Women and girls belonging to vulnerable groups face multiple discrimination in their daily lives and are more at risk of violence, which in the end significantly diminishes their opportunities and motivation for active involvement and participation in political and public decision-making.
These include women and girls with low educational attainment, low-income, unemployed, rural, with disabilities, who are forced to get married or are early married, who belong to ethnic/religious minorities, refugees and internally displaced women and girls, women and girls living with HIV/AIDS and others.
The Parliamentary Assembly has contributed to achieving gender-balanced participation in political and public decision making over the past decades, in particular through Resolution 1489 (2006) on Mechanisms to ensure women’s participation in decision-making and Resolution 2111 (2016) on Assessing the impact of measures to improve women’s political representation. However, these resolutions do not pay attention to the specific groups of women and their needs.
According to the Council of Europe Gender Equality Strategy 2018-2023, the needs of disadvantaged and marginalised groups of women require targeted policies and activities to address the violence they are confronted with.
Based on relevant recommendations of the Committee of Ministers, including among others CM/Rec(2003)3 on Balanced participation of women and men in political and public decision making, and CM/Rec(2018)4 on the Participation of citizens in local public life, the Assembly should provide guidelines on the development of a set of reinforcing instruments to enhance the participation of women from vulnerable groups in politics and public decision making, as well as to encourage member States to collect data on the participation of women from vulnerable groups in all governmental and elected bodies.