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The participation of young women in political life

The promotion of the participation of women in political life has been at the forefront of the Council of Europe’s agenda for many years. More recently, combating the perceived disaffection for politics of young people has become a matter of grave concern to many member states. By their very nature, these themes are not only closely interconnected but also cut across several other sectors and were thus directly related to the work of the Integrated Project “Making democratic institutions work” (2002-2004), by the Secretary General to promote transversality of action between Council of Europe bodies and departments and other partners.

In September 2003, this issue was the subject of a seminar which brought together experts from the Youth and Equality Sectors, members of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe as well as representatives of civil society to analyse the main obstacles to the participation of young women in political life and attempt to propose solutions for the attention of governments, political organisations and parliaments in member states. However, the closure of the seminar does not signify the end of the activity, as the different Council of Europe sectors involved will continue to encourage the take-up by member states of the measures proposed.

The participation of young women in political life was also the theme of the 2003 edition of the “Young active citizens” award which was presented during the seminar. This prize, instituted in 1993 by the Council of Europe’s Directorate of Youth and Sport, is awarded to projects which promote youth participation in society.

Report of Seminar of 16-17 September 2003

Publication “Genderware”

Council of Europe “Youth” website