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Beyond quotas: time to shift to parity

With a view to increase women's political representation, PACE's member, observer and partner for democracy states should consider introducing the principle of parity in the Constitution or in electoral legislation, the Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination concluded today, adopting a report by Elena Centemero (Italy, EPP/CD). "The consistent enforcement of the principle of gender parity requires the State to go beyond positive measures and ensure equal representation of women and men in elected bodies and other institutions at all levels," the rapporteur said.

She stressed that while there seemed to be growing consensus on the need to promote gender equality, the question was how to accelerate progress in practice, which at present was intolerably slow.

The committee recommended a combination of positive measures, in particular quotas, together with sanctions for non-compliance and accompanying measures including funding to promote the work of women's participation and political representation, measures to reconcile political work and family life, as well as training and awareness-raising activities on gender equality.

With regard to electoral observation missions, the committee called for the inclusion of a specific focus on women's participation in all stages of the electoral process.