Non-Governmental Organisations

Resolution adopted on Thursday 24 January 2013

Gender Equality – A condition for success of the Arab Revolutions

The Conference of International Non-Governmental Organisations (INGOs) of the Council of Europe :

1. being aware that the Arab Spring, in which women took part and played a major role, was at its core a social-political movement for dignity, human rights and democracy led by young people unable to realise their full potential, lacking job opportunities and freedom;

2. being aware that the current situation presents opportunities as well as risks of regression, particularly in the field of women’s rights;

3. supporting those women and men who defend Human Rights as universal and rejecting any infringements on these rights;

4. referring to its Recommendation CONF/PLE(2012)REC5 “Gender Equality: a universal value, principle and human right to be respected and promoted in all fields” adopted on 27 June 2012;

5. referring to the Recommendation [CONF/PLE(2012)REC4] and the Resolution [CONF/PLE(2012)RES2] of the Conference of INGOs “Gender Perspectives in political and democratic processes in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Region” adopted on 27 January 2012 in which the International community was urged to listen to women and women’s organisations and support their demands and priorities;

6. taking note of the report “Women and the Arab Spring: Taking their place?” by the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), March 2012 and fully supporting the statement of the FIDH in this report that “although the situation of women varies across the region, treats to the human rights converge. Women are now confronting attempts to exclude them from public life, as well as acts of discrimination and violence perpetrated with impunity by extremist groups and security forces. At a time when conservative forces appear to be growing in strength, it is vital that steps are taken to establish equal rights between men and women as the very foundation of democratic societies”.

7. noting the report “Wishes, Demands and Priorities of national and regional women’s organisations in the MENA region by the International Alliance of Women (IAW), January 2013 and fully supporting the statement that “Women’s equal participation in political and public life remains an essential condition for democracy and social justice and are values at the heart of the Arab Spring. These values are shared by the international community and constitute the basis of the Council of Europe’s policies. The present transition period is decisive for human rights and thus for democracy”.

The Conference of INGOs of the Council of Europe

8. decides to sign the appeal calling on national governments and parliaments to implement the “20 measures for equality” contained in this FIDH report and to promote the “Wishes, Demands and Priorities” as expressed by women’s human rights organisations from the MENA region.