Press release - DC023(2012)

8 March – International Women’s Day

Gender equality is central to the societies we must build

Strasbourg, 07.03.2012 – “Promoting equality between women and men must be at the heart of everything we do,” asserted Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland. "We cannot achieve democracy and lasting peace unless women acquire the same opportunities as men to influence developments at all levels of society," he said.

This week the Council of Europe is looking at the role of women in the Arab Spring and involving key female figures and activists from the region. Women were involved at every stage of the movements for change and took a stand in the interest of civil society across the region.

“It is important for all of us to recognise the contribution of women in driving progress and reform, and it is essential that women’s voices are now heard in building new Arab societies, and in fighting discrimination and stereotypes. If women are again left out, the promising Arab Spring could become a new winter," Thorbjørn Jagland warned.


Council of Europe Directorate of Communication
Tel: +33 (0)3 88 41 25 60
Fax:+33 (0)3 88 41 39 11