GENDER EQUALITY TRANSVERSAL GROUP
Strasbourg, 2 June 2009
S Y N O P S I S
OF THE MEETING HELD ON 28 APRIL 2009
FOR THE ATTENTION OF THE MEMBERS OF THE GENDER EQUALITY TRANSVERSAL GROUP
1. Opening of the meeting: Introduction by the Chair, Karin Nordmeyer
2. Adoption of the agenda [CONF/TG/GEN(2009)OJ2] with an additional item on the violation of human rights of Afghan women due to the recent change of family law
3. Approval of the synopsis of the meeting held on 29 January 2009 [CONF/TG/GEN(2009)SYN1]
4. Nomination of Vera John-Mikolajewski (University Women of Europe) as rapporteur of the meeting.
5. Briefing on activities of the Parliamentary Assembly Committee on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men:
a. Report on “Action to combat gender-based human rights violations, including abduction of women and girls” (DOC 11784) which would be voted on in the Parliamentary Assembly.
b. Report on “Marital rape and honour killings” which is under preparation (Rapporteur John Austin) – contributions to the report should be sent the Secretariat of the Parliamentary Assembly Committee on Equal Opportunities.
c. Report of the Hearing which took place in Paris on 24 March 2009 on “Combating sexist stereotypes in the media”’ would be given later
6. Report of the first meeting (6-8 April 2009) of the Ad Hoc Committee on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (CAHVIO) was discussed and approved.
The Gender Equality Transversal Group:
- took notice that, after extensive discussions, the CAHVIO would report to the Committee of Ministers by 30 June 2009 and that there should be one single convention covering all forms of violence against women including domestic violence. Additional protocols may be added to cover violence against children, the elderly, the disabled.
- repeated the position to include clear and effective monitoring tools in the convention referring to the Recommendation adopted by the INGO Conference on 28 January 2009 [CONF/PLE(2009)REC2].
- discussed working methods - how to effectively contribute to the process of the elaboration of the convention – and took note of strategies and mechanisms for working within the Group, with the other INGO committees and with the respective bodies of the Council of Europe.
- decided to create a sub- working group at the June session.
7. Information on the meeting of 15-17 April 2009 of the Steering Committee for Equality between women and men (CDEG)
The main purpose of the meeting was to finalise the draft declaration “Making gender equality a reality” in order to have it ready for approval by the Committee of Ministers in Madrid on 12 May 2009.
8. There was no oral report of the 53th session UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) (March 2009). The official UN reports were available in full text versions at http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/csw/53sess.htm.
10. Action taken with regard to the new Afghan law on “Personal Status” for Shia citizens: Open letter of protest:
Concerned about the discrimination against women, the violation of Human rights in Afghanistan, unanimously decided that the Chair should address an open letter to President Karzai of Afghanistan asking him to withdraw the recent change of family law.
11. Action taken with regard to Gender Equality Division: Letter of concern:
Deeply concerned about the understaffed Gender Equality Division of the Council of Europe, the Gender Equality Transversal Group unanimously decided that the Chair send a letter of concern to the person in charge. This impending permanent lack of personal support due to the reduction of financial resources must be solved soon.
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
Registrar of the European Court of Human Rights
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