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Gender partnership: What the IPU is doing

For the IPU, so-called "women's issues" concern society as a whole just as women are concerned by all issues. From this perspective, subjects concerning women more especially are being dealt with in IPU statutory Assemblies and specialised conferences.Debate


Numerous resolutions of the statutory IPU Assemblies and the findings and recommendations of specialised meetings have focused on particular aspects of the status of women. The IPU has also studied a series of issues of direct concern to women. Among such subjects taken up in recent years, the most important have been:

  • Partnership between men and women in politics
  • Women in national Parliaments
  • Women in political parties
  • Women's political and electoral training
  • Financing women's electoral campaigns
  • Women in the electoral process
  • Women's impact on the democratic process
  • Women's participation in political life
  • Women's contribution to development
  • Women in economic life and the working world
  • Women in the economic informal sector and their access to micro-credits
  • The role of women to ensure the protection of the environment in relation to development
  • Literacy and education for women
  • Violence against women
  • Women in armed conflicts
  • The health and well-being of the elderly, particularly women
  • The complementary nature of the rights of women and the rights of children
  • Human rights in general, and those of women and children in particular
  • Poverty and extreme poverty: women as victims of this phenomenon and as key actors in its eradication
  • The impact of the media on the status of women and the image of women politicians in the media
  • Problems specific to women in large cities
  • Women's contribution to the establishment of a new financial and economic model
  • Finacing for development and a new paradigm of economic and social development to eradicate poverty
  • Observance of the principles of international law
  • Protecting and caring for children
  • Promoting women's involvement and a gender perspective in multilateral negotiations
  • Impact of environmental degradation on women and children
  • Role of women parliamentarians in averting national and international terrorism and building peace
  • The situation of women and children in conflict situations, with particular reference to Iraq
  • Promoting international reconciliation
  • Observance of human rights in the strategies for the prevention, management and treatment of the HIV/AIDS pandemic
  • Environmental management and in combating global degradation of the environment
  • The achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, in particular with regard to the problem of debt and the eradication of poverty and corruption
  • Job creation and employment security in the era of globalization
  • Migrant workers, people trafficking, xenophobia and human rights
  • Climate change, sustainable development models, and renewable energies
  • Global fight against organized crime, in particular drug trafficking, illegal arms sales, human trafficking and cross-border terrorism
  • Redistribution of power, not just wealth: Ownership of the international agendas
  • Access to health as a basic right: The role of parliaments in addressing key challenges to securing the health of women and children

The issue of eradicating violence against women became the subject of a special resolution adopted by the 85th Inter-Parliamentary Conference in April 1991. Measures taken in various countries to follow up the resolution's recommendations have been regularly scrutinized by the Meeting of Women MPs, with close attention being paid to such issues as organized violence against women and sexual violence affecting women and young girls during armed conflicts. These aspects were further stressed in the resolution of the 96th Inter-Parliamentary Conference Resolutions of Statutory Conferencesentitled "Promoting better respect and protection of human rights in general and in particular for women and children". The complete list of items discussed by statutory Inter-Parliamentary Conferences since 1991 is available at this site.

In 1992 and 1993, the IPU supported the adoption by the United Nations of the International Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women and urged Parliaments and Governments to reflect its principles and standards in national legislation.

In May 1996, the IPU sent the Framework for Model Legislation on Domestic Violence to all member Parliaments and invited them to use this document - initially prepared by the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women, its Causes and Consequences - as a reference for national legislation.


From 14 to 18 February 1997, the IPU organized in New Delhi a specialized Conference on the theme Towards partnership between men and women in politics. Detailed information about the Conference is available at this site.

A further Round Table with the media on The image of women politicians in the media was held during the New Delhi Conference.


In September 1995, during the Fourth World Conference on Women, the IPU held a Parliamentarians' Day in the premises of the Chinese National People's Congress in Beijing for those MPs participating in the Conference. Some 500 MPs from 102 countries took part in the meeting which concluded with the adoption of the Beijing Parliamentary Declaration.

Also in September 1995 in Beijing, the IPU organized jointly with UNIFEM and UNICEF a Round Table on the complementarity of the rights of women and the rights of children. Some 250 political personalities, experts, diplomats and representatives of intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations took part in the meeting.


In November 1989, the IPU organized an international Symposium in Geneva on the theme of Women's participation in the political and parliamentary decision-making process. The meeting brought together men and women MPs from 67 countries, experts, representatives of intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations and journalists for a free-ranging discussion on the following topics:

  • Sharing decision-making power in political and parliamentary life;
  • Factors that continue to limit women's participation in political and parliamentary life, and ways of improving the situation;
  • Affirmative action and temporary measures to ensure that more women are elected, designated or appointed at all levels of political and parliamentary life and involved more equitably in the decision-making process.
Alongside the Symposium, the IPU organized a Round Table with the media on The image of women politicians in the media.

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