C Explanatory memorandum by Ms Elvira
Kovacs, rapporteur for opinion
1. The delegation of Andorra,
which is composed of two men and two women, is one of the few national delegations
to the Parliamentary Assembly that respects the principle of parity
that the Assembly promotes. This is to be welcomed. However, it
must be noted that both women have been appointed as substitutes,
and both men as representatives. This is contrary to Rule 6.2.a of the Rules of Procedure of the
Assembly, which provides that at least one member of the under-represented
sex must be appointed as a representative.
2. Gender equality is a requirement for all democratic societies.
Achieving gender equality in all spheres of public and private life
is one of the goals of the Council of Europe, and the Assembly has
contributed to this goal through the adoption of numerous resolutions
and recommendations. Since 1996, the Assembly has also adopted several
resolutions aimed at ensuring better gender balance in its own functioning.
A key measure in this respect was the introduction in 2003 in the
Rules of the Assembly of Rule 6.2.a,
which imposes the presence of at least one woman parliamentarian
in the composition of national delegations to the Assembly. This
measure was modified in 2010 to oblige national delegations to appoint,
as representative, a minimum of one member of the under-represented
The statistics on gender equality in the functioning of the
that the level of representation of women as members of the Parliamentary
Assembly has increased progressively since 2012, reaching 39% in
2016. However, this percentage decreased to 37% in 2017. By the
same token, whereas 41% of the Assembly’s representatives and 38%
of the substitutes in 2016 were women, these percentages decreased slightly
in 2017, to 40% of representatives and 33% of substitutes. This
shows that progress towards gender equality cannot be taken for
granted but requires our constant vigilance.
In 2007, in Resolution
on gender equality principles in the Parliamentary Assembly,
the Assembly set an objective of 40% representation of women. Through
the impetus of our committee, the Assembly subsequently recalled,
in Resolution 1485 (2017)
on the Challenge on procedural grounds of the still unratified
credentials of the parliamentary delegation of the Slovak Republic,
its support for the principle of gender parity as the ultimate goal
in political representation. The committee notes with satisfaction
that in December 2017, seven national delegations fully respected
gender parity (compared with eight delegations in 2016) and three
delegations included more women than men (Finland, Serbia and Sweden).
Above and beyond statistics, however, women politicians should also
be placed in positions of responsibility in order for genuine equality
to be achieved. This is the purpose of the proposed amendment.