Since its inception in 2005, PAM has engaged on gender issues. In the framework of its 3rd Standing Committee on Human right and dialogue among Civilisations, PAM delegates have debated means to achieve gender equality and increase female representation in political life but also the role of women in the Arab spring and the importance of Education for girls. They also engaged on the fight against domestic violence and awarded the 2021 PAM Prize to several governments which had designed campaigns and developed mobile applications to help fight this scourge during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The establishment of the PAM Women Parliamentary Forum (WPF) was announced on 8 March 2021 on the occasion of International Women’s Day. A decision had been taken by the 41st PAM Bureau on 25 February 2021 to create the PAM WPF, an initiative spear-headed by Hon. Joana Lima (Portugal) in close cooperation with Hon. Yana Chiara Ehm (Italy), President of PAM 3rd Standing Committee.
On 3 June 2021, PAM MPs gathered on the side of the 15th Plenary Session for the preparatory meeting of the PAM WPF. The inaugural session shall take place in person, kindly hosted by Portugal, in 2022, where the composition, structure and functioning of the WPF will be discussed.
The main objectives of the Women’s Forum are:
- To advance democracy by promoting women’s rights as fundamental human rights;
- To foster contacts and coordination among parliamentarians on all topics of common interest in order to ensure gender mainstreaming in all policy areas of PAM’s mandate;
- To encourage the participation of women parliamentarians in PAM’s work and to promote their equitable representation at all levels of responsibility within the Organisation;
- To conduct studies on issues of common interest and, as appropriate, to prepare reports and recommendations.