Doc. 10464

2 March 2005

The need to reconcile work and family life

Motion for a recommendation

presented by Mrs Pericleous-Papadopoulos and others

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

1.       Reconciling work and family life is an essential factor in enabling mothers and fathers to engage in occupational, political and public activities while assuming their family responsibilities. This particularly concerns women, who continue to play a major role in bringing up children and looking after the home.

2.       Reconciling work and family life is crucial to the employment of women, who are victims of discrimination on the labour market and worse affected by unemployment than men. The percentage of women who are economically active is generally lower than that of men (the OECD places it at 56% for women and 77% for men), a situation which is not necessarily to women’s liking but about which there is little they can do. Access to the employment market is more difficult for women, as employers try to avoid what they see as the possible “extra cost” (financial or social) of employing women of childbearing age.

3. In the face of unsuitable working hours and the lack of child minding facilities, women are often obliged to give up working or looking for work, becoming “discouraged workers”. In France for example, only 13 % of economically inactive mothers stay home by choice.

4. Effective participation by women in political and public – but also economic – life is “needed for the development and construction of a Europe based on equality, social cohesion, solidarity and respect for human rights”, as the Committee of Ministers pointed out in its Recommendation (2003) 3 on balanced participation of women and men in political and public decision making. It can only be achieved, however, if reconciling work and family life is made possible. This requires concrete measures to be taken, in particular in respect of working hours, work culture and child minding facilities.

5.       The Parliamentary Assembly recommends to the Committee of Ministers:

Signed (see overleaf)

Signed 1:


BABURIN, Oleksiy, Ukraine, UEL

BİLGEHAN, Gülsün, Turkey, SOC

BOUSAKLA, Mimount, Belgium, SOC

COSIDÓ, Ignacio, Spain, EPP/CD

ČURDOVÁ, Anna, Czech Republic, SOC

GABURRO, Giuseppe, Italy, EPP/CD

GIOVANELLI, Fausto, Italy, SOC

OSKINA, Vera, Russia, EDG

POTRATA, Majda, Slovenia, SOC

SCHERINI, Gianpietro, Italy, EPP/CD

STANTCHEVA, Darinka, Bulgaria, LDR

1        SOC: Socialist Group

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

      LDR : Liberal, Democratic and Reformers’ Group

      EDG: European Democratic Group

      UEL: Group of the Unified European Left

      NR: not registered in a group