- Parliamentary Assembly
debate on 30 January 2009 (9th Sitting) (see Doc. 11781, report of the Committee on Equal Opportunities for
Women and Men, rapporteur: Mrs Err). Text
adopted by the Assembly on 30 January 2009 (9th Sitting).
See also Recommendation
Assembly recalls its Resolution
on the disappearance and murder of a great number of
women and girls in Mexico, in which it highlighted, inter alia
, the Mexican authorities’
initial efforts to resolve the recurring problem of violence against
women in northern Mexico. At the same time, the Assembly decided
to “study the concept of ‘feminicide’ and, in co‑operation with
the Mexican Congress, to explore how this concept may usefully be
applied in the European context, including its possible introduction into
European criminal law”.
2 “Feminicide” or “gynocide” is the murder of a woman because
she is a woman. The word “feminicide” was coined by the Mexican
Chamber of Deputies’ “special commission to study and review the
investigations of murders perpetrated against women in Mexico and
promote justice for the victims of feminicide” to describe the murders
and atrocities suffered by women because they are women.
3 All forms of violence, psychological and physical, against
women are violations of their fundamental rights and intolerable
infringements of their right to live a life free of violence.
4 Committed to the Council of Europe Campaign to combat violence
against women, including domestic violence, the Assembly is continuing
and strengthening its fight to eradicate this scourge, and particularly feminicides.
5 The Assembly notes with satisfaction the progress made, since
its previous report in 2005, by the Mexican authorities in combating
violence against women and disappearances and murders of women and girls
6 It emphasises in particular the creation in February 2006
of the position of a special federal prosecutor for crimes related
to violence against women, and the subsequent improvements in the
methods and speed of investigations.
7 It also welcomes the adoption on 1 February 2007 of a general
law on women’s access to a life without violence.
The Assembly asks Mexico, as an observer state, to continue
to step up its efforts to combat violence against women and feminicides.
In particular, it invites Mexico to:
8.1 ensure that the general law on women’s access to a life
without violence is implemented;
8.2 develop throughout its national territory working methods
to increase the speed and efficiency of investigations when women
disappear or are victims of violence;
8.3 set up sufficient numbers of shelters for victims;
8.4 continue its efforts to raise awareness throughout the
country, and particularly among the staff in contact with victims
and their families, as well as among the press and youth;
8.5 co-operate at regional level with the states of Central
America, in particular with Guatemala, on the issue of feminicides
and to share their good practices.
9 The Assembly asks Council of Europe member states, in their
bilateral relations with Mexico, to place this subject on the agenda
for their meetings, taking into consideration both the principles
of mutual respect and co-operation enshrined in those relations,
as well as the unfortunate fact that this problem is of universal scope.
10 In the context of co-operation and political dialogue between
Mexico and the European Union, the Assembly asks the latter to ensure
that feminicides and impunity for them are systematically placed
on the agenda for meetings with the various institutions.
11 The problem of these serious violations of human rights is
also a particularly significant one at global level.
12 In fact, the Assembly is dismayed that millions of women and
girls are “missing” in the sense that they either remain unborn
or meet an early death in many parts of the world, such as southern
and western Asia, China and North Africa.
13 The Assembly notes that foetus selection, the abandonment
of newborn girls and the lack of care given to girls also take place
in Europe, in certain immigrant communities which prefer boys.
14 Consequently, the Assembly asks Council of Europe member states,
in their relations with third countries, to encourage families to
treat their daughters better, to make sure they are educated and
to regard them as human assets rather than burdens.
15 The Assembly asks the European Union to place on the agenda
the problem of feminicides and violence against women, both during
negotiations on the admission of states to the European Union and
in the context of its external relations.
16 The Assembly asks national parliaments to provide for a general
and comprehensive law on equality between women and men, taking
into account their right to a life free of violence, with the aim
of regulating and guaranteeing equality between women and men, and
to propose mechanisms for the practical achievement of equality
in all spheres of public and private life, where it has not yet
17 It invites them to provide for measures to ensure that all
kinds of violence against women are prevented, dealt with, punished
18 It invites them to consider the inclusion in criminal legislation
of aggravating circumstances where female victims have suffered
violence or been killed because of their gender.
19 Finally, it asks the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human
Rights to take account of gender equality issues, and particularly
violence against women, in the course of his work.
20 The Assembly strongly urges Council of Europe member states
and the Commissioner for Human Rights to support, at the United
Nations and other international bodies in which they participate,
the abolition of feminicides, including selective abortions against