Since its creation 70 years ago, the Council of Europe has been instrumental in countering discrimination against women and promoting gender equality, achieving substantial progress in its member States, through major binding treaties, PACE said, adopting a resolution on the basis of a report by Elvira Kovács (Serbia, EPP/CD).
However, parliamentarians expressed concern about the backlash against women's rights in several member States, noting that certain government forces and non-State actors were targeting long-acquired rights.
In this context, PACE proposed a set of measures as regards gender stereotypes and sexism, violence against women and domestic violence, women’s political representation, their economic empowerment, access to justice, sexual and reproductive health and rights as well as the rights of migrant, refugee and asylum-seeking women and girls, stressing that it was essential to involve men in the implementation of these measures.
In addition to the implementation of the measures set out in the Council of Europe Gender Equality Strategy 2018-2023, the Assembly invited the Committee of Ministers to “renew its political commitment to gender equality and step up its action to achieve it”. It also recommended that the Committee of Ministers support the Organisation’s contribution to the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, in particular within the framework of Goal No. 5.
“As long as women and men do not enjoy the same empowerment, participation, visibility and access to resources, we cannot consider human rights to be respected, or democracy and the rule of law to be achieved,” the parliamentarians concluded.