The Council of Europe and Gender Equality
The Council of Europe Transversal Programme on Gender Equality, launched in 2012, aims to increase the impact and visibility of gender equality standards and to support their implementation in member states.
To achieve its aim and advance the gender equality agenda, the Programme builds on the political and financial support of the member states, as well as and on the contribution of all Council of Europe decision-making, advisory and monitoring bodies.
The Council of Europe Gender Equality Commission (GEC) is at the centre of these efforts. Gender Equality Rapporteurs (GERs) appointed in steering committees and monitoring bodies of the Council of Europe and working
on different topics (e.g., education, media, sport, terrorism and corruption) provide standards, innovative policy recommendations and feed into the work and activities of the Gender Equality Commission.
Main focus of the Council of Europe activities in relation to gender equality:
- Combating gender stereotypes and sexism;
- Preventing and combating violence against women;
- Guaranteeing the equal access of women to justice;
- Achieving the balanced participation of women and men in political and public decision-making;
- Promoting gender mainstreaming in all policies and measures in the Council of Europe
Council of Europe standards in the area of Gender Equality
The Council of Europe’s pioneering work in the fields of human rights and gender equality has resulted in solid standards which, if fully implemented, would bring member states closer to real equality between women and men. Some of the milestone achievements in this respect include two legal treaties. The Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings recognises that trafficking in human beings is a heavily gendered phenomenon and contains several strong references to gender equality and gender mainstreaming. The Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (Istanbul Convention) is the most far-reaching international treaty to tackle violence against women and domestic violence. It aims at zero tolerance for such violence and is a major step forward in making Europe and beyond safer for women.
In addition, a number of recommendations adopted by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe address gender equality issues in a broad range of areas notably violence against women, balanced participation in political and public decision-making, gender mainstreaming in the media, education, health and sport.
Key Council of Europe publications
- Brochure on the main Council of Europe Standards on Gender Equality and Women’s Rights
- Handbook on the implementation of Recommendation CM/Rec(2013)1 on gender equality and media
- Gender Equality and the Media at National Level: Compilation of good practices from member states
- Compilation of good practices to promote an education free from gender stereotypes and identifying ways to implement the measures which are included in the Recommendation on gender mainstreaming in education
- Compilation of good practices from member states to reduce existing obstacles and facilitate women’s access to justice
- Collection of papers to facilitate the implementation of the Istanbul Convention (Article 11); (Article 12); (Article 13); (Article 16); (Article 17);
In achieving its aims and objectives, the Council of Europe seeks to further develop and strengthen its co-operation with civil society and partner organisations, in particular the EU, the United Nations and its different agencies – above all UN Women – as well as the OSCE, the OECD and the World Bank.
For further information visit: www.coe.int/equality