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CM(2007)10 26 January 20071
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988 Meeting, 21 February 2007
4 Human Rights


4.2 Steering Committee for Equality between Women and Men (CDEG)

Abridged report of the 36th meeting (Strasbourg, 29 November – 1 December 2006)

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List of items discussed and decisions taken

1. The Steering Committee for Equality between Women and Men (CDEG) held its 36th meeting in the Palais de l'Europe in Strasbourg from 29 November to 1 December 2006 with Ms Isabel ROMÃO (Portugal) in the Chair. The agenda, as adopted by the CDEG, is set out in Appendix 1. The list of participants can be obtained from DG II – Directorate General of Human Rights.

2. The CDEG decided on the follow-up to be given to the 6th European Ministerial Conference on Equality between Women and Men (Stockholm, 8-9 June 2006) and the activities to be undertaken in this framework. As regards the 7th Ministerial Conference, it noted that informal negotiations would continue between the two member states (Azerbaijan and Greece) which had offered to host this conference and agreed that a decision would be taken at its next meeting.

3. The CDEG examined and revised the draft recommendation on the role of women and men in conflict prevention and resolution and in peace building and decided on the procedure for finalising the draft recommendation which would be adopted at its next meeting. It also took note of the final report of activity of the Group of Specialists on the Role of Women and Men in Conflict Prevention and Resolution and in Peace Building (EG-S-CP).

4. The CDEG took note of the follow-up to the implementation of Recommendation Rec(2003)3 on balanced participation of women and men in political and public decision-making. It examined and decided to publish the document on sex-disaggregated statistics on the participation of women and men in political and public decision making in Council of Europe member states containing the replies to the questionnaire prepared in this field.

5. The CDEG took note of the work of the Task Force to Combat Violence against Women, including Domestic Violence and in particular the Launching Conference of the Council of Europe Campaign to Combat Violence against Women, including Domestic Violence, held in Madrid on 27 November 2006. It also took note of the information on the follow-up given to the implementation of Recommendation Rec(2002)5 on the protection of women against violence.

6. The CDEG took note of the conclusions of the 6th meeting of the Informal Network on Gender Mainstreaming (Strasbourg, 20 September 2006), which was devoted to gender mainstreaming in the health field, and the draft recommendation on the inclusion of gender differences in health policy which was examined by the 6th Informal Network. The CDEG also prepared comments on the draft recommendation
on gender mainstreaming in education to be forwarded to the Steering Committee on Education (CDED)
and took note of the work carried out by the other Council of Europe bodies with whom it was currently
co-operating with a view to introducing the gender mainstreaming strategy in their work.

7. The CDEG examined and revised the draft recommendation on gender equality standards and mechanisms and decided on the procedure for finalising the draft recommendation which would be adopted at its next meeting.

8. The CDEG took note of the activities undertaken by the Council of Europe to combat trafficking in human beings, in particular in the framework of the Council of Europe Campaign to Combat Trafficking in Human Beings.

9. The CDEG discussed its planned activities for 2007 in the field of gender equality and action against trafficking in human beings, taking into account the priorities defined in the Action Plan adopted during the Third Summit of the Council of Europe (Warsaw, 16-17 May 2005) and the Action Plan adopted at the 6th European Ministerial Conference on Equality between Women and Men (Stockholm, 8-9 June 2006), subject to the adoption of the budget for 2007 by the Committee of Ministers.

10. The CDEG examined and approved its draft revised terms of reference and decided to transmit them to the Committee of Ministers for adoption (Appendix 2).

11. The CDEG examined and prepared comments on Recommendation 1769 of the Parliamentary Assembly on the need to reconcile work and family life which had been referred to it by the Committee of Ministers (see Appendix 3).

12. In accordance with Articles 12 and 13 of Appendix 1 to Resolution Res(2005) 47 of the Committee of Ministers on committee and subordinate bodies, their terms of reference and working methods, the CDEG
re-elected Ms ROMÃO (Portugal) as Chair and Ms OMAROVA (Azerbaijan) as Vice-Chair. It renewed the composition of its Bureau by re-electing: Ms FRANKEN (Belgium) for a second term of office of two years (expiry 31 December 2008) and Ms SANDER (Estonia) for a second term office of two years (expiry 31 December 2008); and elected Ms BUGEJA (Malta) for a first term of office of one year (expiry 31 December 2007).

13. The CDEG decided on the items to be included on the agenda of its 37th meeting and fixed the dates of its forthcoming meeting (13-15 June 2007).

14. The CDEG took note of its Annual Report for 2005 and of the work of other Council of Europe bodies and other observers to the CDEG.

15. The German delegate, as representative of the country which would hold the Presidency of the Council of Ministers of the European Union from 1 January 2007, informed the CDEG on the gender equality activities planned during the German Presidency.

Appendix 1

Agenda

1. Opening of the meeting

I. ITEMS FOR DECISION

2. Adoption of the draft agenda

3. Follow-up to the 6th European Ministerial Conference on Equality between Women and Men (Stockholm, 8-9 June 2006)

4. Follow-up to the 5th European Ministerial Conference on Equality between Women and Men (Skopje, 22-23 January 2003)

4.1 Draft Recommendation on the Role of Women and Men in Conflict Prevention and Resolution and in Peace Building

5. Activities in the field of balanced participation of women and men in political and public decision-making

5.1 Follow-up to Recommendation Rec(2003)3 of the Committee of Ministers to member states on balanced participation of women and men in political and public decision-making

6. Activities to protect women against violence

6.1 2nd meeting of the Task Force to Combat Violence against Women, including Domestic Violence
(EG-TFV) (Strasbourg, 25-27 April 2006)

6.2 Council of Europe Campaign to Combat Violence against Women, including Domestic Violence:
Launching Conference (Madrid, 27 November 2006)

6.3 Follow-up to Recommendation Rec(2002)5 of the Committee of Ministers to member states on the protection of women against violence

7. Activities in the field of Gender Mainstreaming

7.1 Information on the 6th meeting of the Informal Network on gender mainstreaming in the field of health (Strasbourg, 20 September 2006) and draft recommendation on the inclusion of gender differences in Health Policy

7.2 Preparation of the 7th meeting of the Informal Network on gender mainstreaming (Strasbourg, 19 September 2007)

7.3 Draft recommendation on gender mainstreaming in education

7.4 Activities in co-operation with other Council of Europe bodies

8. Follow-up to the monitoring by the Committee of Ministers of compliance with commitments by member states on the theme “Equality between women and men”

8.1 Draft recommendation on gender equality standards and mechanisms

9. Activities to combat Trafficking in Human Beings

10. 51st Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (New York, 26 February – 9 March 2007)

11. Activities for 2007

12. Revised Terms of Reference of the CDEG in accordance with the Committee of Ministers Resolution Res (2005) 47 on Committees and Subordinate Bodies, their Terms of Reference and Working Methods

13. Information and possible comments on Recommendation 1769 (2006) of the Parliamentary Assembly

14. Elections

15. Items to be placed on the agenda of the 37th CDEG meeting

16. Date of the next meeting

II. ITEMS FOR INFORMATION

17. Document for information

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 the Council of Europe

18.3 Information on the work of other Council of Europe bodies

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

20. Other business

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

Appendix 2

Revised draft terms of reference of the Steering Committee for Equality between Women and Men (CDEG)

Fact sheet

Name of committee

Steering Committee for Equality between Women and Men (CDEG)

Compliance with Resolution Res 2005)47

YES

Programme of Activities: project(s)

2004/DG2/31 Balanced participation of women and men in political and public decision making
2004/DG2/32 Gender mainstreaming
2004/DG2/75 Protection of women against violence, including domestic violence
2004/DG2/77 Action against trafficking in human beings
2005/DG2/450 Equality standards and mechanisms
2004/DG2/VC/390 Action against trafficking in human beings in Montenegro
2005/DG2/VC/405 The misuse of Internet for the recruitment of victims of trafficking in human beings
2005/DG2/VC/555 Information material for victims, potential victims and witnesses on trafficking in human beings
2005/DG2/VC/585 Protection of the rights of victims of trafficking in human beings
2006/DG2/VC/1028 Council of Europe Campaign to Combat Violence against Women, including Domestic Violence

Project relevance

1. Third Summit Action Plan Chapters:
Chapter I (Promoting common fundamental values: human rights, rule of law and democracy): I.3 (Strengthening democracy, good governance and the rule of law in member states)
Chapter II (Strengthening the security of European citizens): II.3 (Combating trafficking in human beings) and II.4 (Combating violence against women)
2. Contribution to core values:
- Equal participation of both women and men is a crucial element of democracy (Action Plan of the Third Summit)
- Strengthen gender mainstreaming in national policies (Action Plan of the Third Summit)
- Combat trafficking in human beings which undermines the enjoyment of human rights and is an offence to the dignity and integrity of the human being (Action Plan of the Third Summit)
- Combat any interference with women’s liberty and dignity and combat violence against women (Action Plan of the Third Summit)
3. CM Decisions:
Decision of the Committee of Ministers CM/Del/Dec(2003)864 (Follow-up to the monitoring by the Committee of Ministers of compliance with commitments by member states on the theme “Equality between women and men”)
4. Political justification/framework
Declaration on Equality of Women and Men adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 16 November 1988 at its 83rd Session; Resolution and Plan of Action of the 5th European Ministerial Conference on Equality between Women and Men (Skopje, 22-23 January 2003); Resolution and Plan of Action of the 6th European Ministerial Conference on Equality between Women and Men (Stockholm, 8-9 June 2006)
5. Consolidation, promotion, implementation of Council of Europe standards
Reinforce action against trafficking in human beings at national and international levels with the entry into force of the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings;
Adoption of measures by member states to increase the number of women participating in political and public decision making, including in conflict prevention and resolution (Recommendation Rec(2003)3 on Balanced Participation of Women and Men in political and public Decision Making and draft recommendation on the role of women and men in conflict prevention and resolution and in peace building)
Adoption of national legislation, policy and practice in conformity with the standards contained in Recommendation Rec(2002)5 on the protection of women against violence;
Development of tools and instruments by member states for achieving the effective implementation of the gender mainstreaming strategy (Recommendation No. R (98) 14
on gender mainstreaming);
Strengthen gender equality through the adoption, dissemination and implementation of the draft recommendation on equality standards and mechanisms which is a practical tool to assist states in developing effective national legislation, policies and mechanisms in this field.

Project added value

The CDEG, which is composed of representatives of the 46 member states, specialists in gender equality issues, plays an essential role in promoting gender equality standards and policies both in member states and within the Council of Europe. It has a pioneering role in elaborating European standards:, in particular in:
- action against trafficking in human beings: the CDEG was the first to examine this issue at the end of the 80’s. Its work lead to the drafting of the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings, first international instrument to propose a global approach: prevention of trafficking, protection of victims and prosecution of traffickers;
- balanced participation of women and men in political and public decision-making. It set out in Recommendation Rec(2003)3 a threshold of 40% for a balanced participation; this threshold was adopted by several member states;
- protection of women against violence. The CDEG has been working on this issue since the end of the 70s. Recommendation Rec(2002)5, which is the outcome of long studies and research, is the first international instrument in this field; it proposed a global and integrated approach to deal with all the issues related to this problem.
- gender mainstreaming. The CDEG was the first organ to launch work on this strategy. Its report on gender mainstreaming is considered as a seminal text in this field and the CDEG’s definition of this strategy has been adopted by member states and international organisations, such as the Nordic Council of Ministers; with the support of the Committee of Ministers (message to steering committees, 1998), it also promotes this strategy within the Council of
Europe and other steering committees (preparation, inter alia, of a draft recommendation with the health sector and of a draft recommendation with the education sector). It promotes within member states and the Council of Europe the gender budgeting tool and its definition of gender budgeting was endorsed in a Resolution of the Committee on women's rights and equal opportunities which was adopted by the European Parliament.
-

Financial information

Annual budget: 60 500 €
1 CDEG meeting, 3 days, 46 members + Chair
2 CDEG Bureau meetings, 2 days, 7 members

Revised draft terms of reference of the Steering Committee for Equality between Women and Men (CDEG)

1.

Name of Committee:

Steering Committee for Equality between Women and Men (CDEG)

2.

Type of Committee:

Steering Committee

3.

Source of terms of reference:

Committee of Ministers

4.

Terms of reference:

-

Having regard to:

The Declaration and Action Plan of the Third Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the Council of Europe (Warsaw, 16-17 May 2005), as well as the Resolution and the Action Plan adopted during the 6th European Ministerial Conference on Equality between Women and Men (Stockholm, 8-9 June 2006);

-

Council of Europe conventions and recommendations in the field of gender equality and trafficking in human beings.

 

Within the framework of the Programme of Activities, under Programmes I.3.3 "Protection of persons against threats to their dignity and their integrity" and III.1.3 "Gender equality for a functioning democracy" the Committee is instructed to:

i.

promote the adoption and implementation of common gender equality standards, the setting up of mechanisms for gender equality, the use of specific gender equality policies and an efficient use of gender mainstreaming including gender budgeting and of gender equality tools, as well as a balanced participation of women and men in politics and decision making in all spheres of society, including in the economic field;

ii.

reinforce action to protect the dignity and integrity of persons, by preventing and combating violence against women and trafficking in human beings, and in particular by promoting and protecting the human rights of the victims, and by taking initiatives in the context of the Council of Europe Campaign to Combat Violence against Women, including Domestic Violence, and of the Council of Europe Campaign on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings;

iii.

promote co-operation between member states with a view to achieving de facto gender equality as an integral part of human rights, a sine qua non of genuine democracy and a factor of economic development and progress, and to stimulate actions at both national and Council of Europe level, having regard to activities undertaken within other international organisations;

iv.

prepare the European Ministerial conferences on equality between women and men and ensure the follow-up thereto, having regard to the relevant decisions of the Committee of Ministers;

v.

continue its action to promote and develop the use of the strategy of gender mainstreaming in all programmes and activities within the Council of Europe, and in this context develop and/or undertake activities in co-operation with other Council of Europe steering committees and bodies in the different policy fields.

5.

Composition of the Committee:

5.A.

Members

Governments of member states are entitled to appoint representatives of the highest possible rank and with the following qualifications: persons with high-level responsibility for policies in favour of equality between women and men, or other highly qualified specialists.

 

The Council of Europe budget will bear the travel and subsistence expenses of one representative from each member state (two in the case of the state whose representative has been elected Chair).

5.B.

Participants

i.

The Parliamentary Assembly may send (a) representative(s) to meetings of the Committee, without the right to vote and at the charge of its administrative budget.

ii.

The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe may send (a) representative(s) to meetings of the Committee, without the right to vote and at the charge of its administrative budget.

iii.

The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights may send (a) representative(s) to meetings of the Committee, without the right to vote and at the charge of its administrative budget.

iv.

The Conference of INGOs of the Council of Europe may send (a) representative(s) to meetings of the Committee, without the right to vote and at the charge of the sending body.

5.C

Other participants

i.

The European Commission may send (a) representative(s) to meetings of the Committee, without the right to vote or defrayal of expenses.

ii.

The states with observer status with the Council of Europe (Canada, Holy See, Japan, Mexico, United States of America) may send a representative to meetings of the Committee, without the right to vote or defrayal of expenses.

iii.

The following international intergovernmental organisations may send representatives to meetings of the Steering Committee, without the right to vote or defrayal of expenses:

- United Nations: appropriate organs and specialised agencies;
- Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR-OSCE).

5.D

Observers

5.D

The following non-member states:

- Republic of Montenegro;

may send (a) representative(s) to meetings of the Committee, without the right to vote or defrayal of expenses.

6.

Working methods and structures

i.

Within the framework of its terms of reference, the CDEG shall have the possibility to have whatever contacts or consultations with professional bodies that it deems necessary for the implementation of its terms of reference. The Bureau of the CDEG comprises seven members.

7.

Duration

 

These terms of reference will expire on 31 December 2008.

Appendix 3

Comments on Recommendation 1769 (2006) on the need to reconcile work and family life

1. The CDEG thanks the Parliamentary Assembly for Recommendation 1769 (2006): The need to reconcile work and family life and welcomes this initiative.

1. It agrees with the Parliamentary Assembly with regard to the difficulties encountered in reconciling work and family life, particularly by women. It thanks the Parliamentary Assembly for its proposals, which are in keeping with those set out in the Resolution and Action Plan adopted at the 6th European Ministerial Conference on Equality between Women and Men, which took place in Stockholm, on 8 and 9 June 2006, on the theme: Human rights and economic challenges in Europe - gender equality.

2. It wishes to point out that part of the appendix to the Resolution on “Achieving gender equality: a challenge for human rights and a prerequisite for economic development” concerns the need to reconcile work and family life and that its proposals are in keeping with those made by the Parliamentary Assembly, in particular with regard to the implementation of Recommendation (96) 5 on reconciling work and family life.

3. It also wishes to point out that Recommendation Rec (2003)3 on the balanced participation of women and men in political and public decision-making also contains, in its appendix, provisions concerning the need to reconcile work and family life.

4. It regrets that the Assembly’s recommendation does not refer to these texts and that it does not include the need to reconcile work and family life within the wider context of achieving gender equality, which is an integral part of human rights, as has been recognised by the Council of Europe.

5. The CDEG appreciates the fact that paragraph 8.4 calls on governments to sign and ratify the revised European Social Charter. It recalls that the application of this instrument, which safeguards social and economic rights as well as their enjoyment without discrimination on the grounds of sex, can help to achieve the objectives set in the European Union’s Lisbon Strategy.

6. By drawing attention to the Council of Europe’s instruments, the CDEG wishes to underline the fact that member states already have an appropriate legal framework for achieving a work/life balance and that it would be preferable to take the necessary steps to implement these instruments and thus achieve genuine gender equality.

Note 1 This document has been classified restricted at the date of issue. Unless the Committee of Ministers decides otherwise, it will be declassified according to the rules set up in Resolution Res(2001)6 on access to Council of Europe documents.


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