Area 3: Women’s interests and concerns have adequate SPACE on parliamentary agenda

Presence and resources of gender equality bodies

Delegations for women’s rights and equal opportunities for women and men – France: Keeping gender on the agenda

Both houses of the French Parliament – the National Assembly and the Senate – have had a ‘Delegation for Women’s Rights and Equal Opportunities for Women and Men’ since 1999, aiming at complementing each other. Their function is to mainstream gender throughout the legislative process. They are cross-party bodies, and each has 36 members, both women and men. The delegations can scrutinise proposed legislation and monitor implementation. They also conduct consultations and research to produce proactive reports aiming to influence future legislation. The delegation in the Assembly has drafted at least six reports on different aspects of the French electoral system and has been instrumental in introducing certain new measures – for example, the use of ‘twinning’ in the recent regional elections. Both delegations have played a crucial role in safeguarding and extending gender parity in politics.

Source: EIGE’s collection of good practices on gender mainstreaming (political decision-making)

Women in all areas of parliament – Australia: Informally mainstreaming gender

Notwithstanding the lack of formalisation of gender mainstreaming infrastructures, the Australian Parliament has managed to ensure that certain gender issues have been addressed, including pay equity for women, balancing work and family, specific health issues relating to both women and men, and perhaps most importantly, a review of Australia’s gender equality legislation. Women have been gradually represented in all areas of the parliament, including positions of parliamentary leadership such as presiding officer, whip and committee chair.

Source: Palmieri, S. A. 2011. Gender Mainstreaming in the Australian Parliament: Achievement with room for improvement

Support for women’s cross-party structures

An influential caucus: The Forum of Rwandan Women Parliamentarians (FFRP)

Since its formation, the FFRP has grown to be a prominent institution within parliament and a leading voice in the national women’s movement. As women’s numbers in parliament have grown and the caucus has matured, the FFRP’s ability to influence legislation has increased. Its strength was one of the factors that contributed to the success of legislation to combat gender-based violence, for instance.

Source: Inter-Parliamentary Union. 2011. Gender-sensitive parliaments: A global review of good practices

See also: IPU (2013) Guidelines for Women’s Caucuses

Gender issues on the agenda

Gender Equality Training – Ghana: Developing a manual for GET

The Parliamentary Centre is developing this manual primarily for members of the Ghana Parliament and parliamentary staff. It is made up of three modules, with each module comprising two units, and is designed to provide knowledge and skills on gender and gender mainstreaming to Ghana’s parliament. The manual’s target audience includes the chairs and members of parliamentary committees, and staff of parliamentary committees. This manual is the Parliamentary Centre’s contribution towards supporting parliamentarians to acquire knowledge on gender, and building skills for the effective promotion of gender equality in Ghana. The manual will also be of benefit to individuals who are interested in learning about gender and gender mainstreaming.

Source: www.agora-parl.org

Gender budgeting

The Appendix to the Budget Statement – Sweden: A standard procedure to budget gender equality

In the Swedish Parliament, gender-sensitive budgeting means that the Committee on Finance, which prepares the adoption of the central government budget, takes gender equality into consideration. One aspect of the process is that every year since 1988 a separate appendix has been attached to the budget bill showing the distribution of economic resources between the sexes (Appendix to the Budget Statement: Distribution of Economic Resources between Women and Men). In recent years, the Ministry of Finance and the Government’s Division for Gender Equality have worked together to raise the document’s profile. The appendix shows how gender inequalities between women and men are expressed in economic terms, but it also shows how welfare systems help to close the gender gap. In analysing the relative economic situation of women and men, it examines the distribution of household work, gainful employment, studies, the distribution of earnings, capital income and social insurance benefits. Finally, it examines disposable income, combining the various types of after-tax income.

Source: Inter-Parliamentary Union. 2011. Gender-sensitive parliaments: A global review of good practices. 

Gender perspective in staff’s work

Raising awareness of gender inequalities in parliament as a workplace – UK: Parliagender

Parliagender is a network for staff and MPs that aims to raise awareness of gender inequality at every level and works to achieve positive change. The network identifies and challenges structures and practices that lead to gender inequality or discrimination. It campaigns for improvements, and provides training and support for its members.

Source: The Houses of Parliament website

Promoting equal rights and opportunities for all workers – Sweden: Administration’s Equal Treatment Plan 2014–2018

The Riksdag Administration’s Equal Treatment Plan for 2014–2018 contains goals and measures related to working conditions, opportunities to combine parenthood and work, harassment, internal mobility and recruitment. Efforts to prevent unwarranted pay differences are presented in the administration’s salary survey. Measures to combat discrimination on the grounds of disability are dealt with in a special plan of action for accessibility.

Source: The Swedish Riksdag website