Following the Online seminar organised by the Council of Europe Gender Equality Commission in partnership with the Greek Presidency of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on 21st October 2020 “Advancing Gender Equality: The Role and Situation of Gender Equality Mechanisms in the Context of COVID-19”, where the Greek School Director has been a speaker, Symbiosis-School of Political Studies in Greece implemented an online Seminar/Webinars on Gender Equality and Violence Prevention, with a focus on men, targeting School alumni and the 2020 cohort, particularly those close to the topic.
The Webinars included presentations by experts, followed each by break out ‘discussion rooms’ exercises and discussions involving the experts and participants, from 8 to 11 December 2020 via the Zoom platform. The event also draws knowledge and expertise from the EC funded Gender Violence Prevention ‘FOcus on MEN (FOMEN)’, Symbiosis is a partner too. The event included the following modules, which were presented and elaborated one each day, including a Welcome/Introduction on the first day: Module – Gender and Masculinity; Module – Violence & Gender; Module – The influence of (social) media and policies on Migration; and Module: Gender Equality & Cultural Sensitivity. The modules and the methods of the webinars have been developed in the framework of the FOMEN project. Symbiosis also offered the technical implementation of the webinars in Zoom platform, as well as reading material for participants. The breakout rooms allowed for exercises, moderated discussion, feedback and exchange.
Due to the COVID-19 related restrictions in Greece and globally, violence against women has become the most common violation of women’s human rights in Europe, yet progress with institutional, policy and legal reform to tackle this phenomenon is slow. The Council of Europe is playing a leading role in preventing and combating all forms of violence against women through ground-breaking standards and awareness-raising activities. Violence against women remains widespread in all member States of the Council of Europe, with devastating consequences for women, societies and economies. Opened for signature in May 2011, the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (Istanbul Convention) is the most far-reaching international treaty to tackle this serious violation of human rights (a regression to commitments is already witnessed).
Gender stereotyping presents a serious obstacle to the achievement of real gender equality and feeds into gender discrimination. Gender stereotypes are preconceived ideas whereby males and females are arbitrarily assigned characteristics and roles determined and limited by their sex. Sex stereotyping can limit the development of the natural talents and abilities of boys and girls, women and men, their educational and professional experiences as well as life opportunities in general. Stereotypes about women both result from and are the cause of deeply engrained attitudes, values, norms and prejudices against women. They are used to justify and maintain the historical relations of power of men over women as well as sexist attitudes which are holding back the advancement of women.
Incidents and evidence are increasingly reported showing that the policy of isolation and confinement leads to increased levels of domestic, sexual and gender-based violence – and therefore to a heightened need of protection against this. Attention needs to be paid also to the possible longer-term effects of the pandemic on the balance between professional and personal life and on women’s economic independence, since it may force many of them to make difficult choices and to move to unpaid work.
8 December 2020
|Gender and Masculinity||Stavros Boufidis, Psychiatrist/Psychotherapist|
9 December 2020
|Violence & Gender||Stavros Boufidis|
10 December 2020
|The influence of (social) media and policies on Migration||Elli Papastergiou, Symbiosis-School of Political Studies, affiliated to the Council of Europe Network|
9 December 2020
|Gender Equality & Cultural Sensitivity||Daliah Vakili
Work with Perpetrators e.V., Berlin