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Gender equality principles in the Parliamentary Assembly

Recommendation 1819 (2007)

Parliamentary Assembly
Text adopted by the Standing Committee, acting on behalf of the Assembly, on 23 November 2007 (see Doc. 11432, report of the Committee on Rules of Procedure and Immunities, rapporteur: Mrs Mendonça; Doc. 11439, opinion of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, rapporteur: Mrs Circene; and Doc. 11433, opinion of the Committee on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men, rapporteur: Mrs Err).
1. The Parliamentary Assembly refers to its Resolution 1585 (2007) on gender equality principles in the Parliamentary Assembly.
2. Equality between women and men is an integral part of human rights and gender-based discrimination is an impediment to the recognition, enjoyment and exercise of human rights and fundamental freedoms. In addition, the balanced participation of women and men in political and public decision making is at the heart of the functioning of a pluralist democracy. Therefore, the Assembly considers that the Council of Europe, as the continent’s human rights watchdog and home of democracy, should set an example by applying gender equality principles in its internal structures and working procedures.
3. It recalls that in its Recommendation 1738 (2006) on mechanisms to ensure women's participation in decision making, the Assembly invited the Committee of Ministers to pursue its follow-up action on its Recommendation Rec(2003)3 on balanced participation of women and men in political and public decision making. It welcomes the intention of the Committee of Ministers to follow up on this recommendation by stepping up its efforts to achieve the minimum level of representation of 40% for women in the steering committees and other bodies of the Council of Europe. Furthermore, the Assembly encourages the Organisation to continue to focus on gender equality and gender mainstreaming as a specific aspect of its equal opportunities policy.
4. The Assembly invites the Committee of Ministers to:
4.1 follow a gender equality policy which ensures a balanced representation of women and men in the posts of Secretary General and Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe and Secretary General of the Assembly. If, according to paragraph 5.a of the Regulations relating to the appointment of the Secretary General, Deputy Secretary General and Secretary General of the Assembly, the Committee of Ministers draws up a list, it shall endeavour to present candidates of both sexes;
4.2 instruct the competent steering committee to prepare a list of good national practices aimed at promoting the election of women as members of parliament as well as the representation of women parliamentarians in posts of responsibility;
4.3 with regard to subordinate committees of the Committee of Ministers, encourage member states, according to Recommendations No. R (81) 6 and Rec(2003)3, to ensure the participation of women and men in equitable proportion in steering committees and other Council of Europe bodies in order to reach the threshold of 40%;
4.4 strengthen its intergovernmental activities to promote gender equality principles in Council of Europe member states, in particular within national parliaments and governments.