Minutes INGO Working Group Gender Perspectives in Political and Democratic Processes.

Tuesday 23January 2018, 19:30.

Restaurant Pfifferbriader, 14 Place du Marché aux Cochons de lait, Strasbourg

Note : The Gender Perspectives Working Group generally has two meetings each session in Strasbourg.  First an informal meeting in a restaurant followed by dinner. Then a formal meeting in a Council of Europe meeting room. These minutes refer to the informal meeting.

Moderator.: Anje Wiersinga, Co-Chair Working Group Gender Perspectives in Political and Democratic Processes and Representative International Alliance of Women at Council of Europe

Co-Chair: Heleen Jansen, Representative International Alliance of Women at Council of Europe.

Minute Taker: Mary McHugh, Representative ANDANTE at Council of Europa.

Draft Agenda:

Reports of June and October 2017 by Working group Gender Perspectives in Democratic Process

Anne Negre’s Reporting a.o.

Committee of Ministers Statement of FGM and forced marriage

Admissible Complaints on unequal pay for equal work

GEC meeting (Jari Vilén, EU Representative to the CoE)

Side event on Implementation UN SC Res. 1325 Women, Peace, Security

Gender perspectives in Migration

Gender mainstreaming within INGO work including expectations of young persons

Brainstorming on future, proposed by Bettina Hahn

Other business

Anje Wiersinga opens the meeting and starts to say that she wants to hand over the official chairmanship of this group (Gender perspectives) in June. Anje will remain available to help and be a resource.

Heleen Jansen distributes documents.

1 Reports of June 2017.

Report of October 2017

No comments or amendments on reports.

Congratulations and many thanks to Peri Bakr, Marina Davidashvili and Hugo Castelli Eyre who wrote these minutes.

The chair proposed to continue with point 3 of the agenda since Anne Negre (point 2) will come later.

3 Side event on implementation UN SC Res 1325 women peace and security.

This side event was discussed in April and agreed upon by the WG in June 2017, However to continue and implement this plan Anje was told in October that working groups needed to submit to the Standing Committee new plans.

So a new plan for a working group on Genderperspectives in Democratic Processes was written and sent to the Standing Committee, which agreed on this plan on 9th October 2017. This enabled us to continue to work particularly on the agreed side event.

We are now an official working group under the INGO Democracy, Social Cohesion and Global Challenges Committee, the Committee chaired by Thierry Mathieu.

A General discussion about the history of "gender aspects" followed.

Anje : There needs to be in each working group a person who takes responsibility for raising the gender perspectives. She is stating what she thinks Anna Negre meant and will explain later.

Referring to the distributed document on the side event with subjects and speakers, Anje explained the objective : To determine what the CoE pillars - politicians, parliamentarians and INGO’s - can do to promote the implementation of the UN SC Res. 1325 Women, Peace and Security in their countries.

The report sent by Anje on the side event - 4 pages long – listed the widespread support for the event within the CoE and what has been done by her and the Working Group during the October session. What we want is that a parliamentarian will propose it with support of the INGO Conference. Ms Anttila, a Finnish parliamentarian is willing to submit it. Swedish, Icelandic, Netherlands parliamentarians, the Parliamentary Commission on Political Affairs and the Parliamentary Equality Commission and the INGO Unit gave advice and are willing to be involved.

Since the Cyprus situation is on the event’s agenda, Anje went to Cyprus and met with Turkish and Greek Cypriot women, who are already cooperating together, among others by issuing a statement on their wishes, demands and priorities to the negotiators of reunification negotiations. Possible Cypriotic speakers were suggested.

It is possible to complain about non-implementation of (binding) UN SC Resolutions by writing a legal opinion and sending it to the International Court of Justice at The Hague. This is new information for most persons and is included in the program.

Mary Ann Hennessey of the INGO Unit suggested to organize an exhibition at the same time. See report.

Finally It might be possible to show a video about Liberian women after the side event.

Question by Anita Schnetzer. - what is the added value of the side event for pushing member states to implement what they have already signed.

Reply : by naming and shaming pushing them to implement what they signed; more important may be : to encourage the Syrian and Cypriotic women in their struggles by being heard and supported – internationally.

2. Anna Negre Reporting.

Anne Negre Feels that we are not a proper working group, it has been saved within Thierry's committee. We must be more a team.

Anne proposes that there is a group which organises to have Rapporteurs in every working group of the conference. Even if you are not specialist you can become a specialist. Possibility to do a shadow report. In every working group there should be a person taking the gender perspective. Each year there could be a shadow report.

Secondly, a thematic, at least two or three people working on:

Women in peace-making

Women in religious dialogue

Women in decision making.


Should some of the Rapporteurs on gender aspect be men. Reply: Yes.

The question of ‘shadow reports’ was questioned. It could be divisive within the INGO community.

Another term needs to be found. Maybe a complementary report.

Anje states that she felt that the subject should be at least 'decision-making in peace' not just 'peace'

There is a paper on 'women on politics'

2a. Committee of Ministers statement on FGM on Forced marriage. Not covered. Info: On 27th September 2017 the CoM adopted guidelines on FGM and Forced Marriage. See Website.

2b. Admissible complaints on unequal pay for equal work : not covered. Info: 15 Complaints about unequal pay for equal work in 15 countries were declared admissible. See the website

2c. GEC Not covered. Info : the Gender Equality Strategy 2014-2017 will be followed up by the CoE Gender Equality Strategy 2018-2020 in May 2018. See the Website. More info might be distributed later.

4. Gender Perspectives in Migration: not covered. Two persons who agreed in June 2017 are working on this topic. Anje reiterates that she is available for advice and support.

5 Gender Mainstreaming within INGO work including the expectations of young people Partly covered by proposal Anne Negre above.*next meeting.

6 Brainstorming the future proposed by Bettina Hahn * next meeting

7 Other business

Which groups do people want to work on?



Women and religion

Gender stereotypes.

Next meeting is on Thursday 25 January. Time and room will be announced as soon as possible.