Strasbourg, 14.04.2011 - The Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) today asked European governments for specific legal, economic and social measures to improve the situation of rural women. The Assembly members stressed that unemployment, poverty and low quality or absence of basic services particularly affected rural women, as did stereotyped roles and subordinate status, the outcome of traditional attitudes.
Following the proposals of the rapporteur Carmen Quintanilla, (Spain, EPP/CD), the parliamentarians called for measures aimed specifically at improving their situation and fostering equal opportunities. They stressed the need to involve women in the framing and implementation of the policies and decisions concerning them, and to promote their greater participation in decision making.
Where improving their economic situation was concerned, it was to be ensured that women “are not discriminated against in having access to property and inheritance rights” and that wage discrimination be ended. Provision of microcredits should be facilitated, as should loans for women wishing to set up a firm whether individually or in a co-operative.
Regarding social rights, the Assembly called in particular for a comprehensive legislative framework on the status of helping spouses, enhancement of essential services to allow the reconciliation of private and working life, and the availability of medical care facilities and services linked with sexual and reproductive health.
The European Parliament and the European Commission should, in the parliamentarians’ opinion, guarantee gender mainstreaming in all its policies and measures, whether under the Common Agricultural Policy or the Structural Funds.