GENEVA (28 February 2022) — The UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) on Monday issued its findings on the Dominican Republic, Gabon, Lebanon, Panama, Peru, Senegal, Uganda and Uzbekistan, the eight States parties that it reviewed during its latest session.
The findings contain positive aspects of each country's implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, as well as the Committee's main concerns and recommendations. Some of the key highlights include:
There have been mass deportations of Haitian people, particularly pregnant and postpartum women, some of whom were forcibly separated from their children in the Dominican Republic. The Committee urged the State party to suspend these deportations immediately and issue permanent residence permits to Haitian women whose children were born and raised in the Dominican Republic. In addition, there are significant obstacles faced by women of Haitian origin who are undocumented or in an irregular migratory situation to register the birth of children born to a Dominican father. The Committee called on the Dominican Republic to remove all legislative barriers to ensure all such children have access to Dominican nationality.
The Committee remained deeply concerned about high pregnancy rates among schoolgirls and the resulting incomplete secondary schooling. It recommended that Gabon provide out-of-school educational and parenting support to young mothers to help them continue schooling or reintegrate into the school system. Regarding child marriage, the Committee asked Gabon to revise the provisions of the Civil Code to ensure the minimum age of marriage is set at 18 years for both women and men. It further requested Gabon to sensitize traditional and religious leaders and parents on the harmful effects of child marriage and polygamy.
As women currently only represent 4.7% of parliamentarians and in view of the upcoming legislative elections in May this year, the Committee called on Lebanon to adopt the draft laws introducing a minimum quota of 30% for women candidates on the electoral lists of political parties, and require equal media coverage to promote women’s equal participation in political life. In addition, the Committee recommended that the State party redress long-standing inequalities between women and men by placing women at the centre of COVID-19 recovery strategies.
The Committee was seriously concerned about gender-based violence, including disappearance and rape, suffered by migrant women crossing the border through the Darien Gap (El Tapón del Darien) in Panama. The Committee urged Panama to take action to address women’s high risk of gender-based violence in the Darien Gap, and guarantee access to justice for women in the border areas. Concerning the low representation of women in the National Assembly, the Committee recommended that the State party take legislative measures to promote gender parity in local and general elections.
Disadvantaged and marginalized groups of women and girls such as indigenous and Afro-Peruvian women, women with disabilities, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex women, as well as refugee and migrant women, are facing multiple and intersecting forms of violence in all areas of their lives. The Committee, therefore, called on Peru to use temporary special measures to provide urgent redress for them. Concerning the country’s highly restrictive access to safe abortion, the Committee recommended that Peru legalize abortion in cases of rape, incest, threats to the life or health of the pregnant woman or severe foetal impairment, and decriminalize abortion in all other cases.
In light of the persistent patriarchal norms that discriminate against women in Senegal, the Committee called on the State party to prohibit all harmful practices, including child marriage, polygamous, levirate and sororate marriages, and female genital mutilation, and to provide education programmes on the negative impact of these practices. In addition, the Committee recommended that Senegal take necessary measures to accelerate women’s equal access to land, production resources, capital and technologies, including for small-scale businesses and climate change-resilient agriculture.
The Committee recommended that Uganda repeal legal provisions that are discriminatory against women in the areas of marriage, ownership of land, employment and protection from gender-based violence against women. In addition, it called on Uganda to intensify its efforts to ensure that harmful practices, including “child sacrifice”, female genital mutilation, polygamy and child marriages, are prohibited, criminalized and ultimately eradicated, and that perpetrators of such acts are prosecuted and punished.
The Committee was concerned about the high incidence of gender-based violence against women, especially the stark increase in cases during the COVID-19 lockdown. It called on Uzbekistan to ensure that protection and expulsion orders are issued in a timely manner, and enforced effectively in domestic violence cases. Concerning the low enrolment rate of women and girls in secondary and higher education, the Committee recommended that Uzbekistan address the root causes of girls dropping out of schools, including child marriage and early pregnancy, and ensure that young mothers can return to school and obtain diplomas to gain access to higher education.
The above findings, officially named as Concluding Observations, are now available online on the session webpage.
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The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women monitors States parties’ compliance with the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, which to date has 189 States parties. The Committee is made up of 23 members who are independent human rights experts from around the world elected by the States parties, who serve in their personal capacity and not as representatives of States parties.
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