Strasbourg, 24.04.2012 – In a resolution adopted today, PACE invites countries in the southern Mediterranean that have recently moved towards democracy to introduce reforms “to enhance the status of women and eradicate all forms of discrimination against them”, and to promote women’s representation in elected public bodies. According to the Assembly, such countries should also bring legislation in the area of family and personal status law into line with international human rights standards, and introduce a legal framework to prevent and prosecute all forms of violence against women.
As proposed by the rapporteur, Fatiha Saïdi (Belgium, SOC), the PACE also invites the countries of the region “to consider the prospects for parliamentary dialogue offered by the status of Partner for Democracy*”, the Moroccan parliament having been the first to be granted this status in June 2011.
Lastly, the Assembly welcomes the initiatives taken by the Secretary General and a number of Council of Europe bodies to establish closer dialogue with the countries of the region, especially Morocco and Tunisia. It calls on the Committee of Ministers to pursue this course of action through political dialogue and country-specific action plans – drawn up in consultation with the authorities of the countries concerned – whilst ensuring that gender equality and the enhancement of the status of women are high priorities.
*established in 2010 by the PACE to strengthen institutional co-operation with the parliaments of non-member states in neighbouring regions wishing to benefit from the Assembly’s experience in the field of democratic reform, and to take part in the political debate on common challenges that transcend European boundaries.