The members of the Current Affairs Committee examined the terms of reference for the draft report on “Fighting sexism against women in politics at the local and regional level” during their meeting on 28 June 2019 in Stuttgart, Germany. The debate was held with the participation of Thorhildur Sunna ÆVARSDÓTTIR, Rapporteur of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe’s report on “Promoting parliaments free of sexism and sexual harassment” and Ljiljana LONCAR, member of the Gender Equality Commission of the Council of Europe.
“As an important number of elected officials begin their political career at the local level, it is vital to combat sexist violence and harassment that target women who want to participate in political life at the local and regional level”, stated rapporteur Jelena DRENJANIN (Sweden, EPP/CCE). “Today, sexism has taken the shape of campaigns, mostly conducted online and on social networks, aimed at discouraging them or even preventing them from exercising their mandate”, she explained.
is important not to underestimate sexist violence, as it represents a difficulty for women during elections but also during terms of office, and therefore is “an obstacle to the functioning of democratic institutions themselves”.
Speakers underlined the use of language and stereotyped assessment against women in order to box them in traditional female roles and urged for adoption of policies to change prevailing codes of conduct so that sexist speech and behaviour is not only prohibited but also punished within political institutions themselves. This is also the main goal of the report, which will be submitted for adoption at the 38th Congress Session in March 2020.
This issue is part of the Priorities of the Congress 2017-2020, which focus on promoting gender equality and preventing violence against women.