In a statement to mark International Women’s Day on 8 March, the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), Jean-Claude Mignon, has said there can be no democracy without respect for women’s rights.
He launched a message of support and encouragement to all women living in the new democracies emerging from the Arab Spring. “Women, who were on the front line of the uprisings against authoritarian regimes, must also be on the front line when it comes to the running of public institutions, political decision-making, being able to vote and stand for elections,” said Jean-Claude Mignon.
“Their participation in nascent political projects will be decisive in enabling the Arab Spring to grow into a new era of freedom and justice,” he continued.
“Gender equality should be enshrined in the new constitutional and legal frameworks, including in family law. No culture, religion or tradition can be used to justify inequality between human beings. Although pluralism and human rights are the current buzzwords, it is going to take more than just words to achieve the true equality that protesters fought and died for,” he said.