Posted by: lauraannwilson | February 17, 2015

Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women 60th Session – Review of Gabon

Live commentary from the 60th Session on the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women – 6th Periodic Report on Gabon, morning session Tuesday 17 February 2015, 10 am – 1 pm (Geneva)

The 6th Periodic Report on Gabon is currently underway at the United Nations Office Geneva.

The Pre-session working group examined the report of Gabon, and have raised several areas for discussion:

1. Constitutional, legislative and institutional framework

– Working group noted that while Gabon’s Constitution provides for equality between men and women (Art 2(2)), it fails to provide specific provisions to prohibit discrimination against women.

– Working group requested an update from Gabon on steps being taken to provide constitutional protection against discrimination against women.

2. Access to Justice

– Working group noted that women who are the victims of violence experience many challenges in accessing justice. Common barriers include the costs involved in accessing legal representation. Particular issue facing rural women.

– Further information requested on what steps the government has taken to provide better access to justice.

3. National machinery on the advancement of women

– Further information requested on measures taken to improve education to improve social and cultural attitudes towards women.

4. Violence against women, trafficking of women and children, criminalisation of prostitution

– Working group highlighted that these issues are ongoing in Gabon.

– Gabon responded, recognising that the legislative framework pertaining to trafficking, is lacking. Reiterated that the government is working with the human rights directorate and law enforcement to improve the situation for victims.

– Gabon noted that there are two centres assisting children who are the victim of trafficking.

5. Marriage and family relations

– Gabon reiterated that rape and marital rape is criminalised. Marital rape was criminalised in 2013 – punishment includes 5 – 10 years imprisonment and fines.

6. Nationality

– Working group noted that there are many obstacles facing women in securing birth certificates for their children.

7. Education and employment

– Working group raised concern with reports that girls experience violence at school, including sexual violence.

– Working group requested further information on whether sexual education is provided to girls in school.

– Working group highlighted that there remains high rates of illiteracy among women and girls. Requested further information as to whether boys and girls have access to career and study counselling that provides them with a variety of education and career options, in particular encouraging females to study and enter employment in non-traditional sectors.

– Working group is surprised by Gabon’s claims in its report that women do not face discrimination in employment.

Morning session ended at 1pm, reconvening at 3pm Tuesday 17 February 2015. Gabon to prepare further responses to questions raised in morning session, for discussion in afternoon session.

For further information:

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