Press release – 336(2006)

Stockholm Conference: European Ministers for gender equality call for an assessment of the cost of persisting inequalities between women and men

Stockholm, 09.06.2006 – A two-day Council of Europe Ministerial Conference on Equality between Women and Men has ended with the adoption of a Resolution on “Achieving gender equality: a challenge for human rights and a prerequisite for economic development”. The Ministers agreed on specific strategies for achieving gender equality and encouraged governments and all institutions and groups concerned to implement these strategies. In particular they called on the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers to actively assess the costs (personal, social and economic) of continuing gender inequality in its 46 member states.

The Ministers also called on all member states to make full use of tools such as gender analysis and sex-disaggregated data when planning, developing and implementing national policies, as well as to integrate a gender perspective into the budgetary process (gender budgeting) in order to achieve de facto gender equality.

In the Resolution the Ministers called on Council of Europe member states to sign and ratify the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (CETS n° 197) and to support and actively participate in the Council’s Campaign to Combat Violence against Women, including domestic violence.

The main aim of the Conference was to raise awareness that the personal, social and economic costs of the lack of gender equality are much higher than the costs incurred in implementing the strategies and tools needed to achieve de facto gender equality. The Conference’s main message was that gender equality is a fundamental criterion of democracy and a prerequisite for economic growth.

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