Achieving gender equality is central to the protection of human rights, the functioning of democracy, respect for the rule of law and economic growth and sustainability. The promotion of gender equality in and through education is a prerequisite to the achievement of de facto equality between women and men in all spheres of life in society.
A change in gender relations, women’s empowerment and abolishing negative gender, sexist and sexual stereotypes are key to achieving gender equality and benefit entire societies. By shaping gender representations, attitudes and behaviours, education is an essential factor to combat stereotypes and bring about social and cultural changes. As an Organisation set up to protect and promote democracy and human rights, the Council of Europe has promoted gender equality and non-‐stereotyped education at all levels. The Committee of Ministers Recommendation on Gender Mainstreaming in Education provides member states with practical tools to promote gender equality in and through education.
The results of the first monitoring round of the Recommendation indicate that despite the inclusion of the principle of equality between women and men in the national laws on education by the vast majority of Council of Europe member states, the strategy of gender mainstreaming throughout their education systems has not been fully implemented in most of the member states.
This compilation of good practices is intended to provide examples of meaningful and promising activities implemented in Council of Europe member states to promote an education free from gender stereotypes and identify new ways to implement the measures comprised in the Committee of Ministers Recommendation on Gender Mainstreaming in Education. The presented initiatives include among others campaigns to inform and motivate girls and women to choose non stereotypical careers, gender equality training programmes for teachers and financial assistance provided to families to support girls’ school attendance.
Sharing of good practices provides a very useful reference tool for countries in the process of developing new initiatives. This compilation constitutes an important resource for all stakeholders eager to promote equality in education and to combat gender stereotypes in and through education.
Director General of Democracy
Council of Europe