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Women in politics

Recommendation 1008 (1985)

Parliamentary Assembly
Assembly debate on 26 April 1985 (8th Sitting) (see Doc. 5370, report of the Committee on Parliamentary and Public Relations, and Doc. 5404., opinion of the Legal Affairs Committee). Text adopted by the Assembly on 26 April 1985 (8th Sitting).

The Assembly,

1 Recalling its Recommendation 741 (1974) on the legal position of women, and Resolution 606 (1975) on the political rights and position of women ;
2 Considering that International Women's Year 1975 and the United Nations Decade for Women succeeded in drawing the attention of a part of public opinion to the position of women in modern society ;
3 Being aware of the fact that women in Europe are still the victims of multifarious discrimination, and convinced that societal changes are so slow that vigorous legislative action will be required if real progress is to be made within a reasonable future ;
4 Believing that women, who are better aware of such discrimination, are not represented in national parliaments as they should be because they are not yet adequately represented in political parties, trade unions and government offices ;
5 Noting that the World Action Programme for the second half of the United Nations Decade for Women stresses the desirability of promoting women's participation in political organs and their careers in civil service ;
6 Affirming that it is the Council of Europe's duty to continue its action for the development and progress of democratic institutions ;
7 Considering the important work carried out in recent years in the Council of Europe, in particular through the Committee for Equality between Women and Men (CAHFM), designed to establish de jure and de facto equality between the sexes ;
8 Welcoming the expert studies on the situation of women in the political process in Europe as a major contribution towards a better understanding and knowledge of the present role and position of women in the political process of member countries of the Council of Europe ;
9 Inviting political parties and trade unions to ensure that women are represented in their leadership and decision-making bodies at least in proportion to their membership,
10 Recommends that the Committee of Ministers invite the governments of the member states :
a to establish, where they have not already done so, machinery, preferably a ministry or secretariat of state, for implementing programmes to ensure equality between women and men ;
b to endow such machinery with the necessary powers, financial means and staff to fulfil their objectives, particularly the objective of facilitating women's participation in political life on an equal footing with men ;
c to take steps to ensure that women are adequately represented in all publicly appointed bodies and, for this purpose, to adopt programmes for increasing women's representation, containing the goal to be achieved, a realistic timetable and an appropriate method for achieving the goal ;
d to introduce in public administration special schemes for women's recruitment, training and appointment to qualified and leading posts, particularly in non-traditional domains for them.