Steering Committee for Equality between Women and Men (CDEG)

The Steering Committee for Equality between Women and Men (CDEG) is the intergovernmental body which is responsible for defending, stimulating and conducting the Council of Europe’s action to promote equality between women and men. It is directly answerable to the Committee of Ministers, from which it receives its instructions and to which it addresses its reports and proposals.


The members of the CDEG are appointed by the government of each of the Council of Europe member States. According to the profile drawn up by the Committee of Ministers, they must be "persons with high-level responsibility for policies in favour of equality between women and men, or other highly qualified specialists".

As well as the representatives of member states, further to a decision by the Committee of Ministers, the following bodies and states are invited to send representatives with an observer status and without voting rights: Council of Europe bodies: the Parliamentary Assembly, the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, the Commissioner for Human Rights and the Conference of INGOs; the states with observer status with the Council of Europe: Canada, the Holy See, Japan, Mexico and United States of America; the European Commission, specialised bodies and institutions of the United Nations, the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR-OSCE).

Ad Hoc Committee on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (CAHVIO)

On 7 April 2011, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe adopted of a landmark new Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Convention CETS No. 210).

This Convention is the first legally binding instrument in the world creating a comprehensive legal framework to prevent violence, to protect victims and to end the impunity of perpetrators. It defines and criminalises various forms of violence against women (including forced marriage, female genital mutilation, stalking, physical and psychological violence and sexual violence). It also foresees the establishment of an international group of independent experts to monitor its implementation at national level.

The Convention was opened for signature in Istanbul on 11 May 2011 and was signed by 13 countries.

In October 2011, a Conference on "Current Trends of Development of National Gender Mechanisms in European Countries" was held in Kiev, Ukraine. The Conference was jointly organised by the Council of Europe and the authorities of Ukraine in the context of the Ukrainian Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe.

During 2011, the Council of Europe commenced the restructuring of the work of the CoE in relation to gender equality. The Council of Ministers agreed to the establishment of a Gender Equality Commission in place of the CDEG. The work of this commission will be overseen by the Inter-Governmental Steering Committee on Human Rights. The 47th and final meeting of the CDEG was held in November/December 2011.