11 July 1994

Doc. 7127


on achieving real progress in women's

rights by 1995

presented by Mrs HALONEN and others 1

1.       1975 was the first international Women's Year. In September 1995, the United Nations will organise its 4th World Conference on Women in Beijing. The Conference will provide an excellent opportunity to take stock of developments as regards the situation of women and to consider whether the human rights are also the rights of women.

2.       Despite the progress that has been achieved, misogyny still exists throughout the world, even in Europe. Women have again become victims of violence, that has reappeared with totalitariansim and various kinds of religious fundamentalism.

3.       Women's basic rights are still flouted, since the various laws, such as those concerning refugees or humanitarian laws, do not take sufficient account of women's situation. The recent conflict in the former Yugoslavia has tragically illustrated this point.

4.       The international community believed that decisive progress had been achieved with the adoption of the United Nations Convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women. However, the Council of Europe as a defender of human rights, should be concerned with the nature of the reservations made by various states.

5.       Already advocated by the Assembly in its Recommendation 1229 (1994), the establishment of the principle of equality of rights between women and men in the European Convention on Human Rights is now becoming urgent, if only for its symbolic value as a signal given by Europe. As a legal instrument enjoying universal recognition and respect, only the convention is able to offer women a real possibility of obtaining redress when their fundamental rights are violated.

6.       The Assembly therefore recommends that the Committee of Ministers and all member states:

i.       speed up the ongoing drafting of the additional protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights on equality and give the highest priority to having it adopted by 1995 and ratified as quickly as possible;

ii.       instruct the various steering committees to make sure they systematically incorporate the female dimension and specific concerns of women in their different activities and branches of international law;

iii.       take the necessary steps for the International Court of Justice in The Hague to give an opinion on the validity of the reservations entered to the United Nations Convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women.


Halonen, Err, Astgeirsdóttir, Hawlicek, Håvik,

Hadjidemetriou, Dromberg, Jansson, Ragnarsdóttir,

Baarveld-Schlaman, Wohlwend, Haller

1 1 1. This text only represents the views of the individual members who have signed it. It does not reflect a position adopted by the Parliamentary Assembly.