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Many international treaties and national laws have been adopted during the last centuries but until recently, the local dimension was not, or just barely, taken into consideration. Since the beginning of the 1980s women local and regional elected representatives have initiated discussions and actions concerning women's place in the city. The first European Conference of women local and regional elected was organised by CEMR in 1983. But still today the question of integrating gender mainstreaming in all city policies is not answered: Diversity must be taken in consideration when drafting policies and a more balanced city and society has to be established.

The city of equality is a sythesis of local policies promoting equality. The survey was carried out between December 2003 and December 2004 and showed that policies against discrimination exist in many European cities. Due to lacking financial and human resources these policies are often only partially implemented or follow-up is inexistent or insufficient. A city of equality would.