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Call for a change on rules relating to gender quota

Motion for a resolution | Doc. 15749 | 25 April 2023

Ms Nicole HÖCHST, Germany, EC/DA ; Mr Richard BACON, United Kingdom, EC/DA ; Lord David BLENCATHRA, United Kingdom, EC/DA ; Mr Bob De BRABANDERE, Belgium, EC/DA ; Mr Erkin GADIRLI, Azerbaijan, EC/DA ; Mr Armen GEVORGYAN , Armenia, EC/DA ; Mr Oleksii GONCHARENKO, Ukraine, EC/DA ; Mr Martin GRAF, Austria, EC/DA ; Mr Axel KASSEGGER, Austria, EC/DA ; Lord Richard KEEN, United Kingdom, EC/DA ; Mr Norbert KLEINWÄCHTER, Germany, EC/DA ; Mrs Pauline LATHAM, United Kingdom, EC/DA ; Sir Edward LEIGH, United Kingdom, EC/DA ; Mr Ian LIDDELL-GRAINGER, United Kingdom, EC/DA ; Ms Dumitrina MITREA, Romania, EC/DA ; Mr David MORRIS, United Kingdom, EC/DA ; Mr Arkadiusz MULARCZYK, Poland, EC/DA ; Mr Sorin-Titus MUNCACIU, Romania, EC/DA ; Mrs Sheryll MURRAY, United Kingdom, EC/DA ; Mr Zsolt NÉMETH, Hungary, EC/DA ; Baroness Amanda SATER, United Kingdom, EC/DA ; Ms Beatrice TIMGREN, Sweden, EC/DA ; Mr Harald WEYEL, Germany, EC/DA ; Mr Markus WIECHEL, Sweden, EC/DA

Equal opportunities for men and women must be guaranteed in any modern democracy and any form of gender discrimination must be condemned. However, the opposite was achieved during the first part of the 2023 Ordinary Session of the Parliamentary Assembly, when the changes to the Rules of Procedure introduced by Resolution 2394 (2021) “Gender representation in the Parliamentary Assembly” entered into force.

Over the past decade, before the entry into force of new quantitative gender rules, the Assembly has demonstrated clear progress in balanced gender representation. In 2022, for instance, more than 30% of all reports were presented by women. Moreover, in the Assembly women hold main leadership positions.

Since January 2023, national parliaments are obliged to appoint (and suspend) parliamentarians based on their gender. We therefore urge the Assembly to stop discrimination against women and men, to guarantee a right to be selected based on professional achievements rather than biological features, and to avoid suspending more qualified, more eager, or more available delegates for having the “wrong” gender.

In this regard, we propose that the rules on the gender representation in the Assembly be revised, respecting the following principles:

  • the right to be free from discrimination should work both ways protecting both men and women;
  • selecting members purely based on their gender constitutes a discrimination in itself;
  • the selection criteria for appointments to the national delegations to the Assembly should be based on qualifications, eagerness to attend and availability. Where two equal candidates of the opposite gender would have similar qualifications, the preference could be given, exceptionally, to the candidate of the under-represented gender.