civil society

URI: http://eige.europa.eu/taxonomy/term/1063

Definition

Civil society refers to all forms of social action carried out by individuals or groups who are neither connected to, nor managed by, the state. Civil society includes all organisational structures (civil society organisations) whose members serve the general interest through a democratic process, and who take on the role of mediator between public authorities and citizens. Organisations and groups which champion the promotion of gender equality and the defence and respect of women’s human rights are a vital component of governance, in that they are supposed to hold those in power accountable.