Doc. 9865

9 July 2003

Mechanisms to promote gender equality in practice

Motion for a resolution

presented by Mrs Err and others

This motion has not been discussed in the Assembly and commits only the members who have signed it

1.       The Parliamentary Assembly recognises that achieving gender equality is a continuous process, which is focused on the recognition and full implementation of human rights, democracy, economic independence and education in a context of shared responsibilities between women and men.

2.       Despite important progress in Europe where women have obtained de jure rights and equal status with men, they are still discriminated against in many areas of life. Gender equality in many countries is not regarded as a priority, and even where the law forbids discrimination, in particular against women, it is not always implemented in practice.

3.       The position of women in decision making is weak in most countries of the Council of Europe.

4.       Therefore, the Assembly considers that the creation and/or reinforcement of national and international mechanisms for the promotion of gender equality should be a priority task at both national and European level.

5.       The concept of gender mainstreaming, which means the (re)organisation, improvement, development and evaluation of policy processes so that a gender equality perspective is incorporated in all policies at all levels and at all stages, by the actors normally involved in policy-making, could serve as a basic strategy for the creation of such mechanisms. Examples could include parliamentary Committees dedicated to equality issues, a Minister for Equality, think-tanks, etc.

6.       The Assembly recalls Recommendation No R (98) 14 of the Committee of Ministers on gender mainstreaming, which states, “the implementation of the strategy of gender mainstreaming will not only promote effective equality between women and men, but also result in a better use of human resources, improve decision-making and enhance the functioning of democracy”.

7.       Therefore, the Assembly calls on the member states of the Council of Europe to:

      a. aim at achieving gender balance in decision-making processes, starting with critical mass of at least 30% of women in all governmental and parliamentary bodies;

      b. revise rules, procedures and if necessary election systems to incorporate a gender perspective;

      c. take into account the gender equality dimension when adopting national, regional and local budgets;

d. monitor the proper implementation of existing gender mainstreaming legislation;

e. adopt a governmental programme on gender equality and create mechanisms to assess the implementation of this programme;

f. create Gender Equality Committees in all national and regional parliamentary assemblies;

g. appoint, within existing mediation structures, a specialist for gender equality questions;

h. promote the participation of representatives of civil society, especially those with an active interest in gender issues in all policy debates.

Signed 1:

Err, Luxembourg, SOC

Aguiar, Portugal, EPP/CD

Baburin, Ukraine, UEL

Branger, France, EDG

Čurdová, Czech Republic, SOC

De Zulueta, Italy, SOC

Gaburro, Italy, EPP/CD

Herczog, Hungary, SOC

Konglevoll, Norway, SOC

Kósá-Kovács, Hungary, SOC

Labucka, Latvia, EPP/CD

Olteanu, Romania, SOC

Pericleous-Papadopoulos, Cyprus, LDR

Petrova-Mitevska, “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”, SOC

Skarphéđinsson, Iceland, SOC

Zapfl-Helbling, Switzerland, EPP/CD

Zwerver, Netherlands, SOC

1        SOC: Socialist Group

      EPP/CD: Group of the European People’s Party

      EDG: European Democratic Group

      LDR : Liberal, Democratic and Reformers’ Group

      UEL: Group of the Unified European Left

      NR: not registered in a group