Non-Governmental Organisations

WINTER SESSION

GENDER EQUALITY TRANSVERSAL GROUP
CONF/TG/GEN(2009)SYN1

Strasbourg, 10 March 2009

S Y N O P S I S

OF THE MEETING HELD ON 29 JANUARY 2009

FOR THE ATTENTION OF THE MEMBERS OF THE GENDER EQUALITY TRANSVERSAL GROUP

1. The Gender Equality Transversal Group of the Conference of INGOs, meeting in Strasbourg on 29 January 2009, with Karin Nordmeyer in the chair :

2. Adopted the agenda [CONF/TG/GEN(2009)OJ1],

3. Nominated Christine Cromwell-Ahrens as Rapporteur of the committee

4. Approved the synopsis of the meeting held on 1 October 2008 [CONF/TG/GEN(2008)SYN1]

5. Draft work programme : discussed and agreed on the following :

      a. Towards a new Council of Europe Convention combating all forms of violence against women :

      • to support the Council of Europe Convention on combating and preventing all forms of violence against women. The ad hoc committee on preventing and combating violence againts women and domestic violence(CAHVIO) will meet on 6-8 April and 25-27 May. An interim report will be submitted on 30 June;

      • to consider the scope of the Convention, which must include combating and preventing both physical and psychological violence against women and children (such as harassment) and a legal basis for prosecuting offenders ;

      • to create a Sub-Grouping of the Transversal Group and decide at the next meeting on 28 April 2009 on a working method to support the CAHVIO ;

      •to send the Recommendation of the Conference of INGOs [CONF/PLE(2009)REC2] to Tanja Kleinsorge, Secretary of the Committee on equal opportunities for women and men of the Parliamentary Assembly and to the Secretariat of the Steering Committee for Equality between Women and Men (CDEG).

      b. Balanced participation in decision-making : more has to be done to promote balanced participation in decision-making. The Transversal Group should follow what the Parliamentary Assembly and the Committees of the Conference of INGOs are doing in this pursuit ;

      • Dr Vera John-Mikolajewski, University Women of Europe, was appointed to inform the Transversal Group about progress in the European Union “50-50 campaign for democracy”. ;

      c. Involving men in achieving gender equality :the Transversal Group noted that
      • Mr Mendes Bota the United Nations are already tackling this issue with the “Take Men on Board” campaign ;

      • poverty, health, up-bringing and a lack of education are the most crucial factors in the attitudes toward gender equality that is why the Transversal Group should liaise with the other Committees in the above mentioned campaign ;

      d. Wage gap between women and men :the Transversal Group noted that :

      • to close the wage gap between women and men, the Transversal Group must work with other Committees on this issue ;

      • Christine Cromwell-Ahrens, Soroptimist International of Europe, was appointed
      to work on this subject on behalf of the Transversal Group.

6. Planning on how to work within the new structure of the transversal group. The Transversal Group noted that :

      - it has a variety of possibilities, strategies and mechanisms to work within the Group / with the Conference of INGos / with the Parliamentary Assembly and particularly with the Committee on equal opportunities for women and men / with the Committee of Ministers / with the Steering Committee for Equality between women and men (CDEG) ;

      - unfortunately, many parliamentarians do not know enough about the work of the Conference of INGOs so members are encouraged to go to the secretariat of their respective national delegations and tell them what we are doing ;

      - deadlines for submitting points for the agenda to the Chair should be respected as well as deadlines for distributing any papers/ questionnaire to the members of the Transversal Group ;

      - Transversal Group meetings should be held at the beginning of the session week to enable members to follow up the subjects discussed and liaise with the Committees.

7. Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings : the Transversal Group noted that :

    - 20 member States have ratified the Convention and another 20 have signed it ;

    - the Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA) monitoring process is extremely important and started at the end of February 2009. Marta Requena is the Executive Secretary of the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings.

8. Upcoming international meetings of importance :

      -Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in New York, March 2009, Monique Bouaziz, AFEM, will submit a report;

    - Hearing: ”Combating sexist stereotypes in the media” ,Paris, 24 March 2009 ;

    - Colloquium: ”Psychological violence against women”, Paris, 13-14 May 2009.

9. Other business: The Transversal Group was informed about :

- an initiative to have a EU Special Envoy for Women’s Rights ;

      - a motion of the United Kingdom on ”15 years since the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development” (Doc 11750) ;
      - a motion for a resolution on “Involving women in the prevention and solution of unsolved conflicts in the Council of Europe area” (Doc 11753) ;

- a motion on Migrant women : at particular risk of domestic violence (Doc 11613).

Cc. : President of the Conference of INGOs
Members of the Standing Committee of the Conference of INGOs

      Secretary General of the Parliamentary Assembly
      Secretary General of the Congress
      Secretary to the Committee of Ministers
      Directors General
      Director of the Private Office of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe
      Director of External Relations
      Director of Strategic Planning
      Director of Communication
      Director a.i. of the Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights

Appendix

Working contacts:

1. Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Committee on equal opportunities for women and men
Ms Tanja Kleinsorge, Secretary
Ms Sylvie Affholder
Secretariat Committee on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men
Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe

2. CDEG
Ms Michèle Akip
Ms Anne-Marie Faradji

      Gender Equality and anti-trafficking Division
      Directorate General of Human Rights and Legal Affairs
      Council of Europe

3. GRETA monitoring CTS 197

      Ms Marta Requena
      Secretariat of the Council of Europe
      Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings
      (GRETA and the Committee of the Parties)
      Directorate General of Human Rights and Legal Affairs
      Council of Europe