DATE: 19-21 November 2018
PLACE: Strasbourg

World Forum for Democracy 2018 – “Gender Equality: Whose Battle?”

The seventh edition of the World Forum for Democracy, entitled “Gender equality – Whose battle?”was dedicated to gender equality and women’s rightsin the wake of #MeToo. The Forum gathered more than 2000 participants from over 80 countries, including about 400 graduates from the Council of Europe Schools of Political Studies.

Gender equality is a human right and a longstanding area of policy-making that has recently been at the forefront of the political agenda. From the powerful #MeToo movement to the broad social backlash against male impunity for violence against women, the persistence of heavy stereotyping and discrimination in social life; stakeholders from all walks of life have called for effective legal and other measures to address structural barriers to gender equality.

This year’s Forum focused on two issues: why, despite a century of democratic progress, gender equality has not yet been achieved; and at what it takes to end prejudice, discrimination and violence against women in our societies.

Further, the Forum focused on strategies to eradicate gender-based violence and discrimination against women. In doing so, it looked at the unequal power relations between women and men which lies at the heart of gender inequality. Gender inequality creates discrimination, entrenches gender stereotypes and prevents women and men, girls and boys from equally reaching their full potential in the workplace, at home and in society at large – with the brunt weighing more heavily on women and girls. But it is in the interests of everyone – women and men – that gender equality should be tackled in a systemic, effective and lasting way

The Forum’s main finding was that while indeed democracy is still not inclusive, progress has been made. There is a phenomenon of growing awareness and involvement from men and women alike, together in the fight for equality: it is a common battle.


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