ECICW European Centre of the International Council of Women

President: Grace Wedekind (UK)

Eleni Adam-Valassi (Greece)
Doreen Micallef (Malta)
Cosima Schenk (Switzerland)

Treasurer: Annelies Pierrot-Bults ( Netherlands)
General Secretary: Brigitte le Gouis ( France)

Founded in 1961 in Axenstein (Switzerland)
Granted consultative 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 objectives of Equality, Development and Peace. ECICW, a non-governmental organisation founded in Switzerland in 1961, has followed these concepts consistently.

ECICW has Participative Status with the Council of Europe (CoE) and Consultative Status through ICW with the UN. ECICW is one of the founding members of the European Women’s Lobby (EWL).

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 aims are 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.

ECICW studies and comments on issues relating to the situation of women in Europe, presents motions and statements, and responds to initiatives from various authorities at the European level.
Activities of ECICW include information, education and publication activities, seminars and training and discussion sessions.

Areas of work during recent years have included trafficking in women, housing, poverty, fair trade, pensions, social security, health, the environment, equality, osteoporosis, refugees, ageing, violence against women, including domestic violence, abuse of children and areas of the Beijing Platform for Action, covered by the UN Commission on the Status of Women

Seminars and Projects

During recent years seminars at our European meetings have included:

  • Women and poverty
  • Women in decision-making positions
  • Trafficking in Women and Girls
  • Equal opportunities for women and men
  • Women in the public domain – sustainable development in the field of habitat and the role and active participation of women at local level
  • Domestic Violence
  • Women and media
  • Women and advancements in bio-technology
  • Democracy and the enlargement of the European Union
  • Women and health
  • Contemporary forms of abuse of children

For further information :
Grace Wedekind– President ECICW
36 Danbury Street, Islington, London N1 8JU, U.K.

Brigitte Le Gouis – General Secretary, ECICW
4 rue de la Convention 75015 Paris – France
E-mail :