The recommendation of the Council of Europe on the need to strengthen the protection and promotion of civil society space in Europe
The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe has adopted a recommendation to member States to take effective measures to protect and promote civil society space.
Civil society organizations are invited to bring this recommendation to the attention of national authorities, ask for its translation into the national language and monitor its implementation by their governments.
Adopted by the Committee of Ministers at the 1330th meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies, on 28 November 2018, the recommendation calls on member states to ensure an enabling legal framework and a conducive political and public environment for civil society organisations, human rights defenders, individuals, groups, and national institutions for the protection and promotion of human rights (NHRIs) to freely carry out activities, on a legal basis, consistent with international law and standards, to strive for the protection and promotion of all human rights and fundamental freedoms.
Governments of member States are asked to ensure that the principles set out in the Recommendation are complied with in relevant national legislation and practice, to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the measures taken and to examine, within the Committee of Ministers, the implementation of this Recommendation in five years’ time.
Member States are also called to ensure a wide dissemination of this Recommendation among competent authorities and stakeholders, including the translation in the National language, where appropiate.
The Council of Europe’s World Democracy Forum held from 19 to 21 November 2018 in Strasbourg on “Gender Equality and Women’s Rights” saw a variety of interventions showing clear progress but also brakes.
On the official website you can find the programs, in and out, the interventions, the podcasts of Labs.
Dr. Anne Nègre President University Women of Europe Vice President of the Council of Europe’s Conference of INGOs
31 October marks the Equal Pay Day, the day from which women effectively work for free until the end of the year compared to their male counterparts. The gender pay gap currently stands at 16,2% in the European Union, exceeding 20% in countries like Estonia and Czech Republic. This adds to the gender inequalities women face across their life-cycle and affects each one of them differently, depending on their race, ethnicity, migratory status, disability, level of education, location and other social or personal circumstances.
European Women’s Lobby and University Women of Europe are calling for increased efforts to end the gender pay gap. Even though the principle of equal pay for equal work was enshrined in the 1957 founding Treaty of the EU, European women continue to face discrimination in the job market and to earn less than men.
In addition, because women are paid less, they contribute less to their pensions and this translates into a wide pension gap and higher risk of poverty for older women. Their pension income is negatively influenced both by the gender pay gap and by the time spent out of the labor-market to care for children and other dependent family members, together with women’s over representation in part-time work and in low paid sectors of the economy.
To effectively tackle the gender pay gap, it is necessary to address its multiple and complex root causes, starting from the lack of high quality, accessible and affordable care services. As we have seen, women are penalized throughout their lives for the things they do to keep society functioning, that is care responsibilities. There are a number of important mechanisms already in place or in the pipe-line at the EU-level to lift this weight from women’s shoulders, and the EU Institutions need to demonstrate political will in putting them to use without delay.
One such measure is the so-called “Work-life Balance Directive”, for which the Council agreed its negotiating position (general approach) in June. The Proposal entails the strengthening of parental leave by making the 2 months period non-transferable, the introduction of a carers’ leave and the extension of flexible working arrangement for carers. While the scope of these measures has been sensibly reduced in comparison with the original Commission’s proposal, their adoption would enable women to retain their economic independence while having children and to return swiftly to payed work.
Therefore, we call for a swift adoption of the Proposal for a Directive on Work-Life Balance, followed by enforcement and monitoring. While it is not a magic wand, we believe that this would be a first step towards closing the gender pay gap and ensuring a more equal society for everybody.
For More Information
EIGE’s gender equality factsheets based on the results of EIGE’s Gender Equality Index 2017.
We are pleased to invite you to the next UWE Meet and Greet event in Dundee (City of Discovery) on 17th – 19th May 2019. The University of Dundee and the City Chambers are already confirmed as venues for this event which will be a combination of Discussion, Friendship and Culture
This year, our Conference theme is “My Identity. My Story“.
Dundee is currently very much on the map with the opening of the new V&A Museum leading renewed showcasing of the city as a whole. Dundee has long been famous for Jam, Jute and Journalism, cities change as do people. Change has inspired our theme: our stories and how these interplay with our many identities, not least as women.
We are looking forward to meeting you, speakers will be announced very soon along with the information about the registration etc. and we hope that a number of you will be able to join us in Scotland next year.
The Conference is open to all members of the University Women of Europe and their friends.
We are once again invited by European Women’s Lobby to send nominations for Women of Europe Awards 2018 – deadline 30 September. The call for nominations has just been launched, all our UWE members can nominate one candidate per category.
Please send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org until 28 September, containing following information:
About the Awards
The Women of Europe Awards are organised by the European Movement International and the European Women’s Lobby, building upon the national awards of several National European Movement Councils. The awards are handed out annually to honour women striving to advance the European project in their professional or private capacity. The role of women in the European project remains largely unrecognised, and the awards highlight the contribution of women in promoting and advancing European issues, and to increase the presence and involvement of women in debates about Europe and its future.
Read about last year’s Awards here.
2018 Prize categories:
- Woman in Power – showing extraordinary political leadership in Europe
- Woman in Action – undertaking extraordinary actions at grassroots level in Europe
- Woman in Business – advancing European integration with entrepreneurial spirit
- Woman in Youth Activism – for women aged 15 to 30 strengthening the voice of young women in Europe (organised in cooperation with the European Youth Forum)
You must nominate your candidates by 28 SEPTEMBER , the UWE Board will fill the nomination form and send it to European Women’s Lobby until 30 September.
University Women of Europe as member organisation of the European Women’s Lobby is eligible to nominate one candidate for each of the four categories. Nominations by members of member organisations or non-members are ineligible. In case of overlapping memberships, the limit of one nomination per category remains.
The Awards will be handed out in Brussels at the end of November. An exact date will be communicated in the coming weeks.