COUNCIL OF EUROPE …

The COMMITTEE OF MINISTERS.

Linked with The slow march towards gender balance in politics.

Published on this page of the Council of Europe (2003).

Recommendation Rec(2003)3, of the Committee of Ministers to member states, on balanced participation of women and men in political and public decision making,

(Adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 12 March 2003 at the 831st meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies),

The Committee of Ministers, under the terms of Article 15.b of the Statute of the Council of Europe …

… Mindful of the high priority the Council of Europe gives to the promotion of democracy and human rights,

Recommends that the governments of member states:


I. commit themselves to promote balanced representation of women and men by recognising publicly that the equal sharing of decision-making power between women and men of different background and ages strengthens and enriches democracy;

II. protect and promote the equal civil and political rights of women and men, including running for office and freedom of association;

III. ensure that women and men can exercise their individual voting rights and, to this end, take all the necessary measures to eliminate the practice of family voting;

IV. review their legislation and practice, with the aim of ensuring that the strategies and measures described in this recommendation are applied and implemented;

V. promote and encourage special measures to stimulate and support women’s will to participate in political and public decision making;

VI. consider setting targets linked to a time scale with a view to reaching balanced participation of women and men in political and public decision making;

VII. ensure that this recommendation is brought to the attention of all relevant political institutions and to public and private bodies, in particular national parliaments, local and regional authorities, political parties, civil service, public and semi-public organisations, enterprises, trade unions, employers’ organisations and non-governmental organisations;

VIII. monitor and evaluate progress in achieving balanced participation of women and men in political and public life, and report regularly to the Committee of Ministers on the measures taken and progress made in this field.

Appendix to Recommendation Rec(2003)3: … (full text).

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