Report 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:

May 2006
Athens, Greece
Violence against children and women in contemporary society

October 2005
Freiburg, Germany
Trafficking in women- a new form of slavery- The unscrupulose business with hope.

May 2005
Kiev, Ukraine
On the situation of women and assistance in introducing gender equality in society

November 2004
Ankara, Turkey
Towards the 10th Anniversary of Beijing WCW: Women and Health

April 2004
Budapest, Hungary
Enlarged possibilities of women’s NGOs and their co- operation with other NGOs in the European Union

November 2003
Barcelona, Spain
The Convention and the Future of Women in the EU”

April 2003
Pavia, Italy
The culture 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).

European 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 Finne-Elonen:
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 Beings.
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

Press releases
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.

Future challenges
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 peace.

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.

Laura Finne-Elonen


Letter on Trafficking Athens 2006

Resolution on Violence Against Children 2006

Resolution on Decision Making Kiev 2006

Resolution on Trafficking October 2005

ECICW Report 2003-2006

ECICW Report 2000-2003

ECICW/CECIF Affiliated National Councils

ECICW Member Organisations

ECICW Seminars


Lettre sur trafficking Athènes 2006

Resolution sur violence contre les enfants 2006

Resolution sur la traite des femmes Octobre 2005

Rapport du CECIF 2003-2006

Rapport du CECIF 2000-2003