628th meeting - 15-16 April 1998
MESSAGE OF THE COMMITTEE OF MINISTERS
TO STEERING COMMITTEES OF THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE
ON GENDER MAINSTREAMING
1. The Committee of Ministers is of the opinion that the promotion of equality between women and men should become a central and permanent issue for the Council of Europe. It should become widely accepted that the promotion of equality concerns both women and men and society as a whole. One of the strategies to achieve equality between women and men is gender mainstreaming. This consists of the (re)organisation, improvement, development and evaluation of policy processes, so that a gender equality perspective is incorporated in all policies at all levels and at all stages, by the actors normally involved in policy-making. In concrete terms, this implies that the needs, interests, competence and skills of both women and men are taken into account.
2. The Committee of Ministers welcomes the work of the Steering Committee for equality between women and men (CDEG) on gender mainstreaming. The CDEG has, through the work of a Group of Specialists, produced a report setting out the conceptual framework for mainstreaming and a methodology for its implementation, accompanied by examples of good practices. The Committee of Ministers is convinced that gender mainstreaming is an important strategy, not only because it promotes equality and makes visible the gender dimension of each policy and activity, but also because it makes full use of all human resources and should lead to better informed and better targeted policy-making.
3. The Committee of Ministers would therefore ask all Steering Committees of the Council of Europe to study carefully the appended report on gender mainstreaming, with a view to taking inspiration from it and implementing this strategy in their programme of activities. In particular, when preparing their programmes of activities, Committees should take care to think about 1) the relevance and the interest of the activity for both women and men; 2) whether there are differences between women and men in the field concerned by the activity with regard to rights, resources, positions, representation, values and norms.