Democratisation in Egypt and Tunisia a ‘precious opportunity’ for women

Strabourg, 17.02.2011 – The ongoing democratisation process in Egypt and Tunisia is a precious opportunity to strengthen gender equality and enhance the status of women, has said the Committee on Equal Opportunities of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) .

“Without equality between women and men, and their balanced participation in all aspects of life, including politics, it is not possible to establish sound foundations for a democracy,” the committee said in a statement adopted today during a meeting in Paris.

“The committee expresses its support for women’s and human rights groups which are fighting for the promotion of gender equality and the full enjoyment of human rights by women in these countries.”

The parliamentarians also strongly encouraged “a greater involvement of the Council of Europe in providing its expertise to Egypt and Tunisia in the fields of democracy and human rights, with a special emphasis on gender equality”.

There has been a request for the Assembly’s Standing Committee to debate “Co-operation between the Council of Europe and emerging democracies in the Arab world” at its meeting in Paris on 11 March 2011.