 1999. Since then  the Office has continuously facilitated the delivery of significant programmes of support towards the realisation of Council of Europe standards in practice for all people, assisting key institutions in the process of their democratic reforms.

Our cooperation has so far focused on building the capacities of judges and prosecutors on European Human Rights standards, supporting effective civil society engagement, promoting cultural diversity, providing expert support to legislative development, reinforcing independent institutions such as the Ombudsperson Institution, strengthening the role of the media and working to counteract economic crime and corruption, and elections monitoring. We have also provided the support of our expert monitoring and other mechanisms in line with relevant agreements.

The Council of Europe functions in full compliance with the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 and in this context the UN Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), OSCE Mission, the European Union Office in Kosovo and European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo are among our key strategic partners. Driven by a commitment to addressing local needs, ensuring value-added contributions and reinforcing partnerships, the Council of Europe Office in Pristina actively coordinates efforts with all relevant local and international actors in the field.

You will find further information about the Office, our cooperation and monitoring in the links above, as well as about the work of the Council of Europe in general.