International conference Women’s Access to Justice: Moving closer to full ratification and implementation of the Istanbul Convention
Online, 7-8 October 2021
In the framework of the EU-CoE Partnership for Good Governance II (PGGII) regional project “Women’s Access to Justice: delivering on the Istanbul Convention and other European gender equality standards”, the Council of Europe organised an international conference to promote the standards of the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention), including measures and practical actions to guarantee women’s access to justice, and to discuss practical measures and challenges on the path towards ratification of the Istanbul Convention by the Eastern Partnership countries.
“Women have long experienced specific barriers and discrimination when they seek redress from the justice system”, remarked Council of Europe Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić in opening the conference with Helena Dalli, European Union (EU) Equality Commissioner. The Secretary General stressed that co-operation with the EU is helping to improve the situation: “This provides Eastern Partnership countries with tailor-made support that helps them bring their legislation and practice into line with European standards.”
Drafting Committee on migrant women concludes work on a Recommen-dation on the rights of migrant, refugee and asylum-seeking women and girls
Work on a draft Recommendation on the rights of migrant, refugee and asylum-seeking women and girls was completed during the fifth and last meeting of the Council of Europe Drafting committee on migrant women (GEC-MIG). GEC-MIG, a subordinate body to the Gender Equality Commission (GEC), had been tasked by the Committee of Ministers to draft a Recommendation on migrant and refugee women and girls. The meeting was held in person in Strasbourg and via videoconference on 30 September and 1 October 2021. The text of the draft Recommendation as delivered by GEC-MIG will be forwarded to the Gender Equality Commission for consideration at its November 2021 plenary meeting.
The text is now available in 26 languages, in addition to the official English and French versions. The Campaign Sexism: See it. Name it. Stop it! aims at raising awareness about the causes of sexism and its various forms, and at identifying ways to prevent and combat it. The action page on sexism, recently translated into Azerbaijani is now available in 21 languages. More language versions of the sexism brochure are also available (Georgian, Romanian, Russian), while the dubbed version of the sexism video is now also available in Italian.
Objectives 1 and 6 of the Gender Equality Strategy
Call for participants for the international seminar “Combating sexist advertising: learning from practice”
28-29 October 2021
The seminar organised by the Inclusion and Anti-discrimination Division of the Council of Europe will provide a platform for participants from the member States of the Council of Europe to get acquainted with relevant Council of Europe standards and policies and share practices on combating sexist advertising, with a focus on the role of equality bodies in this field. It will gather representatives of equality bodies, of public institutions with competences to review media and advertising, self-regulatory bodies in the field of advertising, civil society organisations, gender experts, media, academia, international institutions, development partners, etc.
Podcasts on domestic violence and violence against women in Armenia
Project "Path towards Armenia's ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence"
What are the main challenges for survivors of violence against women and domestic violence when they want to break free from violence? What are the State’s obligations to combat domestic violence? What are the consequences of domestic violence on national economies? In these podcasts in Armenian, two experts addressed these and many other questions related to violence against women in Armenia.
Taking stock of the project in Azerbaijan and translation of the factsheets on case law of the Court
Joint EU/CoE Action on “Raising awareness of the Istanbul Convention and other gender equality standards in Azerbaijan”
The Project Board met on 20 September to take stock of the results achieved to date. The Board took note that, since its last meeting in February 2021, numerous Council of Europe core materials have been translated and disseminated for the benefit of state authorities, civil society and legal professionals; a total of 166 participants attended project activities related to combating violence against women and domestic violence and the Istanbul Convention; and a further 500 participants actively engaged through social media actions. Partners also presented ideas on how to better contribute towards achieving the project’s objectives and discussed the way forward. The latest versions of the European Court of Human Rights factsheets on violence against women, domestic violence, and gender equality have been translated in Azerbaijani. These factsheets will be distributed to the Academy of Justice of Azerbaijan, partner of the project, and the Bar Association of Azerbaijan, so that they can be used in the daily practice of legal professionals.
Manual for Georgian investigators, prosecutors and judges on cases of sexual violence crimes
Project “Promoting an integrated approach to end violence against women and enhancing gender equality in Georgia”
Presented online on 22 September 2021, the manual for Georgian investigators, prosecutors and judges on cases of sexual violence crimes was developed with the support of the Council of Europe's Georgia Office, UN Women and Equality Now, as well as the Prosecutor’s Office, Ministry of Internal Affairs, international and local experts, including representatives from Georgian courts. Deputy Minister Darakhvelidze noted: “This is a very important document that will help investigators to accurately and correctly handle the investigation process, to have the right communication with the victim and witnesses and to choose the right investigation strategy so that no such crime goes unanswered. The public should have high trust in law enforcement.”
First steering committee meeting of the project in Kosovo* - Phase III
Project ‘’Reinforcing the fight against violence against women and domestic violence in Kosovo* – Phase II’’
The Project which started on 1 July 2021, will hold its first steering committee meeting in Pristina on 26 October 2021. The meeting will gather local partners including the National Coordinator against Domestic Violence, the Agency for Gender Equality, the Kosovo* Academy of Justice and the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare. They will discuss the project’s plans and generally provide strategic guidance for its implementation.
*All reference to Kosovo, whether to the territory, institutions, or population, in this text shall be understood in full compliance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 and without prejudice to the status of Kosovo.
Objectives 2 and 4 of the Gender Equality Strategy
Project launch in Russian Federation
EU/CoEjoint project “Co-operation for the implementation of the Russian Federation National Action Strategy for Women 2017-2022: applying best practices”
A new Council of Europe and European Union joint project started on 18 September. It builds on the lessons learned from the project “Co-operation in the implementation of the Russian Federation National Action Strategy for Women (2017-2022)” which ended in May 2020. This project aims at building institutional capacities to promote women’s political participation and to prevent and combat violence against women and domestic violence in the Russian Federation. It aims at empowering those who can be actors of change in the Russian Federation, hence contributing to mobilise them in favour of gender equality and women’s human rights.
Civil society communication and advocacy campaigns on the Istanbul Convention in the Czech Republic, Latvia and Poland
On 28 September, the second communication workshop #IstanbulConventionSavesLives targeting NGOs in Latvia took place online. The Council of Europe, UN Women and WAVE Network brought together communication specialists, journalists and NGO activists to exchange practices on impactful communication on gender equality and human rights. The first workshop took place on 25 June joining Czech and Polish civil society organisations.
Launch of a new project on women’s access to justice in Turkey
EU/CoE Joint Action on “Fostering women’s access to justice in Turkey”
On 1 October 2021 the Council of Europe Gender Equality Division in co-operation with the Council of Europe Office in Ankara, began implementing the new action “Fostering women’s access to justice in Turkey” under the joint European Union and Council of Europe programme “Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Turkey”. The action aims to strengthen women's access to justice in Turkey in line with international and European standards. It will contribute to improving the capacity of legal aid and victim support services to effectively respond to the needs of women, enhancing legal aid access for women through work with legal aid lawyers and civil society, and increasing legal literacy and awareness among women, especially groups of women in vulnerable situations. The action will run for 15 months from 1 October 2021 to 31 December 2022.
Conference on “The role of foreign policy in advancing gender equality: Addressing the challenges, pushbacks and obstacles faced by women”
Nicosia, Cyprus and online, 26 October
To celebrate 60 years since Cyprus joined the Council of Europe, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus is organising this high-level conference in collaboration with the Council of Europe.
The conference will gather diplomats, representatives from member states and international organisations as well as from NGOs. It will focus on the role of foreign policy in the promotion of women’s rights and achieving gender equality, including within the migration context, assess the current state of women’s rights and their participation on the multilateral level and discuss the way forward.
The Gender Equality Commission (GEC) will hold its 20th plenary meeting on-line and in Strasbourg. On the occasion of the celebration of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (25 November), a high-level panel will be hosted, with the participation of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Marija Pejčinović Burić, of the Italian Minister for Family and Equal Opportunities Elena Bonetti (within the framework of the Council of Europe Italian Presidency) and of the President of the Group of Experts on Action against Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (GREVIO), Iris Luarasi.
The GEC will also discuss and adopt the text of the draft Committee of Ministers Recommendation on protecting the rights of migrant, refugee and asylum-seeking women and girls, as transmitted by the Drafting Committee on migrant women (GEC-MIG), which concluded its work after two years of negotiations.