“Women continue to earn less, decide less, and count less than men. There is one area where women count more than men: in the records of victims of violence”. Speaking at the launch of the Council of Europe new Gender Equality Commission on 6 June, Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland said that all conditions were reunited for the Council of Europe to deliver important results in the field of gender equality by the end of 2013.
The Secretary General also referred to gender equality as a means to guaranteeing respect of human rights for all. “We simply can’t afford to exclude half of the population from the efforts that we should undertake to achieve social and economic progress and to guarantee lasting peace”, he said.
Speaking on behalf of the Albanian Presidency of the Committee of Ministers, the Albanian Deputy Minister for Labour, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities Ms Filloreta Kodra, referred to her government’s support to a renewed Council of Europe Gender Equality Agenda focusing on the implementation of existing standards. “The Council of Europe can be proud of the standards it has set in the field of Gender Equality, as most of them have had a measurable impact, becoming the key reference document for changes in legislations and policies at national level, both in Europe and beyond”. The promotion of Gender Equality and the elimination of violence against women are amongst the priority topics of the Albanian Presidency of the Committee of Ministers.
The new Gender Equality Commission is expected to play a key role in supporting the Council of Europe to assess the needs and identify ways to remove the obstacles to implementation of its standards in the field of gender equality.