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Gender budgeting as a tool for safeguarding women’s health

Motion for a resolution | Doc. 11836 | 09 February 2009

Ms Ingrida CIRCENE, Latvia, EPP/CD ; Ms Sonja ABLINGER, Austria, SOC ; Mr John AUSTIN, United Kingdom ; Ms Alena GAJDŮŠKOVÁ, Czech Republic, SOC ; Baroness Anita GALE, United Kingdom ; Ms Carina HÄGG, Sweden ; Ms Francine JOHN-CALAME, Switzerland, SOC ; Ms Krista KIURU, Finland, SOC ; Ms Christine McCAFFERTY, United Kingdom ; Ms Miet SMET, Belgium ; Ms Doris STUMP, Switzerland, SOC ; Mr Paul WILLE, Belgium

Women’s health is important. Since half of all employees are women, their health impacts on a state’s economical development. It is thus in the interest of the state to safeguard women’s health.

Breast cancer and cervical cancer are the first causes of women’s morbidity and mortality. Every year, there are 55.000 new cases of cervical cancer in Europe, and 16.000 women die of it.

Cervical cancer can be discovered early, and responds well to treatment in the early stages of development.

To effectively combat cervical cancer, complex strategies need to be put into place. These strategies should include education and information (in particular, of young girls), active screening and vaccination programmes.

Unfortunately, in many countries, such strategies do not exist or are not adequately implemented. Thousands of women thus die each year of a preventable and curable disease in Europe alone.

Gender budgeting is an effective tool which can help allocate resources in a more gender-balanced way. This tool should be used to safeguard women’s health, in particular when it comes to preventing cervical cancer.

The Assembly thus invites member states to apply gender budgeting in the health field, in particular to ensure that preventive programmes are put into place to safeguard women and girls from cervical cancer, covering all social groups (including women in rural areas, unemployed women, women from minorities and migrant women).

The Assembly further encourages the member states to involve NGOs in this endeavour.