Doc. 11246
17 April 2007

The rights of today’s girls: the rights of tomorrow’s women

Motion for a recommendation
presented by Mrs Bilgehan and others

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

1. Day in, day out, almost worldwide, there are girls who are denied schooling, are beaten or neglected, have marriage or sexual relations forced upon them or are sold as slaves. They are compelled to stay seated while their fates are decided for them.

2. In a word, their rights are flouted.

3. The Assembly notes that girls in Europe are not spared this denial of rights.

4. The Council of Europe member states have an urgent duty to put a stop to discrimination and violence against girls in the context of a fairer, healthier society.

5. Attitudes need to change so that girls not only have access to schooling but are also able to make unpressured life choices. We must stop excusing intimidation and discrimination towards girls, whatever the pretext for them. Perceptions of equality and parity are shaped from earliest childhood; it is time our countries recognised that and introduced the necessary prevention and awareness-raising measures. An equality rethink is required on girls’ place in the family, in society and in the education system. It is time school stopped perpetuating stereotypes that confine girls to what have traditionally been regarded as  “female” occupations.

6. The Assembly calls on the Council of Europe member states to reflect and make available the means of combating discrimination of this kind.

7. It recommends that the Committee of Ministers:

7.1.       set up a multi-year action programme to raise public awareness of the issue and show the importance of equal opportunities for all children in the education system;

7.2.       take appropriate steps to eliminate all interference with the physical and mental integrity of girls;

7.3.       devise teaching materials which convey a far more positive image of girls.

Signed 1:

1     SOC: Socialist Group
      EPP/CD: Group of the European People’s Party
      ALDE: Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe
      EDG: European Democratic Group
      UEL: Group of the Unified European Left
      NR: not registered in a group