What we do

Equality between women and men

Gender equality means an equal visibility, empowerment, responsibility and participation of both sexes in all spheres of public and private life. It also means an equal access to, and distribution of resources between women and men.

It means accepting and valuing equally the differences of women and men and the diverse roles they play in society.


Sexism and discriminatory stereotypes remain widespread, and affect women’s education and participation in the economy and in public life.

Recommendation Rec(2019)1 to prevent and combat sexism comprises a comprehensive catalogue of measures both to prevent and to condemn sexism, and it calls for specific action in such areas as:

  • language and communications,
  • internet, social media and online sexist hate speech
  • media, advertising and other communication products and services
  • workplace
  • public sector
  • justice sector
  • education institutions
  • culture and sport
  • private sphere

It provides for the first international definition of sexism, i.e. “any sexist act, gesture, visual representation, spoken or written words, practice or behavior based upon the idea that a person or a group of persons is inferior because of their sex, and which intentionally or not violate the dignity of others, or result in harm, or create an intimidating environment (…)”.

Rec(2019)1 also provides for a mechanism which requires that countries monitor the implementation of anti-sexist policies at national level and report back periodically to the Council of Europe.