“We have worked with local authorities in Ukraine, with national associations to develop gender-sensitive policy instruments,” Thomas Andersson said. He also spoke about a project to build greater trust at the local level in Ukraine.
“We have prepared instructions for women and men on how to fight sexism at the local level. <…> We also organized an e-course for Ukrainian cities, which aims to provide the essential information on how to develop gender-sensitive policies and implement them in local communities,” the Chairman of the Current Affairs Committee of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe said.
Deputy Mayor in the city of Strasbourg in charge of gender equality and women’s rights Christelle Wieder spoke about the measures in a city aimed at combating sexism in France.
“The very existence of my position is a huge step towards overcoming gender inequality,” Christelle Wieder said. Her three main areas of work are the establishment of appropriate working conditions, the support of feminist organizations and the introduction of gender mainstreaming. A good initiative in overcoming inequality is that the cities in France have to pay fines if there are not enough women in leadership positions, the Deputy Mayor of Strasbourg said.
Maryna Bardina, Member of Parliament of Ukraine, in turn noted that Ukraine is trying to actively initiate processes in the Council of Europe: “It is difficult to separate the national and local levels, because a lot is being done at the state level. Ideas of equality and overcoming stereotypes are picked up in the local councils. They actively create deputy groups that deal with achieving equality. International, national and local initiatives are very closely intertwined, they are parts of a single organism.”
Today, the European Charter for Equality serves as a practical tool for implementing equality policy at the local level. The Charter, which calls on European local and regional authorities to commit to using existing powers and partnerships for achieving greater equality for their citizens.