Centre of the International Council of Women
Européen du Conseil International
European Centre for the International Council
Founded in 1961 in Axenstein (Switzerland )
Granted participatory status with the
Council of Europe and through ICW with the UN
ECICW is the European Centre of the International Council of
Women (ICW), which was founded in 1888 with the themes Equality,
Development and Peace. ECICW, a non-governmental organisation,
founded in Switzerland in 1961 and registered in Finland, has
followed these concepts consistently.
ECICW has a Participatory Status with the Council of Europe
(CoE) and through ICW a Consultative status with the UN. ECICW
is one of the founding members of the European Women’s
Twenty-three National Councils of Women, sixteen of these in
countries within the European Union now form the ECICW. Together
they represent 10 million women through their 850 member organisations.
ECICW members are in the following 23 countries:
Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, FYROM,
Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Lithuania,
Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, The Netherlands, Russia, Spain,
Switzerland, Turkey and Ukraine.
- ECICW’s aim is to empower women and to promote their
participation in decision-making at national and European levels;
to support human rights and to eliminate all kinds of discrimination;
to encourage sustainable development and peace.
• Principal tasks
- To make women's opinions heard and to promote their participation
in European decision-making institutions
- To promote collaboration among ECICW member organisations
and co-operation with the International Council of Women as well
as with other organisations and networks
- To collaborate with the Council of Europe, UN Agencies such
as UNICEF and UNIFEM, and with the European Women's Lobby.
All National Councils are themselves umbrella organisations,
with up to a hundred affiliated bodies. All are non-party-political
and non-profit making associations. They work in all parts
of society in co-operation with other non-governmental bodies
concerned with gender issues, both national and international.
Member Councils are often asked to respond to Government papers
e.g. on legislation.
From the outset, in 1961, every effort has been made for good
co-operation and exchange of ideas between the Councils, and
this has contributed considerably to their development.
Activities and Monitoring
ECICW studies and monitors questions relating to the situation
of women in Europe. It presents motions and statements, and
responds to initiatives from various authorities at the European
Activities of ECICW include information, education, seminars,
training and discussion sessions.
Some of the areas of work during recent years have been : prevention
of trafficking in women; housing; poverty; fair trade; pensions;
social security; health; the environment; equality; refugees;
ageing; osteoporosis; violence against women and other areas
of the Beijing Platform for Action.
ECICW as well as National Councils emphasize the need for good
connections with the media.
• Seminars and Projects
During recent years the following subjects have been dealt with
- Women and poverty
- Women in decision-making positions
- Equal opportunities for women and men – comparison of
the legislative basis and programmes in the European Union and
- Women in the public domain – sustainable development
in the field of habitat and the role and active participation
of women on the local level
- Women and economics and the media
- Women and advancements in bio-technology
- Democracy and the enlargement of the EU
- Women and health
- Trafficking in women and girls
- Violence against children and women in contemporary society