Official Journal of the European Union

CE 184/18

Wednesday 22 April 2009
Gender mainstreaming in the work of committees and delegations


European Parliament resolution of 22 April 2009 on gender mainstreaming in the work of its committees and delegations (2008/2245(INI))

2010/C 184 E/04

The European Parliament,

having regard to Articles 2, 3(2), 13 and 141(4) of the EC Treaty,

having regard to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, the revised European Social Charter and the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights,

having regard to the work of the Council of Europe’s Directorate-General of Human Rights and Legal Affairs, and in particular the Council of Europe’s steering committee for equality between women and men,

having regard to Directive 2002/73/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 September 2002 amending Council Directive 76/207/EEC on the implementation of the principle of equal treatment for men and women as regards access to employment, vocational training and promotion, and working conditions (1),

having regard to its resolution of 13 March 2003 on gender mainstreaming in the European Parliament (2),

having regard to its resolution of 18 January 2007 on gender mainstreaming in the work of the committees (3),

having regard to Rule 45 of its Rules of Procedure,

having regard to the report of the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (A6-0198/2009),


whereas equality between men and women is a fundamental principle of Community law and whereas, in accordance with Article 2 of the Treaty, its promotion is one of the tasks of the Community,


whereas Article 3(2) of the Treaty lays down the principle of gender mainstreaming by stating that, in all its activities, the Community should aim to eliminate inequalities and to promote equality between men and women,


having regard to the steady increase in the percentage of female Members of the European Parliament from 17,5 % in 1979 to 31,08 % in 2009,


having regard to the low proportion of female Members in top positions in Parliament bodies (for example, chairs or members of the bureaux of committees or delegations),


whereas women are over-represented in Parliament’s Directorates-General for Internal Policies and External Policies, where they account for 66.5 % and 66 % of staff respectively; noting, however, the major progress achieved over the last few years in the Directorate-General for Internal Policies, as evidenced by the 2007 Equality – Good Practices Award for the creation of a working environment conducive to equality and gender mainstreaming, together with a major increase in the percentage of women in senior administrative posts (for example, in 2005 the percentage of female heads of unit rose from 5 % to 30 %),


whereas the majority of parliamentary committees generally attach importance to gender mainstreaming (for example in the context of their legislative activity, their institutional relations with the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality, the drawing up of a programme of action for equality, etc.), although a minority of committees rarely or never take an interest in the matter,


whereas in practice the network for gender mainstreaming in parliamentary committees, consisting of MEPs and staff, has not yet achieved the desired results,


whereas the High-Level Group on Gender Equality and Diversity has proposed that a similar network should be established in the interparliamentary delegations for the purpose of gender mainstreaming in the context of EU external relations,


Stresses that the call for gender equality must be translated into a practical approach which does not set women against men;


Stresses that gender mainstreaming is a positive development for both women and men;


Points out that gender mainstreaming involves the reorganisation, improvement, development and assessment of policies to ensure that an equal-opportunity approach is incorporated into all policies at all levels and at all stages by those normally involved in policy-making;


Reiterates the need to adopt and apply a gender mainstreaming strategy incorporating specific targets in all Community policies which fall with the purview of parliamentary committees and delegations;


Stresses the importance of the task of the High-Level Group on Gender Equality and Diversity and calls on it to continue to encourage and promote this process throughout Parliament, in its relations with the Commission, the Council and other institutions and in cooperation with them;


Congratulates the parliamentary committees which have put gender mainstreaming into practice in their work, and calls on the other committees and delegations to do likewise;


Calls for the strengthening of the gender mainstreaming network with regard to interparliamentary delegations and election observation missions;


Encourages the Secretary-General to prioritise training in gender mainstreaming for officials working at every level in parliamentary committees and delegations; reiterates its call for all Members of Parliament to be provided with equal opportunity training from the beginning of the next Parliament;


Continues to encourage networking amongst those officials working in parliamentary committee and interparliamentary delegation secretariats who, in the Directorates-General for Internal Policies and External Policies, are specially trained in gender mainstreaming, so as to ensure regular exchanges of best practice;


Stresses the need for the parliamentary committees and delegations to have at their disposal appropriate means of gaining a sound understanding of gender mainstreaming, including indicators, data and statistics broken down by gender, and for budgetary resources to be allocated with an eye to ensuring equality between women and men;


Stresses that the implementation of gender mainstreaming should take account of the specific features of each parliamentary committee or delegation; calls for the committees and delegations to play an active role in the regular assessments carried out under the auspices of the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality on the basis of the questionnaire submitted to the chairs and vice-chairs responsible for gender mainstreaming, including any shortcomings in the work of the committees and delegations as well as the progress made in implementing gender mainstreaming in each committee;


Stresses the importance for parliamentary committees and delegations of ensuring that their role and responsibilities in the field of gender mainstreaming are clearly defined;


Stresses the importance of effective and coordinated cooperation by the High-Level Group on Gender Equality and Diversity with the gender mainstreaming network within the committees and interparliamentary delegations and with the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality;


Calls on the Secretary-General to continue to implement the integrated strategy for combining life in the family and at the workplace and to facilitate the career development of female employees;


Urges the political groups to take account of gender equality objectives in selecting staff to fill senior posts;


Calls on its Bureau to stress, in its dealings with the parliaments of the Member States, the positive example set by the High-Level Group on Gender Equality and Diversity;


Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the Council of Europe.

(1)  OJ L 269, 5.10.2002, p. 15.

(2)  OJ C 61 E, 10.3.2004, p. 384.

(3)  OJ C 244 E, 18.10.2007, p. 225.