Council of Europe

Council of Europe Highlights 2018

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Since its creation seventy years ago, the Council of Europe has been consistently working for Europeans to enjoy the same standards of human rights, democracy and the rule of law enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights. If these rights and values are not respected, individuals have the ultimate right to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights. This is unique in European and world history.

Today’s most pressing undemocratic trends resurfacing in many parts of Europe concern freedom of expression, the independence of the judiciary, the impact of artificial intelligence on human rights and discrimination against vulnerable people. You can download here the “Council of Europe Highlights 2018” – english and french version – to see  how diverse bodies of the Council of Europe, in cooperation with its member states, worked throughout the past year to tackle them, with the aim of making Europe a safer and more democratic place for everybody.

Council of Europe adopts first-ever international legal instrument to stop sexism

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The Recommendation  on preventing  and combating  sexism has been adopted yesterday by the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers.

In response to the #MeToo and other recent movements that have heightened awareness of persistent sexism in society, the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers adopted the first-ever international legal instrument to stop sexism, which includes the first international definition of sexism.

UWE President Anne Nègre, as the representative of the Conference of INGOs, was in the writing group and is very happy of this result.

The recommendation stresses that sexism is a manifestation of “historically unequal power relations” between women and men, which leads to discrimination and prevents the full advancement of women in society.

Because it is “widespread and prevalent in all sectors and all societies, and (…) sexism and sexist behaviour are rooted in and reinforce gender stereotypes,” sexism is defined for the first time ever in a dedicated legal instrument to tackle it, via a comprehensive list of measures and areas where sexism occurs, from advertising and media, to employment, the justice sector, education and sport. The text in particular aims to shed light on what sexist behaviour is and proposes concrete ways for different actors to identify and address them.

It requests that member states monitor progress in implementing its guidelines and to inform the Council of Europe’s Gender Equality Commission of measures taken and progress achieved.

The recommendation aims to address issues with which women, but also sometimes, men, are confronted with every day. Notably, it makes the link between sexism and violence against women and girls, explaining that acts of “everyday” sexism are “part of a continuum of violence that create a climate of intimidation, fear, discrimination, exclusion and insecurity which limits opportunities and freedom.”

Examples of recommended action include legislative reforms that both condemn sexism and define and criminalise sexist hate speech, and provide for appropriate remedies for victims of sexist behaviour.

The recommendation calls on states to use awareness-raising measures including “speedy reactions” by public figures, in particular politicians, religious, economic and community leaders, and others in a position to shape public opinion, to condemn sexism.

The recommendation also stresses that language and communication “must not consecrate the hegemony of the masculine model”.  It calls for the use of non-stereotypical communication to educate, raise awareness and prevent sexist behaviour. For example, it recommends ending the use of sexist expressions, and using gender-sensitive language.

The recommendation focuses, too, on recent technologies. While the internet and social media can promote free expression and gender equality, they also can allow “perpetrators” to express “abusive thoughts” and engage in abusive behaviour, the recommendation notes.

It takes into account artificial intelligence and how algorithms can “transmit and strengthen” existing gender stereotypes and therefore may contribute to the perpetuation of sexism.

 

 

Invitation Debate “Return of the death penalty in Europe: genuine threat or populist fiction?”

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Debate: “Return of the death penalty in Europe: genuine threat or populist fiction?”
Date: 10 October, 09.00 – 13.00
Languages: French/English
Location: Room 2, ‘Palais de l’Europe’, Council of Europe

Death Penalty – Event 10 Oct 2017 – Programme.en

Death Penalty – Event 10 Oct 2017 – Programme.fr

 

Equality now, or…? / L’égalité maintenant, ou…?

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Equality now, or?
Collective complaints have been lodged against the fifteen Member States of the Council of Europe which accept them by the European Group of University Women, GEFDU / University Women of Europe, UWE, on the initiative of Anne Nègre, barrister, Bar of Versailles, France, for violation of the European Social Charter regarding equal pay for equal work between women and men. This is a historic first!
Reminder of the European procedure:
GEFDU / UWE at the initiative of Anne Nègre, voted unanimously in a general assembly in Utrecht, the Netherlands, to obtain as International Non Governmental Organization the qualification by the Council of Europe to file collective complaints for violation of the European Social Charter, 1961 Treaty of the Council of Europe. Which is possible since 1995. Which has never been done against 15 States and on such a violation. Anne Nègre obtained the required qualification of the GEFDU / UWE by the Council of Europe and launched the fifteen collective complaints on behalf of the GEFDU / UWE in August, 2016.
Document collective complaints:
After a long period of research, documentation, etc., she filed collective complaints against the 15 Member States of the Council of Europe accepting them, as barrister of the GEFDU / UWE, on August 24th, 2016: Belgium, Bulgaria , Croatia, Cyprus, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Sweden, and Norway the only country not also in the European Union.
These complaints concern the violation concerning equal pay for equal, similar or comparable work between women and men of the European Social Charter.
The reply of the majority of States: denial
Various states have agreed to challenge the admissibility of the GEFDU / UWE, considering that this INGO, which has been accredited for many years before by the Council of Europe, does not have the qualifications required to file collective complaints. Associations of more than 90 years for some of them constitute GEFDU / UWE. They have been in all the struggles for the emancipation of women, but they shouldn’t be competent? We are waiting for the position of the European Committee of Social Rights, which must decide on the admissibility of GEFDU / UWE. What do these Member States fear? If GEFDU / UWE is declared admissible, the next step will be on the merits . None of those countries are respecting equal pay for equal job. They could be condemned, they should be condemned.
Equal pay is therefore far from being a reality in Europe … It is urgent to act, to mobilize for equality to progress.
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L’égalité maintenant, ou ?
Des réclamations collectives ont été déposées contre les quinze États Membres du Conseil de l’Europe qui les acceptent par le Groupe Européen des Femmes Diplômées des Universités, GEFDU / University Women of Europe, UWE, à l’initiative d’Anne Nègre, avocate au barreau de Versailles, France , pour violation de la Charte Sociale Européenne en matière de salaire égal pour un travail égal entre les femmes et les hommes. C’est une première historique!
Rappel de la procédure européenne :
GEFDU/UWE à l’initiative d’Anne Nègre, a voté à l’unanimité en assemblée générale à Utrecht, Pays Bas, de devenir une Organisation Internationale Non Gouvernementale habilitée par le Conseil d’Europe à déposer des réclamations collectives pour violation de la Charte Sociale Européenne, Traité de 1961 du Conseil de l’Europe. Et à déposer des réclamations collectives, possibles depuis 1995, ce qui n’a jamais été fait contre tous les Etats et sur une telle violation. Anne Nègre a obtenu la qualification requise du GEFDU/UWE par le Conseil de l’Europe et a lancé les quinze réclamations collectives au nom du GEFDU/UWE.
Documenter les réclamations collectives :
Ensuite après un long travail de recherches, de documentations, etc., elle a déposé comme avocate du GEFDU/UWE, le 24 aout 2016, des réclamations collectives contre les 15 Etats Membres du Conseil de l’Europe qui les acceptent : Belgique, Bulgarie, Croatie, Chypre, France, Grèce, Irlande, Italie, Pays Bas, Portugal, République Tchèque, Slovénie, Suède, et la Norvège le seul pays qui ne soit pas également dans l’Union Européenne.
Ces réclamations portent sur la violation des dispositions concernant le salaire égal pour un travail égal, semblable ou comparable entre les femmes et les hommes de la Charte Sociale Européenne.
La réponse de la majorité des Etats :le déni
Divers Etats se sont concertés pour contester la recevabilité du GEFDU/UWE, estimant que cette OING accréditée depuis de longues années auprès du Conseil de l’Europe, n’a pas la qualification requise pour déposer des réclamations collectives. Des associations de plus de 90 ans pour certaines constituent le groupement GEFDU/UWE. Elles ont été de tous les combats de l’émancipation des femmes, mais ne seraient pas compétentes… On attend la position du Comité Européen des Droits sociaux qui doit décider de la recevabilité de GEFDU/UWE. Que craignent ces Etats ? Si GEFDU/UWE est déclarée recevable que sur le fond ils soient condamnés pour non respect de l’égalité salariale entre les femmes et les hommes pour un travail égal ?
L’égalité des salaires est donc loin d’être une réalité en Europe… Il est urgent d’agir, de se mobiliser pour que l’égalité progresse..

Council of Europe – Gender Equality Factsheets

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http://www.coe.int/documents/5492562/7038987/COE-Logo-Quadri.png/5b078783-4008-4825-8721-c04c329844d2?t=1401723151000

COUNCIL OF EUROPE GENDER EQUALITY FACTSHEETS

The Council of Europe has produced concise factsheets on its key areas of activity to promote gender equality. The factsheets aim to provide useful information and definitions on each issue, as well as references to relevant activities, standards and mechanisms of the Council of Europe in each area.

http://www.coe.int/documents/10561494/14961112/factsheet1.jpg/e92ab558-7bf7-4499-8956-c5014e7dfb41?t=1454937398000 Council of Europe Key Standards on Gender Equality

·          http://www.coe.int/documents/10561494/14961112/Factsheet+Equality+small.jpg/dbe6eff4-5127-419b-89da-3e8d5aab5248?t=1467190892000Equality between women and men
·         http://www.coe.int/documents/10561494/14961112/Factsheet+Cover+HS+English.jpg/175d0460-cdeb-4c37-a55f-7a68be7a675c?t=1463670826000  Combatting Sexist Hate Speech

 

 

Are religions a place of emancipation for women?

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On 21 st of June, Human Rights Comittee at the Council of Europe will host a side-event moderated by Gender Expert Anne Nègre, Conference of INGOs.  On June 22, a discussion will be opened on the subject, same place, same hour. On June 20, with the participation of the local group of AFFDU, a day in the town on «  Sexism and Racism ». Anne will talk about sexism in communication.  

Here below the programme.

INGO

ARE RELIGIONS A PLACE OF EMANCIPATION FOR WOMEN?
PROGRESS AND SETBACKS

Council of Europe

21 June 2016 from 13.00 to 14.30

Palais de l’Europe, room 2

The European Convention on Human Rights or the Lisbon Treaty for member States of the European Union respect religions or spiritual movements. National laws also protect freedom of conscience and worship for nationals of States countries of the Council of Europe while ensuring equality between women and men. We question the fate of this equality among places of worship.

Moderator Anne Nègre, Gender Expert, Conference of INGOs

Welcome Anna Rurka, President of the Conference of INGOs

Introduction Elena Centemero, Italian Parliamentarian, Chairperson of the Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

Mendel Samama, Rabbi of Strasbourg
Mohamed Tahiri, Chaplain, Preacher, Strasbourg Grand Mosque
Tenzin Palmo, Venerable Buddhist, Founder of the convent of Dongyu Gatsal Ling, India
Basile Iorgulescu, Representative of the Romanian Patriarchate, Priest of the Romanian Orthodox Church
Agnès Von Kirchbach, German Theologian, Pastor of the United Protestant Church, France
Paolo Rudello, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the Council of Europe

Closing Gulsun Bilgehan, Turkish parliamentarian, Former Chairperson of the Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination, Chairperson of the Media and Information Society sub‑committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

Report Conference of the INGO Winter session 26-29 january 2015

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This session was particularly important as elections  for the new standing comittee were due to take place on  the 29 th (election of a president, vice presidents and rapporteurs). Besides that there was also the election of a gender expert as the term of  Betty Doornendal ended in 2015.

Anna Rurka was elected président and three vice présidents two women  Antonina DASHKINA (a social worker)  Laura FRATTI  GUCCI ( an economist) and Israel MENSAH ( a prominent educationist) a very good team to lead the new Standing Committee.  Regarding the post of the gender expert  three persons were candidates but one  had to withdraw  because of health problems and from the two remaining Anne NEGRE introduced  by UWE and Rosy WEISS introduced  by IAW , Anne NEGRE was elected . The expert has a seat at the standing Committee  to present ( and defend) gender issues as a cross cutting issue.

  • On Monday 26th The standing committee of the Conférence and its Bureau met in the morning  and some  working groups  met in the afternoon.
  • On Tuesday 27th The Commission Democracy, Social Cohesion ,Global challenges  held an urgent debate  following the terrorist attack in Paris

A s a consequence a resolution was presented  to the Parliamentary Assembly by the Conference of INGOs after a vote in plenary session the following Thursday. The Commissions on Human Rights  met in the afternoon. Commission on Education and Culture  had a fascinating  intervention of two specialists  of the new technologies with discusssion  from the floor .  The main event was the meeting of the Conference of INGOs all day the 29th  with a heavy agenda  that included procedures for the elections, different reports  as well as two  important hearings. One on Strategic priorities for the promotion of civil society to the decisions process in UKRAINE.  The second  an exchange and discussion  with a delegation from  Morocco as part of the proceses of cooperation of CoE , Lisbon Center and the countries of the Mediterranean area.

More information  and documentation can be found regarding this winter session   on the website of the Council of Europe  www.coe.int   under INOG Conference

R .Gerard, UWE Representative to CoE for January session

NB : The Council of Europe  House of Demoracy  is an Inter parliamentary European  institution and gender equality is recognized as a value for democracy . However  it is not a specific program as such . At the time of restructuration the  Commission on Equality for women and men was suppressed. We must give credit to our friend Anje Wiersinga  from IAW who established an informal  group , mobilized the women INGOs  to obtain a post of gender expert ,is keeping watch on the parliamentary Commissions to remind them of the gender issues  The gender expert should closely cooperate  with this existing women’s  group that is meeting ay every sessions of the INGO Conference.