EWL News

EWL Beijing+20 in March - The equality house: a sustainable and strong European Union architecture for women’s rights and gender equality

[Brussels, 2 March 2015] Did you know that only five Member States have a separate designated body for the promotion of equal treatment of women and men? That in 2012, only two Member States used gender mainstreaming widely for drafting laws, policy programmes, actions plans and projects?

In March, the European Women’s Lobby (EWL) focuses on Institutional Mechanisms for the Advancement of Women, as part of its Beijing+20 campaign. Read and share EWL’s factsheet about Institutional Mechanisms, which is part of EWL report “From words to action” and comprise our key demands to the European Union and the Member States.

This month, we will also celebrate International Women’s Day. Watch out for our press release on 8th March and for our video on Beijing+20 with all our Board members!

This month, we also have an extra factsheet ‘Migrant women’s rights are women’s rights’ (in English, in French), as we want to give visibility to the situation of migrant women in Europe, together with our member the European Network of Migrant Women. Don’t hesitate to share this new Beijing+20 factsheet!

All our members mobilise throughout Europe to make 2015 a critical year towards the realisation of all commitments of the Beijing Platform for Action. Women and girls rights cannot wait 20 more years to enjoy their full women’s rights! At all levels, you can take action. Contact our member organisations, join us by following us on social media, disseminating our factsheets and report, coming to our events and the activities of our members if you can!

Institutional Mechanisms for the Advancement of Women: the reality, our demands

Institutional mechanisms are support systems that are put in place at government level to ensure that a gender-equality perspective is mainstreamed in all policies and programmes. They play a central role in ensuring that gender equality laws are upheld, that women are made aware of their rights and can seek justice before the Courts when their rights have been violated. They also are crucial to ensure that women’s concerns and experiences form an integral dimension of the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies and programmes, in all political, economic and societal spheres.

Well-functioning and adequately resourced institutional mechanisms are recognised at EU and national level as essential tools to promote women’s rights: they are crucial preconditions for ensuring progress in all the other critical areas for women’s rights, and therefore are central for promoting and realising de facto equality between women and men.

We want to see a strong sustainable architecture for women’s rights and gender equality at EU level, as a comprehensive and effective tool for the realisation of gender equality in Europe, and a model for similar mechanisms in all Member States.

Institutional Mechanisms for the Advancement of Women: the EWL in action!

  • EWL issues regular alerts on the weakening of institutional mechanisms for the advancement of women’s rights in Europe. Its in-depth work on the impact of the crisis on women’s rights and gender equality in Europe (publication ‘The price of austerity’, 2012) has shown the gradual and potential further erosion of gender specific institutional mechanisms particularly at national level; austerity policies have had a drastic impact on national gender equality bodies and the equality ministries/departments, at a time when women’s rights advocates in Europe most need them.
  • The EWL is actively participating in European Commission advisory bodies, and collaborates with the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) and the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA).
  • The key demand of the EWL in its 2014 Manifesto for the European elections was a Commissioner for women’s rights and gender equality, as an instrumental political sign of the EU priority to realise gender equality, both through gender mainstreaming and specific actions for women’s rights.


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EWL event "Progress towards a Europe free from all forms of male violence" to mark the 10th aniversary of the Istanbul Convention, 12 May 2021.

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