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Council of Europe passes Resolution on Decent pensions for women

[Strasbourg, 26 June 2010] Many elderly women are poor because they have no pension or their pension is insufficient, PACE warned today. Also, traditional pension systems favour the linear career paths of men and are disconnected from the realities of present-day society. Following the proposals by Anna Curdová (Czech Republic, SOC), the Assembly called for "fair and equitable pensions offering every man and woman a reasonable standard of living". The adopted text urges European states to guarantee a personal pension entitlement and to revise their pension laws in order not only to prohibit discrimination between women and men but also to provide for “positive discrimination in favour of women”.

Resolution 1752 (2010)1

Decent pensions for women

1. There is generally an appreciable difference between women’s and men’s pensions in Council of Europe member states. Many elderly women are poor because they have no pension or their pension is insufficient. Women have frequently played a role in raising children and caring for dependent persons and these periods are not, or are only partially, taken into account in calculating pensions. Furthermore, in particular as a result of difficulties in gaining access to the labour market, of the need to resort to accepting part-time jobs and of slow career advancement, women have, on average, lower personal incomes than men, which leads to smaller pensions.

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Read the full text of the Resolution here: http://assembly.coe.int/Mainf.asp?link=/Documents/AdoptedText/ta10/ERES1752.htm

Recommendation 1932 (2010)1

Decent pensions for women

1. Referring to its Resolution 1752 (2010) on decent pensions for women and to the principle of equality between women and men in the implementation of social policies, the Parliamentary Assembly reiterates its commitment to eliminating the inequalities and discrimination suffered by women in both their private and their working lives, and welcomes the fact that the Committee of Ministers is working to this end.

2. The Assembly asks the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe to instruct its competent committee to:

2.1. compile detailed gender-disaggregated data on old people’s pensions and income, analyse the problem of the income gap between elderly women and men and propose appropriate solutions;

2.2. assess the positive and negative effects of radical reforms of pension systems on women’s pensions, such as the conversion of public pension schemes into systems based on private savings.

3. It calls on the Committee of Ministers to raise awareness in the member states of issues relating to the viability of national pension systems and the gap between women’s and men’s pensions, both at political level and at the level of civil society.

1. Assembly debate on 25 June 2010 (27th Sitting) (see Doc. 12274, report of the Committee on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men, rapporteur: Mrs ?urdová; and Doc. 12307, opinion of the Social, Health and Family Affairs Committee, rapporteur: Mr Marquet). Text adopted by the Assembly on 25 June 2010 (27th Sitting).

Read the Recommendation on the CoE website: http://assembly.coe.int/Mainf.asp?link=/Documents/AdoptedText/ta10/EREC1932.htm

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