EUROPEAN CENTRE OF THE
INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL OF WOMEN
CENTRE EUROPEEN DU CONSEIL INTERNATIONAL
of the Activities of ECICW 2003-2006
The European Centre of the International Council of Women, ECICW,
was founded in Switzerland in 1961 and registered in Finland
2002. Today it consists of National Councils in 23 European countries:
Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany,
Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg,
Malta, The Netherlands, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey and
Ukraine. The new members during this triennial are FYROM (Former
Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia) and Monaco. Together they represent
approximately 10 million women through their 850 member organisations.
ECICW has a Participatory Status with the Council of Europe and
through ICW a consultative status with the UN. It is also member
of the European Women's Lobby.
The Board members 2003-2006: President Laura Finne-Elonen, Finland
Vice-Presidents Doris Bingley, Malta, Brigittte Le Gouise, France
and Grace Wedekind, UK, General Secretary Brigitte W. Wenzke,
Germany and Treasurer Marian Nauta-Blijham, The Board has met
in connection to the General Assemblies.
The ECICW has met twice every year at a General Assembly to
discuss strategies and exchange ideas. Representatives of National
Councils which have not yet joined ICW have been welcomed as
observers. The working groups in 2003-2004 were working on Funding & sponsoring,
Enlargement of ECICW and Empowerment of women. In 2005 the major
theme of ECICW was Trafficking and Violence against human beings.
For 2006 the following themes have been chosen: Trafficking,
Water& Sustainable development and Women in Decision making.
ECICW Regional Conferences and Seminars have been held in connection
with the General Assemblies:
Violence against children and women
in contemporary society
in women- a new form of slavery- The unscrupulose business with
On the situation of women and assistance
in introducing gender equality in society
Towards the 10th Anniversary of Beijing WCW: Women and
Enlarged possibilities of
NGOs and their co- operation with other NGOs in the European
The Convention and the Future
of Women in the EU”
and the politics of the water; the commitment
of European Women
Collaboration and representation
International Council of Women Laura Finne-Elonen, President
of ECICW is the 2nd vice president of ICW
Council of Europe. The ECICW has been granted a participatory
status with the CoE and has now received a seat in the Liaison
Committee for the period 2006-2007. Brigitte Le Gouis, vice President
of ECICW is our representative at the Co E. Marguerite Blancke
is the alternate.
The Council of Europe has also granted the
ECICW the right to submit Collective Complaints alleging unsatisfactory
application of the European social Charter (if a State member
of the CoE has taken a ministerial or juridical decree which
is contrary to the decree of the European Social Charter).
Food Safety Authority Grace Wedekind represents the ICW and ECICW
interests in a consultative group in London.
European Women's Lobby Laura Finne-Elonen has represented the
ECICW at the Board of EWL since 2002. Grace Wedekind has been
the alternate since 2004.
Representation at International seminars 2005/President Laura
Warsaw, Poland 22-24.6. 2005. Seminar :Women in Leadership. Speech “Women
all over the World”
Kiev, Ukraine 19.11. 2005. Round Table
discussion with Women’s
organisations in Ukraine of the status of women and gender equality
and the legislation on in Finland.
Oslo, Norway 25.11.2005 at
the EU - seminar ” What Now?
The EU at a crossroads ”arranged by the University of
Oslo. Speech “Empowering women – citizen’s
rights in the EU”
ECICW proposed to the EWL general Assembly in 2004 two motions
1) to counteract harmful traditional practices, in particular
female genital mutilation and 2) to combat trafficking in Human
ECICW proposes two motions to the GA of EWL in 2006. The topics
are: 1) Role of Men and Boys in work towards equality and 2)
Equality - Work towards Parity
Deutscher Frauenring and ECICW released a joint declaration in
Freiburg in October 2005 and drew the attention to the immense
problem of trafficking in human beings and demanded immediate
measures to prevent trafficking and for protection and rehabilitation
of the victims. A follow up letter on trafficking in women
and on violence against children were released by the GA in
Athens in May 2006.
Resolution on trafficking
The ECICW autumn meeting in Freiburg agreed on a resolution concerning
the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking
in Human Beings which had been ratified by only 23 countries.
The ECICW urged the European Parliament, the European Commission,
and the National Governments of its member organisations to
take immediate action to complete ratification of this Convention
within Europe, and to adopt measures necessary to bring this
shameful trade in women and girls to an end. The Resolution
was sent to all member NC’s with the request that they
should lobby their Governments. It was also sent to the European
Commission and the biggest Parliamentary groups at the EP and
to the Council of Europe.
Thank you letters have been received i.a. from José Barroso,
President of the European Commission and Terry Davis, Secretary
General and Réne van der Linden, President of the Parliamentary
Assembly at the Council of Europe. They welcomed the initiatives
of the civil society and international organisations to combat
this phenomenon. According to the letters “the Council
of Europe reiterates the willingness to co-operate closely with
nongovernmental organisations”. Ms Anneliese Oeschger,
President of the INGO forum at the Council of Europe congratulated
and invited the ECICW to the INGO session “to present this
initiative - which could serve as a model for others”.
A follow up letter was written from the GA in Athens in May 2006
to the same recipients.
Resolution on violence against children was adopted by the GA
in Athens in May 2006 and sent to the Council of Europe and the
European Commission and the European Parliament.
The ECICW continues its work 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
One of the main challenges in the coming years will
be the participation in a European Study on Gender Equality
in the EU. This study is financed by the European Commission
and will be made by 17 European Universities. The ECICW has
accepted the invitation of partnership in this study and it
is expected to give it the necessary NGO expertise and contacts
to the grass root level.