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Involving men in achieving gender equality

Resolution 1641 (2008)

Parliamentary Assembly
Text adopted by the Standing Committee, acting on behalf of the Assembly, on 28 November 2008 (see Doc. 11760, report of the Committee on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men, rapporteur: Mr Sigfússon). See also Recommendation 1853 (2008).
1. The Parliamentary Assembly considers that the involvement of men is a prerequisite for achieving equality between the sexes. It therefore believes that public policies must not only incorporate a gender perspective and counter stereotypes, but must also include action that encourages men to participate.
2. Drawing attention to its Recommendation 1769 (2006) on the need to reconcile work and family life, the Assembly maintains that men, no less than women, can benefit greatly from a fairer distribution of roles and a more equal society.
3. On the basis of the results of the parliamentary dimension of the Council of Europe Campaign “Stop domestic violence against women” (2006-2008) and its Resolution 1635 (2008) entitled “Combating violence against women: towards a Council of Europe convention”, the Assembly stresses that involving men is crucial for the pursuit of active policies to combat violence against women.
4. It also notes that Committee of Ministers Recommendation Rec(2003)3 on balanced participation of women and men in political and public decision making provides that “the representation of either women or men in any decision-making body in political or public life should not fall below 40%”.
5. The Assembly underlines that discrimination against women can be both direct and indirect, and that both of these types of discrimination must be fought by men as well as women.
6. The Assembly urges the governments of the member states to:
6.1 set up educational programmes designed to encourage boys and men to get involved in equality projects, and propose specific activities to make them aware of gender equality issues;
6.2 from the earliest years, promote boys’ and men’s involvement in combating violence against women and girls;
6.3 educate men on gender equality issues and offer a framework to encourage them to take an active part in tasks traditionally assigned to women (childcare, management of social and educational matters) and in this respect, pay special attention to programmes enabling men to train other men on these issues;
6.4 take action against the enduring use of stereotypes confining men and women to traditional roles and against the use of pornographic representations that depict women as sexual objects, in the media and advertising;
6.5 promote positive measures to improve women’s and men’s participation in public and political life in line with Resolution 1489 (2006) on mechanisms to ensure women’s participation in decision making;
6.6 promote the position of women on the labour market and their access to decision-making positions, and thus help to tackle unequal pay;
6.7 accordingly, introduce special programmes to promote parenthood and ways of reconciling work and private life among male employees in the civil service and encourage companies in the private sector to do the same, in line with Recommendation 1769 (2006);
6.8 fully involve men in specific policies concerning their responsibility for contraception and reproductive health and the reorganisation of working time and family policies, while explicitly addressing the issue of gender equality;
6.9 change legislation, if this has not already been done, to introduce paid parental leave including a part that is non-transferable to the mother, which encourages men to take parental leave and to play an active part in the care of young children;
6.10 introduce gender budgeting, an important tool for analysing the impact of public policies on citizens of both sexes and for restructuring revenues and expenditure so as to reduce socio-economic inequalities between men and women, in line with Assembly Recommendation 1739 (2006) on gender budgeting.
7. The Assembly encourages national parliaments to:
7.1 discuss the issue of men’s role in society and their involvement in equality projects, and promote the drawing up of action plans on the subject;
7.2 set up networks of men, in parliaments and elsewhere, committed to ending violence against women and achieving gender equality.