Athens (2009) (excerpts)

Athens 2009 (Decisions: Decision No. 7/09 on Women’s Participation in Political and Public Life) (excerpts)

The Ministerial Council,

Mindful of the continued under-representation of women in the OSCE area in decisionmaking
structures within the legislative, executive, including police services, and judicial
Concerned that widespread discrimination against women, continues to undermine their effective
participation in political and public life at all levels,

Recalling UN Security Council resolution 1325 (2000), which calls for full and equal participation
of women in decision making with regard to conflict prevention as well as in
post-conflict reconstruction, and stressing the importance of their full and equal participation
and involvement in all efforts for the maintenance and promotion of peace and security,

Taking note of UN Security Council resolution 1889 (2009), which urges international and regional
organizations to take further measures to improve women’s participation during all
stages of peace processes,

Noting that 18 December 2009 marks the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the
Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), which aims at ending
discrimination against women in political and public life, and noting that 10 December marks
the 10th anniversary of the opening of the Convention’s Protocol for signature,

Recognizing that women may face additional barriers, beyond those based on gender, to their
participation in political and public life,

Calls on the participating States to:
1. Consider providing for specific measures to achieve the goal of gender balance in all legislative,
judicial and executive bodies, including security services, such as police services;
2. Consider possible legislative measures, which would facilitate a more balanced participation
of women and men in political and public life and especially in decision-making;
3. Encourage all political actors to promote equal participation of women and men in political
parties, with a view to achieving better gender-balanced representation in elected public offices
at all levels of decision-making;
4. Consider taking measures to create equal opportunities within the security services, including
the armed forces, where relevant, to allow for balanced recruitment, retention and
promotion of men and women;
5. Develop and introduce where necessary open and participatory processes that enhance participation
of women and men in all phases of developing legislation, programmes and policies;
6. Allow for the equal contribution of women and men to peace-building initiatives;
7. Take necessary steps to establish, where appropriate, effective national mechanisms for
measuring women’s equal participation and representation;
8. Support, as appropriate, non-governmental and research bodies in producing targeted
studies and awareness-raising initiatives for identifying specific challenges in women’s participation
in political and public life and, in promoting equality of opportunities between women
and men;
9. Encourage shared work and parental responsibilities between women and men in order to
facilitate women’s equal opportunities to participate effectively in political and public life.