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The Central and Eastern European (CEE) Gender Network

Working with political parties, the European Forum for Democracy and Solidarity, PES Women and FEPS,  the CEE Network has strongly contributed to mainstreaming women’s concerns and gender equality related issues into socialdemocratic (SD), progressive and left political party policies and programmes, into country mainstream political discourse and often, when possible, into government policies.  

CEE Network was instrumental in the establishment and the development of the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe Gender Task Force in 1997. To support capacity building the Network custom designed and implemented the  “Women Can Do It” gender awareness training programmes (1996)  in South Eastern Europe and later the “Youth Can Do It” manual.

Read more on the CEE Gender Network on their website: 

Phase I (1994-1997): establishment of the Network; mapping of existing women’s organisations; assessment of the situation and impact of transition; formulation of strategy, outreach and advocacy (including publications); support to women’s party organisations and mainstreaming into European Forum activities

Phase II (1998-2000): supported the establishment of strong feminist streams within left wing parties in transition countries and supported their outreach to progressive women NGOs and trade union women activists

Phase III (2000-2004): acting as a think tank for social democratic and progressive women’s organisations and political parties in the future 12 new EU member states; main partner and supporter of the Stability Pact Gender Task Force. The Network Executive Director chaired the GTF until 2012

Phase IV (2004-2009): Systematic capacity building work, especially in collaboration with PES Women, with SD, left and progressive women organisations in ten new EU member states continued; transfer of SD policies and best practice from best performing European parties on specific gender equality issues – child care, reproductive health and rights, gender sensitive active employment policies and  political empowerment of women; advisory services to European Women’s Lobby parity campaign in preparation for 2009 European Parliament elections and assistance provided to women in SD and progressive parties in new EU member states to maintain the high placing of women on party lists for European elections.  

Phase V (2010-2012): CEE Network continued its work with women party organisations mostly in the SEE region, focusing on empowerment, peer learning, formulation of strategies to address the consequences of the financial and economic crisis and to ensure the respect for women’s economic, social and personal rights. The Network initiated a project, in cooperation with the LP Westminster Foundation, to support SD and progressive women in Arab countries.

Phase VI (2012-ongoing): In 2015 the Network initiated and brokered with women’s forums of SD parties in the region a joint CEE Gender Equality Platform which today represents the basis of capacity building; it strengthened its social networks and outreach in the region but also within the European social democratic family becoming a full member of PES Women and Observer member of the PES. A web based toolkit for political leaders on gender equality is being developed to be operational in 2018. Successful organization of the signature Korčula School on gender issues with topics: i. women in politics (2012), ii. economic and social challenges to gender equality (2013), iii. violence against women with focus on sexual harassment (2014, iv. Transformative politics – women in politics (2015), v. refugee ad migrant crisis through a gender differentiated lens(2016), vi. Transforming politics – inert-generational dialogue on gender equality and solidarity (2017).

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