8 July 1992

Doc. 6648

MOTION FOR A RECOMMENDATION

for gender equality in education

presented by Mrs ROBERT and others


1.       The Assembly believes that equality of the sexes, as a fundamental human right and essential element of democracy, should be built into the educational systems of all states adhering to the European Cultural Convention.

2.       There has indeed already been considerable action by the Council of Europe on gender equality. For example education and equality of opportunity for girls and women was the main theme of the Standing Conference of European Ministers of Education in 1979 and was revied again in 1985. The Council for Cultural Co-operation has considered sex stereotyping and gender equality in its projects on primary education and the 14-19 age-group, examined the specific situation of migrant women and girls in its project on the education and cultural development of migrants. The Steering Committee for Equality between Women and Men has studied the participation of women in political life and sex stereotyping in the mass media.

3.       Evidence from Central and Eastern Europe suggests however that the egalisation process is in danger of reversing; multiple obstacles meanwhile are impeding its advance in the West, where for example co-education has led to certain hidden forms of discrimination, and in particular in immigrant communities.

4.       In addition too many girls and women continue to focus on a narrow range of occupations, whereas education systems should encourage them to participate fully in society and in political life.

5.       While it is not possible to legislate for changes in social attitudes, it is important that the authorities do all they can to provide a proper basis for a more enlightened approach through areas within their control, and most importantly in education, through the curriculum, guidance and counselling, school textbooks and teacher training.

6.       The Assembly recommends that the Committee of Ministers

i.       reassert the importance of gender equality in education and encourage new legislation, especially in Central and Eastern Europe, to this effect;

ii.       conduct a review of the effectiveness of measures undertaken to promote gender equality in and through education and in particular examine the effects of co-education;

iii.       consider the opportunity of revising guidelines to the public media, especially advertising, with regard to the breaking down of sex stereotyping.

Signed:       ROBERT, LOPEZ HENARES, MÜLLER, L. FISCHER, SEEUWS, TUMMERS, EVERSDIJK, PILARSKI, RYYNÄNEN, HADJIDEMETRIOU, HUNAULT, PERSSON, PARRY, MEZZAPESA, PAHTAS,