"It is unfortunate that so few women are members of the executive bodies of political parties," said Lluís Maria de Puig, President of PACE, today, on the occasion of the launch of the 2009 Gender Equality Prize, specifying that women accounted for fewer than 20% of members of parliament in nearly half the member states. "I am convinced that this Prize, instituted by the Assembly, will encourage political parties in Europe to strive for greater parity," Mr de Puig added.
José Mendes Bota (Portugal, EPP/CD), first Vice-Chair of the Committee on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men, specified that candidates could be submitted until 1 March 2009. Terry Davis, Secretary General of the Council of Europe and Maud de Boer-Buquicchio, Deputy Secretary General, also attended the event.
The 2009 Gender Equality Prize, which rewards political parties that strive to promote gender equality in politics, will be awarded by the President of the Assembly at a ceremony to be held on the occasion of PACE's autumn session (28 September - 2 October 2009).