CM(2001)92 / 761 / Steering Committee for Equality between Women and Men - Abridged report of the 22nd meeting (Strasbourg, 9-11 May 2001)


Ministers' Deputies
CM Documents

CM(2001)92 (restricted) 19 June 2001
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761 Meeting, 18 July 2001
4 Human Rights

4.1 Steering Committee for Equality between Women and Men - Abridged report of the 22nd meeting (Strasbourg, 9-11 May 2001)
 

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LIST OF ITEMS DISCUSSED AND DECISIONS TAKEN

 

 

1.         The Steering Committee for Equality between Women and Men (CDEG) held its 22nd meeting in Strasbourg from 9-11 May 2001 with Ms Violeta NEUBAUER (Slovenia) in the Chair.  The agenda, as adopted, is set out in Appendix I[1].

 

2.         The CDEG discussed follow-up to the Seminar equality and education: “A new social contract between women and men: the role of education” (Strasbourg, 7-8 December 2000) and agreed to forward the general conclusions (see CM(2001)92 Addendum) to the Committee of Ministers for information and subsequent transmission to the Parliamentary Assembly, the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe, the Culture Committee (CC-CULT), the Committee for the Development of Sport (CDDS) and the European Committee on Migration (CDMG). The whole proceedings would be forwarded to the Education Committee (CC-ED) with the request that they be forwarded to the Ministries of Education and teacher training institutes in the Council of Europe member States.

 

3.         Subject to the approval of the Committee of Ministers, the CDEG adopted the terms of reference of the Group of Specialists on promoting gender mainstreaming in schools (EG-S-GS).  These are set out in Appendix II.

 

4.         The Committee continued preparations for the Seminar on the participation of women in the prevention and resolution of conflicts, to be held in Strasbourg on 20-21 September 2001, and agreed upon an explanatory memorandum set out in Appendix III and upon a programme.

 

5.         The Committee continued the preparation of the substantial and organisational aspects of the 5th European Ministerial Conference on Equality between Women and Men (Skopje, 15-16 May 2002) and took a number of decisions related to the Conference, subject to the approval of the Committee of Ministers[2].

 

6.         The Committee examined and amended the draft Recommendation on the protection of women against violence with a view to preparing a final draft for examination and adoption at its 23rd meeting.

 

7.         The CDEG took note of the activities planned in 2001 to implement Recommendation No R (2000) 11 on trafficking in human beings for the purpose of sexual exploitation and agreed. It further took note of the Secretariat proposal that any remaining funds from these activities should be used in 2001 to finance the participation of NGO representatives of South-East Europe in the Seminar on the participation of women in the prevention and resolution of conflicts, the budgetary resources earmarked for this activity being very limited.

 

8.         The Committee held an exchange of views on its 2002 draft Intergovernmental Programme of Activities as prepared by its Bureau, as well as on future priorities, and made suggestions regarding which activities should be selected.  The Committee emphasised the importance of intergovernmental co-operation in the present context of budgetary restrictions.

 

9.         The CDEG examined the 9th Report by the Secretary General on equality between women and men in the Council of Europe, covering the year 1999. In accordance with the invitation of the Committee of Ministers, it formulated observations and comments thereon, which are set out in Appendix IV.

 

10.       The CDEG took note of the report of the 1st meeting of the Group of Specialists on the impact of the use of new information technologies on trafficking in human beings for the purpose of sexual exploitation (EG-S-NT).

 

11.       The Committee discussed the results of the 45th session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) and possible co-operation between the CDEG and the CSW in the coming years.

 

12.       In accordance with the invitation of the Committee of Ministers, the CDEG discussed the implementation of Resolution (2000) 2 of the Committee of Ministers on information strategy and welcomed, in this context, the setting-up of the Equality Division's homepage.

 

13.       The Committee took note of the state of implementation of the Council of Europe's co-operation programmes in the field of equality as well as of the Council of Europe's contribution to the Stability Pact's Gender Task Force for South Eastern Europe.

 

14.       The Committee took note of recent developments on equality which were of interest to it, determined the items to be placed on the agenda of its 23rd meeting and fixed the dates of its forthcoming meetings.

 


Appendix I

 

AGENDA

 

1.         Opening of the meeting

 

I.          ITEMS FOR DECISION

 

2.         Adoption of the Agenda

 

3.         Report on and follow-up to the Seminar on equality and education: “A new social contract between women and men: the role of education” (Strasbourg, 7-8 December 2000)

 

4.         Draft terms of reference of the Group of Specialists on equality and education

 

5.         Preparation of the seminar on the participation of women in the prevention and resolution of conflicts (Strasbourg, 20-21 September 2001)

 

6.         Preparation of the 5th European Ministerial Conference on Equality between Women and Men (Skopje, 15-16 May 2002)

 

7.         Draft Recommendation on the protection of women and young girls against violence

 

8.         Follow-up to the Recommendation No R (2000) 11 on action against trafficking in human beings for the purpose of sexual exploitation

 

9.         Activities in the field of Gender Mainstreaming

 

10.       Report of and follow-up to the 45th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (6-16 March 2001)

 

11.       Draft Intergovernmental Programme of Activities for 2002 and priorities for 2003

 

12.       Ninth report by the Secretary General on equality between women and men in the Council of Europe

 

13.       Report of the first meeting of the Group of Specialists on the impact of the use of new information technologies on trafficking in human beings for purposes of sexual exploitation (EG-S-NT) (14-15 December 2000)

 

14.       Implementation of the Committee of Ministers Resolution (2000) 2 on information strategy

 

15.       Items to be placed on the agenda of the 23rd meeting of the CDEG

 

16.       Dates and places of forthcoming meetings

 

 

II.        ITEMS FOR INFORMATION

 

17.       Co-operation activities of the Council of Europe

 

            17.1.    Stability Pact for South-East Europe - latest developments

 

18.       Information on Council of Europe activities

 

            18.1     Decisions of the Committee of Ministers of concern to the CDEG

 

18.2     Information on the work of the Committee on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men of the Parliamentary Assembly and on the work of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe

 

            18.3     Information on the work of other Council of Europe bodies

 

            18.4     Other recent developments concerning equality of interest to the CDEG

 

19.       Information on the activities of the European Commission and observers to the CDEG 

 

III.       OTHER BUSINESS

 

20.       Other business 

 

IV.       ADOPTION OF THE LIST OF ITEMS DISCUSSED AND DECISIONS TAKEN

 

 


Appendix II

  

Specific Terms of reference

 

 

1.       Name of the Committee:

 

Group of Specialists on promoting gender mainstreaming in schools (EG-S-GS) 

 

2.       Type of Committee:

 

Committee of Experts 

 

3.       Source of Terms of Reference:

 

Steering Committee for Equality between Women and Men (CDEG) 

 

4.       Terms of Reference:

 

In the context of the changes taking place in European societies at the dawn of the third millennium, the Group shall consider the relevance of existing policies and practices in the field of gender equality in education and how these can be adapted to new challenges, eg through the strategy of gender mainstreaming. The Group's tasks will consist of the following:

 

i.          studying how gender mainstreaming can be promoted in schools through, inter alia, initial and continuous teacher training, introduction of new teaching methods and learning contexts, revision of curricula and teaching materials;

 

ii.         on the basis of the results of this investigation, preparing:

 

a.     a report, containing a summary of the results of the Group's investigation accompanied by examples of good practice of how gender mainstreaming can be promoted in schools and in initial and continuous teacher training, as well as examples of how schools can create an environment that allows both girls and boys to achieve their full potential, develop their diverse identities and exercise democratic citizenship, while respecting human rights;

 

b.    a draft recommendation on the promotion of gender mainstreaming in schools. This recommendation should contain guidelines for policies and measures to be taken regarding the promotion of gender equality through awareness-raising and training of teachers, diversification of teaching methods, revision of school curricula and teaching materials in the Council of Europe member States from a gender perspective.[3]

 

While carrying out its terms of reference, the Group should bear in mind the work previously done by the CDEG and the CC-ED related to this issue.

 

5.         Composition:

 

The Group has a membership of 8 specialists from various Council of Europe member States, having the following qualifications:

 

-      one member of the CDEG (Greece);

-      one member of the CC-ED (France);

-      6 experts, including school teachers, teacher trainers, researchers on gender equality and education; educational psychologists; careers guidance counsellors; experts in pedagogic sciences; designers of teaching materials.

 

The experts shall be appointed by the Secretariat in consultation with the Steering Committee for Equality between Women and Men (CDEG) and the Education Committee (CC-ED).

 

The composition of the Group should, as far as possible, be made up according to a geographically balanced as well as a gender balanced representation. 

 

6.         Working methods:

 

Within the framework of its terms of reference, the EG-S-GS shall have the opportunity to have whatever contacts or consultations are necessary with experts or interested professionals in member States, in particular through hearings or written consultations. It may also have recourse to consultants. 

 

7.         Duration of the terms of reference:

 

These terms of reference expire on 30 June 2003.

 


Appendix III

 

 

International Seminar

Participation of women in the prevention and resolution of conflicts

 Strasbourg, 20-21 September 2001

 

General information

 

Date and place

 

Organised by the Steering Committee for Equality between Women and Men (CDEG) of the Council of Europe, the Seminar will be held in Strasbourg, at the Palais de l'Europe (Room 9), on 20-21 September 2001.

 

Simultaneous interpretation in English and French will be provided.

 

Main objectives of the Seminar

 

Through the organisation of this Seminar, the CDEG aims to initiate a discussion on various questions regarding women, activities for peace and the reconstruction of post-conflict societies. There is a lack of appreciation and even knowledge of women's peacebuilding activities in Europe. As most such activities are initiated by grassroot groups, they are not always taken seriously by state structures and institutions. Research into and evaluation of the outcomes of various peacebuilding activities and how they affect gender is scarce.

 

At the same time, women have little to say on any reconstruction activities, given their marginalisation in decision-making processes. Even if international organisations and NGOs make some efforts towards protecting women's human rights in conflict and post-conflict situations, few try to advance women's leadership and empowerment after conflicts.

 

Bearing this in mind, the main objective will be to explore and draw attention to the involvement of women in the Council of Europe member States in peacemaking, peacebuilding and conflict prevention activities, notably at the grassroot level. The Seminar will also look at women's role as active players in the reconciliation and post-conflict reconstruction processes and the importance of increasing the number of women in decision-making at all levels of society.

 

The Seminar constitutes at the same time a preparatory event for the 5th European Ministerial Conference on Equality between Women and Men, which will be held in Skopje on 15-16 May 2002 on the theme: “Democratisation, conflict prevention and peacebuilding: the perspectives and the roles of women.

 

In this perspective, it is expected that participants will prepare and agree on some recommendations regarding the subjects dealt with. These recommendations will then be examined by the CDEG which is in charge of preparing political texts (resolutions, declarations) to be adopted by the Ministers at their conference in Skopje.

 

Themes and structure of the Seminar

 

After a more formal opening session, the Seminar will deal successively with the two following sub-themes:

 

-         Sub-theme 1:   The role women play in the prevention and resolution of conflicts and in post-conflict reconstruction and reconciliation;

 

-         Sub-theme 2:   Women's participation in decision-making processes.

 

Both themes will be introduced in plenary session through presentation of concrete examples of (good) practice, and discussed in working groups thereafter. The closing session in the afternoon of the second day will be devoted to the presentation of the General Rapporteur's conclusions and the adoption of the recommendations of the Seminar.

 

Participants

 

The Seminar should bring together a maximum of 100 participants. These will include governmental representatives and experts, elected members, representatives of international and non-governmental organisations, researchers from institutes for peace and conflict research. Representatives of youth organisations will be encouraged to attend. A certain number of Council of Europe bodies will be present, such as the Parliamentary Assembly, the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe (CLRAE) as well as some interested Steering Committees of the Council of Europe.

 

Documentation

 

The NGO “International Alert” has prepared an inventory on initiatives and actions regarding women and peacebuilding in Europe. This will constitute the major background document for the Seminar.

 

Chapter E of the Beijing Platform for Action, “Women and armed conflict”, will serve as a basis for discussions for the first theme. Council of Europe documents regarding the participation of women in decision-making will guide the discussion on the second theme. An updated version of the document “Women in Politics in the Council of Europe member States” will be put at the disposal of participants. Besides these documents of special relevance to the Seminar, other Council of Europe documents will be available.

 

International organisations and NGOs focusing on specific aspects of women's participation in conflict prevention and resolution are invited to make any of their reports available to the Seminar.

 

An exhibition will be organised on the occasion of the Seminar, where participants can display written material, posters, photos, videos, etc. Any material that participants wish to display during the Seminar must be sent to the Secretariat before 5 September 2001.

 

Funding of the Seminar

 

The Council of Europe will finance the participation of one representative from each member State, as well as of a limited number of speakers. A voluntary contribution from Slovakia has been received, in particular to enable the participation of a certain number of NGOs and Japan has also announced a voluntary contribution.  However, the Organisation will only be able to finance the participation of a significant number of NGOs if other voluntary contributions are received.

 


Appendix IV

 

 

Comments of the CDEG on the Ninth Report by the Secretary General

on equality between women and men in the Council of Europe

 

 

INTRODUCTION

 

1.                  The Steering Committee for Equality between Women and Men (CDEG) has studied the Ninth Report by the Secretary General on Equality between Women and Men in the Council of Europe concerning the year 1999 (and the first report to be published since the election of the present Secretary General in May 1999).

 

2.                  The Committee welcomes the Secretary General's positive and constructive comments, as well as his interest in encouraging other sectors of the Council of Europe to introduce gender mainstreaming in their activities.

 

3.                  Since the adoption by the Committee of Ministers of Recommendation No. R (98) 14 to member States on gender mainstreaming and a message to Steering Committees of the Council of Europe inviting them to implement this strategy, very little progress has been made within the Organisation. The CDEG attaches great importance to gender mainstreaming, and the work it has carried on this subject is recognised by a wide public. It is willing to assist other committees in implementing this strategy and, in 2001, will launch a pilot project involving a limited number of committees. It is hoped that this experience will provide the necessary impetus for a general recognition of the importance of gender equality issues throughout the Organisation.

 

4.                  In this respect, the CDEG supports the Secretary General's proposal to introduce an element of anticipation by taking action from the planning stage so as to encourage the Council of Europe's various sectors to apply gender mainstreaming in their annual work programmes.

 

5.                  The CDEG notes with regret that, in spite of the Committee of Ministers' and the Secretary General's will to work towards equality in the Council of Europe, the Ninth Report does not show any particular progress in this field. This concerns both the Organisation's activities and the staff policy.

 

6.                  In his introduction, the Secretary General states that he will be paying particular attention to equality issues in the adoption of a new staff policy, including taking steps to encourage more women to apply for managerial posts and supporting managers who promote a work culture that reconciles professional and private life.

 

7.                  The CDEG looks forward to see the results of these measures in the next report by the Secretary General.

 

PART I:

ACTIVITIES OF THE ORGANISATION

 

A.        THE INTERGOVERNMENTAL PROGRAMME OF ACTIVITIES

 

8.                  The CDEG wishes to thank all those committees with whom it had fruitful co-operation in 1999, both in the framework of its Groups of specialists and in the organisation of seminars. CDMM, CDDH, CDPS, CDCJ, CDMG, CDPC and T-SG should in particular be named. Such multidisciplinary work is of great use for the CDEG, as it helps the Committee to tackle in an appropriate way the difficult questions it has to deal with, notably by integrating the viewpoints of different committees.

 

9.                  With regard to the chapter on the Intergovernmental Programme of Activities, the CDEG welcomes the fact that some sectors which were not mentioned in the previous Report have started to introduce issues relating to gender equality in their activities (eg. CAHAR and CC-CULT). Some committees still limit their contribution to a simple listing of activities, whereas the CDEG has underlined several times that it would be very useful to have an analysis of the activities undertaken. Some committees are still totally absent from the Report, despite the clear political message sent out by the Committee of Ministers in 1998. Once again, the CDEG wishes to point out that it would be useful to know why they have not dealt with gender mainstreaming.

 

1.       Democratic cohesion: pluralist democracy, human rights and the rule of law

 

10.              The CDEG welcomes the adoption of Protocol No. 12 to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), extending, in a general fashion, the scope of Article 14 of the ECHR. The Committee was satisfied with its co-operation with the Committee of Experts on the Development of Human Rights (DH-DEV) on the preparation of this text, and was particularly pleased to note that some of its comments had been taken into account in the drafting of the explanatory report to the Protocol. Even though the CDEG would have preferred an approach including an independent equality clause, it considers that a general prohibition of discrimination constitutes a step forward towards standard-setting in this field at the European level. It is eager to see how the Protocol, when it comes into force, will be interpreted, especially with a view to encouraging positive action in the field of equality between women and men.

 

11.              The CDEG regrets that neither the CDMM nor the ECRI have mentioned activities concerning equality between women and men in 1999, given that co-operation with these two committees has been quite fruitful in the past.

 

12.              The information on the committees in the legal field constitutes a repetition of what was contained in the report on 1998 activities. The CDEG reiterates its wish that – in addition to recalling the principle of non-discrimination on the grounds of sex – more care be taken by these committees in the future to integrate a gender perspective into their work in a concrete and visible way.

 

13.              In this respect, it is perhaps useful to recall that equality between women and men means “an equal visibility, empowerment and participation of both sexes in all spheres of public and private life”.[4] This signifies that the search for real equality between women and men cannot be limited to guaranteeing equal rights and equal treatment in access to rights, but must also guarantee equal results and equal conditions.

 

14.              The CDEG is pleased to note that the Ad Hoc Committee of Experts on the Legal Aspects of Territorial Asylum, Refugees and Stateless Persons (CAHAR) is addressing several aspects relating to gender equality in its work, and welcomes the interest it is showing in issues relating to the situation of refugee women in Europe. With regard to this issue, the CDEG has commented on Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1374 (1998) dealing with the situation of refugee women to the CAHAR. The CDEG takes the view that it is appropriate to study this subject in the present context of recent conflicts in Europe, leaving large numbers of women as refugees or displaced persons, in particularly difficult circumstances. It welcomes the fact that the CAHAR has now expressed its willingness to be associated with the pilot project on gender mainstreaming mentioned in the introduction.

 

15.              The CDEG notes that the Steering Committee on Local and Regional Democracy (CDLR) is analysing, inter alia, the participation of women in public life at local level and their representation in local bodies. The CDEG awaits with interest the adoption of the draft recommendation on the participation of citizens in local life,  which will suggest specific measures to be taken to stimulate the participation of women in the local political process. This information will be taken into account in the CDEG's preparation of a draft recommendation on balanced participation of women and men in political and public decision-making.

 

2.       Social cohesion and quality of life: social policies, health, environment and sustainable development of the greater European territory

 

16.              Following its comments on the Eighth Report of the Secretary General, the CDEG is pleased to note that the European Committee on Social Cohesion (CDCS) is particularly receptive to questions concerning gender equality. Good co-operation has been established between the two Committees and the CDCS has now expressed its willingness to participate in a future pilot project on introducing gender mainstreaming in the work programmes of the Council of Europe's committees.

 

17.              The CDEG welcomes the information provided on the implementation of activities focusing on Roma women, as well as the older population. The choice of health policies for older persons, or for handicapped persons, will necessarily have to take into account the gender dimension. A project on the incorporation of gender analysis into the guidelines for services for elderly dependent persons was presented at the CDEG conference on “Gender mainstreaming: a step into the 21st century”, organised in Athens in September 1999. Elder abuse was one of the sub-themes discussed at the Seminar on Men and Violence against Women held in Strasbourg in October 1999. The CDEG has expressed the wish to look more closely at the specific problems faced by elderly women in its future work and will seek the active co-operation of the European Committee on Social Cohesion and the European Health Committee in this respect.

 

18.              It is stated in the report that the activities of the Partial Agreement in the Social and Public Health Field are based on the concept of gender mainstreaming. The CDEG would like to have more information on the activities carried out in this sector, which could be useful for its future work.

 

19.              The CDEG welcomes the fact that the Pompidou Group is continuing to include activities in the field of women and drugs in its work programme.

 

3.         Cultural cohesion and cultural pluralism: education, higher education, culture and cultural heritage, sport and youth

 

20.              The CDEG is pleased to note positive developments concerning the project Education for Democratic Citizenship and the activities of the Culture Committee. It awaits the results of incorporating a gender perspective into the project on cultural policy and cultural diversity with great interest.

 

21.              The committees in the education field are attentive to the questions of equality and gender mainstreaming. The CDEG is particularly appreciative of its co-operation with the Education Committee (CC-ED), given the importance of the education field for the realisation of any policy in the field of equality between women and men. The joint seminar held in December 2000, A new social contract between women and men: the role of education, was a successful experience and a group of specialists on equality and education will be set up in 2001 under the auspices of the CDEG and with the participation of the Education Committee.

 

22.              The Committee for the Development of Sport (CDDS) continues to pay particular attention to equality issues, and has carried out a lot of good work on the problem of sexual harassment and abuse in sport.

 

23.              Finally, the CDEG welcomes the fact that the European Youth Centres and the European Youth Foundation continue to have a balanced representation of the sexes in their activities and support projects dealing specifically with the problems facing young women. The CDEG will, as far as possible, pay particular attention to involving young people, and especially young women, in its activities.

  

* * *

 

24.              As concerns the intergovernmental activities in general, the CDEG is aware of the fact that one year is a very short time in which to show significant progress in the field of gender mainstreaming. This is one of the reasons why the same information is likely to be repeated year after year. The Committee therefore wonders whether it would not be more effective to gather information on the activities of the Organisation in the field of gender mainstreaming every two or three years. Reporting could then be based on a questionnaire to make the answers more comparable and to make evaluation possible. The CDEG would be willing to assist the Secretary General with preparing such a reporting method/structure.

 

B.        ACTIVITIES FOR THE DEVELOPMENT AND CONSOLIDATION OF DEMOCRATIC STABILITY (ADACS)

 

25.              In spite of the CDEG's comments on the Eighth Report of the Secretary General, this contribution remains a simple listing of activities without any form of evaluation. As the members of the CDEG often participate in an expert capacity in activities in the framework of the ADACS programme, they are of the opinion that it would be interesting to evaluate these activities as a whole.

 

26.              Furthermore, the Committee repeats its previous years' suggestion concerning the necessity to consult women to the same extent as men in the planification of all activities in the framework of the Council of Europe's co-operation programmes, and not just those regarding equality between women and men.

 

C.        ACTIVITIES OF THE PARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLY

 

27.              The CDEG co-operates closely with the Committee on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men. The two bodies inform each other about their work so that each body can play its role in the most efficient way, and representatives of the Parliamentary Assembly Committee take an active part in some of the CDEG's activities. This can be considered as a most positive development.

 

D.        CONGRESS OF LOCAL AND REGIONAL AUTHORITIES OF EUROPE (CLRAE)

 

28.              The CDEG notes that the information on the CLRAE contained in this report concerns the year 2000 and not the year 1999. The CDEG welcomes the fact that the CLRAE is taking a close look at the representation of women and men in its national delegations and hopes that concrete action to improve the situation will be taken. The Committee is pleased to report that the CLRAE is taking an active part in the work of the Group of Specialists that the CDEG set up in 2000 in order to prepare a draft Recommendation from the Committee of Ministers on the balanced participation of women and men in political and public decision-making. 

 

E/F.     EUROPEAN COMMISSION OF HUMAN RIGHTS – EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS

 

29.              Concerning the composition of new single European Court of Human Rights, the CDEG notes that 8 women judges have been appointed. Even though this is far from representing balanced participation, it is an improvement on previous statistics (during the lifetime of the old Court 1959-1998 there were only 3 women judges, and never more than 2 at a time). Unfortunately, this figure remains stable, even though the number of member States rose from 39 in 1998 to 41 in 1999.

 

30.              It is still men who bring the most cases before the Court. This confirms yet again that men seem to be much better informed than women on legal machinery such as the Convention and its supervisory bodies.

 

G.        THE EUROPEAN SOCIAL CHARTER

 

31.              The CDEG takes note with interest of the information provided by the examination of national reports to ensure compliance with the Charter's provisions. It notes that, in some countries, there are still provisions in law contrary to the principle of equality. Moreover, as the European Committee of Social Rights during the latest supervision cycle pointed out, even if the situation in law generally offers sufficient protection against discrimination in the field of employment, difficulties remain in practice.

 

32.              As regards Article 1 of the 1988 Additional Protocol (equal opportunities and treatment in matters of employment and occupation without discrimination on the grounds of sex), the CDEG is surprised to learn that only Denmark has submitted a report. It notes with interest the comments concerning possible positive action measures to be taken by the Minister for Equal Opportunities.

 

33.              The CDEG is pleased to note that the publication “Equality between women and men in the European Social Charter” has been published in Russian.

 

H.        EUROPEAN COMMITTEE FOR THE PREVENTION OF TORTURE AND INHUMAN OR DEGRADING TREATMENT OR PUNISHMENT (CPT)

 

34.              The CDEG regrets that the number of women members of the CPT, as well as the number of women taking part in visits to the countries, has decreased, even if the President and the First Vice-President are women. It does however welcome the fact that the CPT is paying particular attention to the conditions of detention of women deprived of their liberty. The CDEG hopes that the CPT will continue to take actively into account the gender perspective in its work and that the number of women in the CPT will continue to increase. It looks forward to reading the chapter promised in the Committee's next general report on this issue.

 

J.       PARTICIPATION OF WOMEN IN COMMITTEES OF EXPERTS AND OTHER COUNCIL OF EUROPE BODIES

 

35.              The CDEG is pleased to note that the number of women in several committees has increased, eg. the CDDH, the CDCC and the CC-ED (see Appendix III of the Secretary General's Report). On the other hand, it regrets to note the very low level of women representatives in other committees, such as ECRI, CDDS, CDLR and CDCJ. The Administrative Tribunal and the Board of Auditors are still exclusively male and there has been no increase in the number of women among the Ministers' Deputies. The number of women representatives in the Parliamentary Assembly and the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe remains below 20%. These figures are clearly not encouraging.

 

PART II:

THE SECRETARIAT

 

36.              The CDEG is pleased to see that the part concerning the Secretariat is quite detailed and gives a good analysis of the situation. The CDEG wishes to congratulate Ms Monique Chalude, the new Equality Administrator, on the good work she is doing, in spite of the numerous barriers to gender equality that persist in the Council of Europe.

 

37.              As is explained in the report, the post of Equality Administrator was vacant for one year, which means that the Equal Opportunities Strategy adopted for the period 1997-1999 could not be fully implemented and evaluated. The CDEG hopes that the work being carried out by Monique Chalude, which, according to the introduction, seems to have the full support of the Secretary General, will bear fruit.

 

38.              The following positive points in the Ninth Report should be mentioned:

 

-         the incorporation of equal opportunities questions into general training courses;

-         efforts to try and improve the situation of temporary staff members, most of whom are women, and the adoption of a rule providing for paid maternity leave for this category of staff;

-         action to prevent and combat sexual and moral harassment.

 

39.              The CDEG reiterates its suggestion that the training courses be evaluated in order to make them more efficient.

 

40.              The most negative points are the very sharp decrease in the overall number of women promoted at A level, and the persistence of a very low number of women in the highest grades. The figures concerning the number of men and women in the top four A grades (see page 36 of the Report) show that no progress was made in 1999 in improving the representation of women in senior decision-making posts.

 

41.  As has been the case until now, the lack of women in higher grades is most evident in the Directorates where political and financial questions are tackled.

 

42.              In the other categories of staff (B et C), there has been no improvement in the number of women at the top levels of these categories.

 

43.              Concerning the reconciliation of professional and private life, the CDEG notes that very few men have applied to work reduced hours. No statistics are given concerning the categories of staff concerned, and the CDEG feels that it would be interesting to have this information. On the other hand, it is encouraging to note that more men are making use of the possibility to take short parental leave.

 

CONCLUSIONS

 

44.              After having examined the Ninth Report as a whole, the CDEG:

 

a.         congratulates all those who have undertaken activities to promote equality between women and men, both in the programme of activities and on the staffing policy front;

 

b.         regrets that, in spite of the political will clearly expressed by the Committee of Ministers, Steering Committees make little use of the strategy of gender mainstreaming in their work;

 

c.         informs the Committee of Ministers that, in an attempt to remedy this, it will launch a pilot project on gender mainstreaming involving three or four Steering Committees in 2001 and follow progress in this field;

 

d.         hopes that, in the future, all sectors of the Council of Europe will contribute to the Report;

 

e.         suggests that training courses on equality between women and men be systematically organised for all staff members, starting with those in the highest posts, in order to speed up the changing of attitudes and to create a new working culture more sympathetic to the reconciliation of family/private life and professional life;

 

f.          awaits with interest the adoption of concrete and effective measures to encourage the access of women to upper A-grade posts, in order to promote gender balance and democracy in decision-making within the Organisation;

 

g.         suggests that, in the future, the Report be divided into two parts: one on the situation in the Secretariat and the other on the activities of the Organisation. Should this be accepted, the CDEG suggests that the report on the situation in the Secretariat be published annually and the report on activities in the intergovernmental programme be published every two or three years and prepared in such a way as to make evaluation and comparison possible.

 

 



[1]           The full meeting report (document CDEG(2001)12 Addendum), including the list of participants, can be obtained from DGII – Equality Division.

 

[2]           These decisions will be submitted to the Committee of Ministers for approval in the framework of item 1.5 – Conferences of Specialised Ministers – State of preparation, at their 759th meeting (4 July 2001).

 

[3]           The text of the recommendation should, if possible, not exceed one page, but be accompanied by a series of guidelines.

[4]           This is the definition to be found in the report on “Gender mainstreaming: conceptual framework, methodology and presentation of good practices”, Council of Europe Publishing, 1998, p. 11.



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