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A minimum of 30% of representatives of the under-represented sex in Assembly national delegations

Resolution 1781 (2010)

Parliamentary Assembly
Text adopted by the Standing Committee, acting on behalf of the Assembly, on 12 November 2010 (see Doc. 12260, report of the Committee on Rules of Procedure, Immunities and Institutional Affairs, rapporteur: Mr Greenway; and Doc. 12388, opinion of the Committee on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men, rapporteur: Mrs Keleş).
1. The Parliamentary Assembly refers to its Resolution 1585 (2007) on gender equality principles in the Parliamentary Assembly and the principle it adopted that national parliaments should ensure that women are present in the national delegations to the Assembly in at least the same proportions as they are present in the national parliament,with the aim of achieving, as a minimum, a 30% representation of women, bearing in mind that the threshold should be 40%”.
2. It welcomes the regular increase in the proportion of women in both national parliaments and the Assembly and the positive progress towards achieving the objective it has set, since 24 of the 47 national delegations include a percentage of women equal to or greater than 30%, and 12 of them are made up of at least 40% women. More particularly, the Assembly congratulates delegations that have met this criterion despite the limited number of women members in their national parliament.
3. However, the Assembly regrets the fact that these positive developments are slow, restricted to only some national delegations, and that the presence of 30% of representatives of the under-represented sex in all the national delegations is a goal that is far from being achieved.
4. The Assembly reiterates the terms of its Resolution 1585 (2007) and again urges national parliaments, particularly those whose national delegations are nowhere near achieving the objectives set, to resolutely maintain their efforts in support of balanced representation of women and men in national delegations.
5. The Assembly notes that while all the national delegations satisfy the requirement in the Rules of Procedure that they should include at least one representative of each sex, women appear too often as substitutes rather than representatives, which may occasionally prevent any effective participation by women in the work of the Assembly and its committees, in particular due to budget restrictions in national parliaments.
6. In order to clarify the existing provisions to promote more balanced participation of women and men, and to strengthen them, with a view to encouraging the national delegations to reach the minimum threshold set by Resolution 1585 (2007), the Assembly decides to amend its Rules of Procedure as follows:
6.1 in Rule 6.2.a, replace the second sentence with the following sentence:
“National delegations shall include the under-represented sex at least in the same percentage as is present in their parliaments and, at a very minimum, one member of the under-represented sex appointed as a representative”;
6.2 in Rule 7.1.b, replace the words “one representative of each sex” with “one member of the under-represented sex, appointed as a representative”.
7. The Assembly considers that the objective of increasing the proportion of women can only be achieved if the public and the political and parliamentary stakeholders at national level are made more aware of women's active and effective participation in representative institutions. It welcomes the measures taken in member states to encourage more representation of women in national parliaments, including the introduction of quotas for electoral lists. It considers that consideration could be given to other measures to ensure that national parliaments are made still more aware of this requirement.
8. The Assembly therefore decides to strengthen its dialogue with national parliaments on this question and to continue its consideration of measures that could be implemented by national parliaments to increase women's representation in the Assembly. These measures might include awareness-raising programmes for members of parliament; the development of good practices in national parliaments based, for example, on closer co-ordination between their political groups when appointing delegations; or initiatives to encourage women to stand for election and encourage their active participation in parliamentary delegations. The Assembly also considers that awareness-raising activities targeted at certain national delegations could also serve a useful purpose. In this connection, it encourages its political groups and the national parliaments to promote women’s access to decision-making posts and elected office and to take part in the next edition of the Parliamentary Assembly’s Gender Equality Prize.