Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR)
European section of United Cities and Local Governments

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Equality of women and men in local life

Gender equality - 08.03.2023

The City of Liverpool fosters women’s health
While it may not seem obvious at first thought, some of Europe’s local and regional governments have competences which allow them to make impactful policy and programming around sexual and reproductive health. A case in point is the City Council of Liverpool, which has put in place an effective collaboration with the National Health Service (NHS).

In the UK, women experience poor sexual and reproductive health in higher proportion than their male counterparts. The situation is even more dire in lower socioeconomic or deprived areas. To improve women’s access to health services in Liverpool, a network of women’s health hubs was set up “across the city’s 10 primary care networks”. This was made possible through a joint commissioning group set up between the council and local NHS.

The hubs offer a range of services from long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs), such as coils (IUD), contraceptive implants and injections, through to cervical screening, psychosexual services and treatment for menopause and heavy periods.

As data available in 2019 illustrated, the women’s health hubs have a positive impact: the rate of LARC prescribing locally increased from 13.1 per 1,000 women to 15.2 per 1,000. Additionally, wait times have been shortened and the City estimates that the increase in LARC distribution has prevented 415 unintended pregnancies.

If this model of specific health hubs expands beyond the city’s and the country’s borders, thousands of women could be positively impacted in their health, daily life and autonomy.

Additional resources

Contraception Policy Atlas Europe 2023


2023 International Women’s Rights Day series: “Five new Charter articles illustrated through local actions”

This article is part of a series published by CEMR to celebrate 2023 International Women’s Rights Day. This series informs on impactful initiatives carried out by local and regional governments to promote gender justice.

 These projects embody the updated European Charter for Equality of Women and Men in Local Life as they show how five of its nine new articles can be put into practice. Together, they represent an inspiring step towards a more gender-equal Europe.

The updated Charter is available currently in English, French and easy-to-read English versions.

Any questions regarding the update or the actions highlighted in this series can be directed to or the relevant national coordinator for the Charter in your country.

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