1 The Committee on Culture,
Science and Education supports the view that states must indeed
protect women against violations of their rights (including those
carried out in the name of religion) and reject all religious or
cultural relativism where women’s rights are concerned. As a former
chairman of our committee once said “where human rights are concerned
there are no cultural exceptions”.
2 Unfortunately discrimination against women is still widespread
in the world of today, despite all the positive action envisaged
at world level to eradicate it, including the policy of the United
Nations for nearly thirty years since the creation of the Convention
on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
in 1979 and the World Conference of the United Nations Decade for
Women held in Copenhagen in 1980.
3 At European level the situation is better. Twenty years
ago, the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers adopted its
Declaration on the Equality of Women and Men. Ten years ago, the
Parliamentary Assembly created the Committee on Equal Opportunities
for Women and Men.
4 These anniversaries should remind us that while gender
equality has become a quasi customary political and legal notion
in Europe, this is far from being the case elsewhere in the world.
5 It is important, however, to continue to be alert lest
gender discrimination should resurface in Europe, for instance under
backward-oriented philosophies or interpretations of religions.
The questioning of co-education in schools or the wearing of traditional
clothing by women are examples of where gender discrimination may
find its way back into our societies.
6 The Committee on Culture, Science and Education, therefore,
supports the draft resolution and draft recommendation of the Committee
on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men.
Reporting committee: Committee on Equal Opportunities for
Women and Men.
Committee for opinion: Committee on Culture, Science and Education.