Doc. 8072

14 April 1998

Improving the situation of women in rural society

Reply to Recommendation 1321 (1997)

from the Committee of Ministers

adopted on 8 April 1998 at the 627th meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies

      The Committee of Ministers has carefully examined Recommendation 1321 (1997) of the Parliamentary Assembly on improving the situation of women in rural society and brought it to the attention of the Governments of its member states.

      The Committee of Ministers welcomes the interest shown by the Parliamentary Assembly in this issue. The Recommendation is a valuable contribution to the follow-up to the 4th World Conference on Women (Beijing, 4-15 September 1995).

      While the Committee of Ministers has not made detailed studies of the specific position of women in rural areas, some projects have been undertaken in the framework of the co-operation and assistance Programmes with countries of Central and Eastern Europe. A seminar on rural women and their participation in public and economic life was organised in 1996 at the request of the Slovak authorities.

      Other international organisations have recently carried out in-depth research on the status, role and prospects of women in rural areas with a view to improving their rights (the Commission of the European Communities, the European Parliament and the Food and Agriculture Organisation). The Committee of Ministers does not wish to duplicate this work.

      The Committee of Ministers believes that, while the matter is an important one, it would be difficult for the time being to insert any specific activity into the present work programme, which is in the process of being restructured to reflect the Council of Europe priorities set at the Second Summit of Heads of State and Government.