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CM/AS(2009)Rec1872 prov 25 November 20091
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1074 Meeting, 13 January 2010
4 Human rights


4.3 “The rights of today’s girls: the rights of tomorrow’s women” –
Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1872 (2009)
Draft reply

Item to be prepared by the GR-H at its meeting on 10 December 2009, in co-operation with the TC-ET

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To facilitate discussions during the GR-H, delegations are invited to submit any comments or proposed amendments on this text in writing to the Committee of Ministers’ Secretariat (ulrika.flodin-janson@coe.int) by Monday, 7 December 2009 at 12.00 p.m..

1. The Committee of Ministers welcomes Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1872 (2009) and Resolution 1669 (2009) on the rights of today’s girls: the rights of tomorrow’s women, which it has forwarded to the attention of the member states’ governments”. It has communicated these documents to the Ad hoc Committee on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (CAHVIO), for information, and to the Steering Committee for Equality between Women and Men (CDEG), the European Committee on Crime Problems (CDPC) and the Steering Committee for Education (CDED), which made the comments appended to this reply.

2. As regards the scope of application of the future Council of Europe Convention on domestic violence, the Committee of Ministers notes that according to the interim report of the Ad hoc Committee for preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (CAHVIO), considered by the Ministers’ Deputies on 1 July 2009, the CAHVIO is of the opinion that the focus of the future convention should be on the elimination of violence against women and that it should deal with domestic violence which affects women disproportionally. The Ad hoc Committee also considers that the convention should allow for the application of its provisions to all victims of domestic violence. According to the Ad hoc Committee, the convention should cover all forms of violence perpetrated against women, whether physical, psychological, sexual or economic in nature. It should cover any act of gender-based violence, which results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion, or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in the public or private sphere. This would include, but not be limited to, physical and psychological violence, including stalking; sexual violence, including sexual assault, rape and sexual harassment; as well as other forms of violence against women, including forced marriage, deprivation of liberty; female genital mutilation and crimes committed in the name of honour.

3. The Committee of Ministers underlines the importance it attaches to the implementation of its Recommendation CM/Rec(2007)13 on gender mainstreaming in education. It has invited the Steering Committee on Education to carry out this task in co-operation with the CDEG and to report back in 2011.

4. Finally, with respect to the Assembly’s call to launch a European project on a “carefully thought-out mixed-sex system of education”, the Committee of Ministers notes the proposals of the CDEG and the CDED to link this to the assessment of the implementation of Recommendation CM/Rec(2007)13 and to its follow-up. It invites the two Steering Committees to make proposals to this effect, if they consider it appropriate taking the budgetary constraints that exist in the programme of activities into account.

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Appendix 1 to the reply

Opinion of the Steering Committee for Equality between Women and Men (CDEG)

The CDEG took note with interest of recommendation 1868, 1872 and 1873 of the Parliamentary Assembly on the following issues respectively: Action to combat gender-based human rights violations, including abduction of women and girls; The rights of today’s girls – the rights of tomorrow’s women; Sexual violence against women in armed conflict.

It remarks that these three texts contain recommendations on the protection of women against violence and wished to make a general comment.

It supports these recommendations totally and recalls the action it has undertaken since the end of the 70s and that it continues to undertake against all forms of violence against women, including forced marriages. The CDEG is pleased that its efforts together with those of the Parliamentary Assembly have led to the drafting of the first European human rights treaty in this field, a Council of Europe convention for combating all forms of violence against women.

As regards the scope of application of the Convention, the Ad hoc Committee for preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (CAHVIO) decided that the convention should cover all forms of violence perpetrated against women, whether physical, psychological, sexual or economic in nature. The convention should cover any act of gender-based violence, which results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion, or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in the public or private sphere.

This would include, but not be limited to, the following:

• physical and psychological violence, including stalking;
• sexual violence, including sexual assault, rape and sexual harassment;
• other forms of violence against women, including forced marriage, deprivation of liberty; female genital mutilation, crimes committed in the name of honour.

Specific comments of the Steering Committee for Equality between Women and Men (CDEG) on Recommendation 1872 (2009) of the Parliamentary Assembly

The proposal to implement the follow-up to Recommendation CM/Rec(2007)13 on gender mainstreaming in education is supported totally and actively by the CDEG which expressed several times the need to ensure the follow-up of the implementation as provided by the Recommendation itself. Education and equality between women and men has been dealt with by the CDEG in numerous activities and is still part of its priorities. Indeed one of the sub-themes of the next ministerial conference will be devoted to education, in particular on its role in combating stereotypes.

Finally, the European project on a carefully thought-out mixed-sex education as proposed by the Parliamentary Assembly could be submitted to an appropriate follow-up in the framework of the implementation of Recommendation CM/Rec(2007)13 on gender mainstreaming in education.

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Opinion of the Bureau of the Steering Committee for Education (CDED)

The Bureau of the Steering Committee for Education (CDED):

Welcomes the adoption by the Assembly of Recommendation 1872 on "The rights of today's girls: the rights of tomorrow's women";

Considers that it is very important to ensure that the principle of gender equality is applied from earliest childhood, as it is the only way in which genuine gender equality can be achieved;

Wishes to point out, in this context, that it has taken steps over the past few years to introduce an integrated approach to gender equality in its activities. For example, it worked closely together with the Steering Committee for Equality between Women and Men in preparing Recommendation CM/Rec(2007)13 on gender mainstreaming in education, which was adopted in 2007 and disseminated to member states. It has also introduced the gender equality dimension into its activities in the context of the "Policies and practices for teaching socio-cultural diversity, intercultural education and exchanges" project (2007-2009), the final conference of which will take place in October 2009. The gender equality issue is also a constant feature of the "Education for Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights” project, which is one of the Committee’s major projects, and of the Pestalozzi programme on the training of education professionals;

With regard to paragraph 4, the CDED could consider examining the implementation of Recommendation CM/Rec(2007)13 on gender mainstreaming in education in 2011, given that in 2010 it will be responsible for preparing the next Council of Europe Standing Conference of Ministers of Education (Slovenia, 4-5 June 2010). Part of the plenary meeting in 2011 could be devoted to this task;

With regard to paragraph 5, the CDED Bureau thinks that it would be a good idea to await the outcome of this examination before identifying the objectives of a possible European project on gender equality in the field of education, and also to consult the Steering Committee for Equality between Women and Men on this subject.

Points out that in the meantime it would be unrealistic to propose the introduction of new specific projects in this area given the budgetary constraints that exist in the programme of activities;

Suggests that the recommendations of the Parliamentary Assembly should be mainstreamed into all of its programme of activities;

Note 1 This document has been classified restricted at the date of issue; it will be declassified in accordance with Resolution Res(2001)6 on access to Council of Europe documents.


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