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In favour of a Parliamentary Assembly “Gender Equality Prize”

Resolution 1593 (2007)

Parliamentary Assembly
Text adopted by the Standing Committee, acting on behalf of the Assembly, on 23 November 2007 (see Doc. 11436, report of the Committee on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men, rapporteur: Mr Branger).
1. Despite the progress made in Council of Europe member states, the Parliamentary Assembly is deeply concerned to find that women account for less than 20% of members of parliament in nearly half the 47 Council of Europe member states, and less than 25% of members of the Parliamentary Assembly.
2. The Assembly is convinced that a gender balance in politics is essential if democracy and society are to function more effectively. The Assembly draws attention in this connection to the Committee of Ministers’ Recommendation Rec(2003)3 to member states on balanced participation of women and men in political and public decision making, which stipulates that balanced participation of women and men means that the representation of either women or men in any decision-making body in political or public life should not fall below 40%.
3. The Assembly observes that institutional mechanisms for fostering women’s participation in political life often prove inadequate or ineffective. It further observes that politics in Europe are based on political parties, which therefore have a key role to play in bringing women into politics, guaranteeing them equal access to posts carrying responsibility and to positions on party lists that give them a chance of being elected, and in contributing to a fairer and more democratic society.
4. The Assembly intends, in this connection, to draw attention to exemplary schemes introduced by political parties and has decided to award a “Gender Equality Prize” (hereinafter “the Prize”).
5. The Prize is designed to reward actions, schemes or initiatives that have been or are in the process of being carried out by political parties and have brought about a significant improvement in women's participation in elected assemblies, political parties and their respective executives.
6. The political groups in the Parliamentary Assembly, in the European Parliament and in member states’ national parliaments will be able to submit a candidature file for the award, including the description of specific action taken by one or more political parties that has helped to achieve the objective of the Prize, namely a balanced participation of women and men in political life.
7. The Assembly invites the Committee on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men, in liaison with the Sub-Committee on Equal Participation of Women and Men in Decision Making, to:
7.1 draw up rules setting out the technical conditions applicable to the submission of nominations and the designation of the prizewinners;
7.2 appoint a jury of three independent figures known for their expertise and competence in gender equality, who will be responsible for analysing the entries and short-listing candidates;
7.3 choose the winners of the first, second and third prizes.
8. The “Gender Equality Prize” will be presented every five years by the President of the Parliamentary Assembly.
9. The winner of the first Prize will receive a trophy and will be offered the opportunity to take part in a co-operation activity under the aegis of the Committee on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men. The winners of the second and third prizes will receive a diploma.
10. In awarding the Prize, the Assembly is seeking to highlight the importance it attaches to promoting women’s access to elected office and decision-making positions in political parties and acknowledge the special responsibility political parties have for fostering equal opportunities for women and men.