Non-Governmental Organisations

    WINTER SESSION

    GENDER EQUALITY TRANSVERSAL GROUP
    CONF/TG/GEN(2010)SYN1

    Strasbourg, 20 March 2010

SYNOPSIS OF THE MEETING OF 25 JANUARY 2010

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

    The Gender Equality Transversal Group meeting in Strasbourg on 25 January 2010, with Karin Nordmeyer in the chair:

    1. Adopted the agenda

    2. Adopted the synopsis of the meeting of the Gender Equality Transversal Group held on 30 September 2009 [CONF/TG/GEN(2009)SYN4].

    3. Nominated Vera John-Mikolajewski - University Women of Europe (UWE) as rapporteur.

    4. Follow-up on activities since the last meeting of the Gender Equality Transversal Group.

      Was informed about the participation of the Chair on behalf of the Conference of INGOs of the Council of Europe in the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe Beijing+15 regional review meeting on “New challenges and opportunities for gender equality in the ECE Region: key issues and policy responses” which took place in November 2009; and her participation in the Steering Committee for Equality between Women and Men (CDEG) meeting in Strasbourg, in November 2009. Sophie Dimitroulias participated on behalf of the Gender Equality Transversal Group in the PACE/Inter Parliamentary Union Conference on "Migration and violence against women" in Paris, in December 2009.

    5. Winter Session of the Parliamentary Assembly (PACE)

      Was informed about the reports which will be presented and debated in the PACE, especially those reports relevant for women’s rights in Europe: “Action against trafficking in human beings: promoting the Council of Europe Convention” (Doc. 12096), “Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity” (Doc. 12087), “Increasing women's representation in politics through the electoral system” (Doc. 12097).

      Agreed that the Chair would draft a formal “letter of intent” to be used by INGOs urging the respective governments to ratify without delay - in case they had not yet done so - the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings.

      Work procedures of the Gender Equality Transversal Group to contribute effectively to the drafting of reports and to other matters:

      Took note of the need for members of the Gender Equality Transversal Group to be better informed on issues being tackled during the session in due time before the session starts. To enhance the efficiency of participation in the sessions, the Chair encourages the members of the Group to be better prepared before the debate starts. At the beginning of each meeting, Heleen Jansen (European Association of Teachers) will present relevant facts on issues which are under discussion within the Parliamentary Assembly and its committees.

      Took note of the possibility for NGOs to contribute to the reports.

    6. Activities of the Committee on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men of the Parliamentary Assembly and of the Steering Committee for Equality between Women and Men (CDEG).

      Took note of the new Head of the Gender Equality Division and Secretary to the CDEG, Gianni Palmieri.

      The 7th Council of Europe Ministerial Conference on equality between women and men on “Bridging the gap between de jure and de facto gender equality” will take place in Baku, Azerbaijan, on 24-25 May 2010.

      The new European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) has opened its doors in Vilnius in December 2009. It will help with analysis, data collection and distribution of information. It will set up and co-ordinate a European electronic network on gender equality. It is led by Director Virginia Langbakk.

    6. The Ad Hoc Committee on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence (CAHVIO):

      Took note of the state of work in the CAHVIO: the first draft text of the new convention can be found on the Website : www.coe.int/violence. (link to the draft text). It is planned to have the first draft of the text ready in February 2010 – the second draft could be ready for preliminary consultations in early June. It is foreseen to finalise the second draft in July 2010.

      Agreed on a time schedule to comment on the draft Convention text: please send in writing comments on the first draft text by 26 April 2010, to the Chair (knordmeyer@aol.com). In between the next meetings of the CAHVIO – in July and in November 2010 – the working group will prepare together with the members of the Gender Equality Transversal Group, comments / opinion / a declaration to be submitted to the Standing Committee and then to the Conference of INGOs for final adoption at its October 2010 meeting.

      Was informed that the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA) has applied to become a member of CAHVIO, but the Committee of Ministers has not yet taken a decision.

8. 54th Meeting of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), 15-year Review of the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action

      Was informed about the European Union report as well as the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe report.

      Agreed that Group members who attended the 54th CSW meeting should report to the Transversal Group at the April 2010 meeting, especially on the status of the UN reform concerning the structure of the new composite women’s entity.

    9. Other business

      The chair will discuss if either a colloquy or a conference on the issue of “the burqa” could be organised.

      A working group on women and health should be set up in co-operation with the Social Cohesion and Eradication of Poverty Committee.

    10. Date of the next meeting: Monday 26 April 2010