On 28th of March, the Council of Europe’s decision-making body representing the 47 countries members of the Council of Europe, the Committee of Ministers, adopted its first-ever Recommendation on preventing and combating sexism. This document came as a response to the #MeToo and other recent movements, and requires States to “step up their fight against sexism in all walks of life.”
Sexism defined as a manifestation of “historically unequal power relations” between women and men, which leads to discrimination and prevents the full advancement of women in society. The Recommendation recognises that sexism and sexist behaviour are rooted in and reinforce gender stereotypes and that it is “widespread and prevalent in all sectors and all societies”. It includes references to intersecting forms of sexism, based on a wide range of other factors, including disability and a comprehensive list of measures and areas where sexism occurs, from advertising and media, to employment, the justice sector, education and sport.
Examples of recommended action include legislative reforms that condemn sexism and define and criminalise sexist hate speech, and provide for appropriate remedies for victims of sexist behaviour. Member states will be requested to monitor progress in implementing its guidelines and to inform the Council of Europe’s Gender Equality Commission of measures taken and progress achieved.
Read more on the website of the Council of Europe.