* Adopted by the Committee at its seventy-fourth session (21 October–8 November 2019).
Concluding observations on the fourth periodic report of Andorra *
1.The Committee considered the fourth periodic report of Andorra (CEDAW/C/AND/4) at its 1722nd and 1723rd meetings (see CEDAW/C/SR.1722 and CEDAW/C/SR.1723), held on 23 October 2019. The list of issues and questions raised by the pre-sessional working group is contained in CEDAW/C/AND/Q/4, and the responses of Andorra are contained in CEDAW/C/AND/Q/4/Add.1.
2.The Committee appreciates the submission by the State party of its fourth periodic report. It also appreciates the State party’s follow-up report to the previous concluding observations of the Committee (CEDAW/C/AND/CO/2-3/Add.1) and its written replies to the list of issues and questions on the fourth periodic report, as well as the oral presentation by the well-prepared delegation and the further clarifications provided in response to the questions posed orally by the Committee during the fruitful dialogue.
3.The Committee commends the State party on its delegation, which was headed by the Director for Social Affairs of the Ministry of Social Affairs, Housing and Youth, Joan Carles Villaverde, and included representatives of the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, the parliament, the Criminal Court and the Permanent Mission of Andorra to the United Nations Office and other international organizations in Geneva.
4.The Committee welcomes the progress achieved since the consideration in 2013 of the State party’s combined second and third periodic reports (CEDAW/C/AND/2-3) in undertaking legislative reforms, in particular the adoption of the following:
(a)Act No. 34/2014 regulating civil partnerships and amending the Marriage Act of 30 June 1995;
(b)Act No. 1/2015 on the eradication of gender-based violence and domestic violence;
(c)Act No. 9/2017 on measures to combat trafficking in persons and to protect victims;
(d)Act No. 31/2018 on labour relations, which increases the length of maternity leave to 20 weeks and establishes paternity leave of 4 weeks;
(e)Act No. 13/2019 on equal treatment and non-discrimination.
5.The Committee welcomes the State party’s efforts to improve its institutional and policy framework aimed at accelerating the elimination of discrimination against women and promoting gender equality, such as the adoption of the following:
(a)White paper on equality, in 2018;
(b)Strategic plan for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, in 2019.
6.The Committee welcomes the fact that, in the period since the consideration of the previous report, the State party has ratified the following international instruments:
(a)Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Optional Protocol thereto, in 2014;
(b)Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence, in 2014.
C.Sustainable Development Goals
7. The Committee welcomes the international support for the Sustainable Development Goals and calls for the realization of de jure (legal) and de facto (substantive) gender equality, in accordance with the provisions of the Convention, throughout the process of implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Committee recalls the importance of Goal 5 and of the mainstreaming of the principles of equality and non-discrimination throughout all 17 Goals. It urges the State party to recognize women as the driving force of the sustainable development of Andorra and to adopt relevant policies and strategies to that effect.
8. The Committee stresses the crucial role of the legislative power in ensuring the full implementation of the Convention (see A/65/38 , part two, annex VI). It invites the General Council, in line with its mandate, to take the necessary steps regarding the implementation of the present concluding observations between now and the submission of the next periodic report under the Convention.
E.Principal areas of concern and recommendations
Visibility of the Convention and the Optional Protocol thereto and the Committee’s general recommendations
9.The Committee remains concerned that, to date, the Convention and the Optional Protocol thereto have not been given the necessary visibility and importance by the State party, given that they have not been directly invoked, applied or referred to in court proceedings, nor are there data on women having claimed their rights to non-discrimination and equality by invoking the provisions of the Convention or relevant national legislation, which indicates a lack of awareness among members of the judiciary, lawyers and women in the State party about women’s rights under the Convention and the procedures under the Optional Protocol.
10. The Committee reiterates its previous recommendations ( CEDAW/C/AND/CO/2-3 , para. 10) and calls upon the State party to:
(a) Ensure that the Convention is invoked and applied by public authorities, across all sectors and at all levels, in legislation and policy;
(b) Strengthen legal training and capacity-building programmes for judges, prosecutors, lawyers and other legal professionals and ensure that the Convention and the Optional Protocol thereto, the Committee’s general recommendations and its views on individual communications and inquiries are made an integral part of their professional training, so as to enable them to apply, invoke and/or refer to the provisions of the Convention directly and to interpret national legislation in line with the Convention;
(c) Provide all women and men with information about the Convention and the Optional Protocol thereto and the Committee’s general recommendations in all the official languages of the State party, including in accessible formats.
Definition of discrimination against women
11.The Committee takes note of the adoption of Act No. 13/2019 on equal treatment and non-discrimination, which provides definitions of discriminatory harassment, sexual harassment and harassment on the grounds of sex (art. 9), of discrimination on grounds of pregnancy or maternity (art. 10) and of gender-based violence against women (art. 11). The Committee notes that, although article 6 of the Constitution of the State party includes a definition of discrimination in conformity with article 1 of the Convention, it is concerned that Act No. 13/2019 does not include a definition of discrimination against women that explicitly prohibits direct and indirect discrimination, as well as intersecting forms of discrimination, in both the public and private spheres, in line with article 1 of the Convention. It is also concerned that the programme for effective equality between women and men, set forth in article 33 of Act No. 13/2019, is pending adoption.
12. Recalling its previous concluding observations ( CEDAW/C/AND/CO/2-3 , para. 14) and the links between articles 1 and 2 of the Convention and target 5.1 of the Sustainable Development Goals, to end all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere, the Committee recommends that the State party adopt specific, comprehensive legislation on gender equality that includes a definition of discrimination against women that is in accordance with article 1 of the Convention, encompassing direct and indirect discrimination, as well as intersecting forms of discrimination, in both the public and private spheres, and guarantee effective remedies for victims of gender-based discrimination.
Access to justice
13.The Committee is concerned that women and girls, in particular those who experience intersecting forms of discrimination, face barriers in terms of access to justice, owing to the absence of specialized units and personnel, including police officers, prosecutors trained in identifying and combating gender-based violence against women and discrimination against women and in women’s rights, the interdictions and guardianship applied to some women and the absence of independent and free-of-charge specialized legal services for women.
14. Recalling its general recommendation No. 33 (2015) on women’s access to justice, the Committee recommends that the State party:
(a) Conduct a study to identify barriers faced by women and girls, in particular those who experience intersecting forms of discrimination, in terms of access to justice and take measures to remove those barriers;
(b) Consider establishing specialized gender units within the law enforcement, penal and prosecution systems;
(c) Eliminate obstacles in substituted decision-making systems, which prevent some women from participating in legal proceedings under the same conditions as others, and ensure access to justice and the availability of accommodations in procedures, when necessary, for such women;
(d) Take appropriate measures to create supportive environments that encourage women to claim their rights, report crimes committed against them and actively participate in criminal justice processes, and take effective measures to protect women against revictimization in their interactions with law enforcement and judicial authorities;
(e) Consult and collaborate with women’s groups and civil society organizations in order to develop legislation, policies and programmes in this area.
National machinery for the advancement of women
15.The Committee notes the establishment of the Equality Policies Unit in 2016, now part of the Ministry of Social Affairs, Housing and Youth, and the establishment of the State Secretariat for Equality and Public Engagement in 2019. However, the Committee remains concerned that the national machinery is fragmented, which reduces its capacity to ensure that gender equality policies are properly developed and fully implemented through an effective coordination of the work of all ministries and government offices. The Committee is also concerned that the programme for effective equality between women and men (Act No. 13/2019, art. 33) has not yet been adopted and the Equality Observatory has not yet been established.
16. The Committee recommends that the State party:
(a) Establish one centralized national machinery for the advancement of women with a clearly defined mandate and responsibilities and provide it with adequate human, financial and technical resources to coordinate and work effectively for the promotion of gender equality and gender mainstreaming;
(b) Provide training on women’s rights to women and men working in the national machinery for the advancement of women;
(c) Adopt a programme for effective equality between women and men and address the gaps between de jure and de facto equality, as provided for in article 33 of A ct No. 13/2019, and establish the Equality Observatory;
(d) Strengthen its impact assessment mechanisms so as to ensure that its gender equality policies are properly monitored and evaluated and that their implementation is assessed.
Civil society organizations
17.The Committee is concerned that women’s organizations do not participate systematically in the development and implementation of legislation and policies about issues related to women and about the lack of financial support that they receive from the State party for the implementation of specialized programmes.
18. The Committee reiterates its previous recommendations ( CEDAW/C/AND/CO/2-3 , para. 12) and recommends that the State party strengthen collaboration with women’s associations and support their initiatives towards the implementation of the Convention. It calls upon the State party to ensure that women’s organizations participate systematically in the development and implementation of legislation and policies about issues related to women and that they are provided with sufficient financial support for the development of specialized programmes in line with the Convention.
National human rights institutions
19.The Committee notes that the expansion of the mandate of the Office of the Ombudsman in 2017 by virtue of Act No. 26/2017 includes monitoring the application of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, providing information and assistance to victims of racism and discrimination, investigating complaints related to the private sector, children and persons with disabilities and other functions related to combating discrimination. The Committee is concerned, however, that the mandate does not specifically include discrimination against women and that the Office of the Ombudsman has not addressed any complaints in recent years related to discrimination against women.
20. The Committee recommends that the State party establish an independent national human rights institution, in accordance with the principles relating to the status of national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights (the Paris Principles), and ensure that it has a specific mandate to promote and protect women’s rights and gender equality and has sufficient human, technical and financial resources.
Temporary special measures
21.The Committee notes that articles 17 and 21 of Act No. 13/2019 provide for temporary positive action measures for women and other population groups and that, in the regulations on financial benefits in health and social services adopted on 3 July 2019, single-parent families, women in situations of inequality and women who are victims of gender-based or domestic violence are protected groups. Nevertheless, the Committee is concerned that the State party has not adopted any temporary special measures to achieve substantive equality for women and girls who face intersecting forms of discrimination and that it has not implemented the quota system, either in the public or private sector, to overcome inequalities on the basis of gender.
22. In line with article 4 (1) of the Convention and recalling its general recommendation No. 25 (2004) on temporary special measures, the Committee recommends that the State party:
(a) Adopt and implement temporary special measures and establish time-bound targets to accelerate the realization of substantive equality between women and men in all areas in which women, including migrant and refugee women and women with disabilities, continue to be disadvantaged or underrepresented, such as in political and public life, education and employment;
(b) Undertake capacity-building programmes, targeting all relevant State officials and hiring managers, on the non-discriminatory nature and importance of temporary special measures for achieving substantive equality between women and men in all areas in which progress is slow or absent.
23.The Committee remains concerned by the State party’s lack of commitment to combating the persisting gender stereotypes affecting the educational and career choices of women and girls, as well as the impact of unrealistic images perpetuated in the media, including social media, and in advertisements. The Committee is also concerned by:
(a)The lack of a comprehensive strategy for the elimination of discriminatory stereotypes regarding the roles and responsibilities of women and men in the family and in society;
(b)The absence of a clear time frame for the adoption of the road map of the Equality Policies Unit and the Andorran Association of Media Professionals on a guide to equal treatment and non-discrimination in the media and the lack of a self‑regulatory body for the media;
(c)The lack of collaboration with women’s civil society groups, teachers and the church on the elimination of stereotypes and the participation of women in the evaluation process and the creation of radio and television content.
24. The Committee reiterates its previous recommendations (see CEDAW/C/AND/CO/2-3 , para. 20), and recommends that the State party:
(a) Strengthen its efforts to eliminate stereotypical images and attitudes regarding the roles of women and men in the family and in society, in accordance with articles 2 (f) and 5 (a) of the Convention, in particular by promoting the equal sharing of domestic and family responsibilities and promoting non ‑ traditional career choices among women and girls;
(b) Accelerate the adoption and implementation of a comprehensive strategy for the elimination of discriminatory stereotypes based on gender to strengthen coordination among the institutions involved and improve the joint monitoring mechanism to assess its implementation;
(c) Accelerate the adoption of the road map on a guide to equal treatment and non-discrimination in the media and the establishment of a self-regulatory body for the media;
(d) Continue monitoring the portrayal of women in the media and on the Internet and encourage the media to convey positive images of women and their equal status with men in public and private life and to eliminate the portrayal of women as sexual objects, including in advertisements, and ensure the involvement of women in creating content for mass media.
Gender-based violence against women
25.The Committee welcomes the ratification by the State party of the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence, in 2014, the adoption of Act No. 1/2015 on the eradication of gender-based violence and domestic violence and the establishment of the National Commission for the Prevention of Gender-Based and Domestic Violence. The Committee is concerned, however, by:
(a)The absence of specialized public services, including within the judiciary, and 24-hour telephone hotline staff;
(b)The lack of awareness about and training in relation to gender-based violence against women and girls among judges, prosecutors, police officers and medical personnel to enable them to respond effectively to such cases in a gender-sensitive manner;
(c)The absence of comprehensive data on gender-based violence against women and girls, including on the number of complaints, prosecutions and convictions and the sanctions imposed on the perpetrators, as well as on the remedies provided to victims;
(d)The fact that financial support provided for civil society organizations providing specialized support services to women who are victims of gender-based violence is insufficient.
26. Recalling the relevant provisions of the Convention and the Committee’s general recommendation No. 35 (2017) on gender-based violence against women, updating general recommendation No. 19, the Committee recommends that the State party:
(a) Strengthen its justice system through a specialization on combating violence against women and ensure that all public services responsible for responding to gender-based violence are provided by personnel with special competence;
(b) Introduce mandatory capacity-building for judges, prosecutors, police officers and other law enforcement officers on the strict application of criminal law provisions on gender-based violence against women and on gender-sensitive investigation procedures, as well as mandatory training for medical personnel;
(c) Adopt a comprehensive multi-year strategy, with respective annual plans that include all necessary measures, including the collection of data and statistics and strengthened prevention and awareness-raising measures;
(d) Reinforce the protection and assistance provided to women who are victims of gender-based violence, including by increasing financial support for the civil society organizations that provide specialized services with regard to violence against women and enhancing its cooperation with such organizations;
(e) Systematically collect statistical data on domestic and sexual violence, disaggregated by sex, age, disability, nationality and the relationship between the victim and the perpetrator.
Trafficking and exploitation of prostitution
27.The Committee welcomes the adoption of Act No. 9/2017 on measures to combat trafficking in persons and protect victims and the adoption of the Protocol of Action for the Protection of Victims of Trafficking in Persons. However, it notes the following with concern:
(a)That no women and girls who are victims of trafficking in persons have been identified in the State party;
(b)That the national programme for the early detection of trafficking in persons has not yet been adopted;
(c)The lack of information on rehabilitation and reintegration measures for women and girls who are victims of trafficking, including psychological assistance and shelters;
(d)The lack of information and data on women in prostitution and measures to tackle its root causes, as well as the absence of policies and programmes for the reintegration of women wishing to exit prostitution.
28. The Committee recommends that the State party:
(a) Ensure the effective enforcement of legislation that combats trafficking in persons, including by providing judges, prosecutors, border police, immigration authorities and other law enforcement officials with mandatory training in its gender-sensitive application and by attributing powers to labour inspectors to enable them to contribute to the prevention and detection of cases of trafficking in persons, in particular in sectors employing seasonal workers and in the domestic employment sector;
(b) Allocate appropriate human, technical and financial resources to implement Act No. 9/2017 on measures to combat trafficking in persons and protect victims and evaluate the impact of the implementation of the Protocol of Action;
(c) Adopt a national programme for the early detection of trafficking in persons and ensure a mechanism to provide restitution and compensation to victims of trafficking;
(d) Collect information and data on women in prostitution and address the root causes of trafficking and exploitation of women and girls by offering educational and alternative income-generating opportunities to women who are at risk of being trafficked or exploited in prostitution and exit programmes for women in prostitution, including social and professional reintegration strategies.
Participation of women in political and public life
29.The Committee notes with satisfaction the increasing number of women who participate in political and public life in the State party. Nevertheless, it remains concerned that the State party has not yet adopted the temporary special measures or the programme for effective equality between women and men provided for in Act No. 13/2019.
30. The Committee recommends that the State party:
(a) Accelerate the adoption of the programme for effective equality between women and men and strengthen its efforts to increase the number of women in decision-making bodies, in both elected and appointed positions, with a view to achieving the equal representation of women and men in political and public life;
(b) Implement awareness-raising campaigns to enhance understanding among the public that the full, equal, free and democratic participation of women in political and public life is a requirement for the full realization of women’s human rights.
31.The Committee remains concerned by the concentration of women and girls in traditionally female-dominated fields of study and their underrepresentation in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, which reduces their prospects in the labour market, as well as by the need to revise education material to ensure that all textbooks use gender-sensitive language and images. Furthermore, the Committee is concerned that, despite the fact that the right to inclusive education is recognized in Act No. 27/2017 on urgent measures for the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the State party continues to segregate students with high support needs and does not include a gender perspective or a disability perspective in its legislation and education policies.
32. The Committee recommends that the State party:
(a) Address discriminatory stereotypes and structural barriers that may deter girls from enrolling in traditionally male-dominated fields of study and career paths, such as in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and information technology;
(b) Take coordinated measures to encourage further diversification of the educational and vocational choices of boys and girls and the increased participation of girls in apprenticeships, crafts, science and technology;
(c) Ensure that gender-sensitive teaching materials are used at all levels of education;
(d) Ensure the right to inclusive education and the incorporation of a gender perspective and a disability perspective into its legislation and education policies.
33.The Committee remains concerned that the State party is not a State member of the International Labour Organization (ILO) and that it has not ratified the core ILO conventions guaranteeing minimum labour standards for women and men or the Domestic Workers Convention, 2011 (No. 189). The Committee also notes with concern:
(a)That, despite the legislative measures adopted to ensure the principle of equal pay for work of equal value, the wide gender pay gap (22 per cent in 2016) persists and adversely affects women throughout their working lives;
(b)That, despite the fact that the Labour Relations Code applies to all workers, including domestic workers, women domestic workers in the State party are suffering de facto labour exploitation and have limited access to justice;
(c)The lack of information on whether the employers or those conducting the labour inspections handle cases of sexual harassment in the workplace;
(d)The situation of women seasonal workers in tourist destinations in the mountains, with regard to their access to health insurance and contracts, and the lack of mechanisms to protect them from low wages and from unfair dismissal.
34. The Committee reiterates its previous recommendations ( CEDAW/C/AND/CO/2-3 , para. 30) and recommends that the State party:
(a) Become a State member of ILO and consider ratifying core ILO conventions, in particular the Equal Remuneration Convention, 1951 (No. 100), the Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention, 1958 (No. 111) and, in addition, the Workers with Family Responsibilities Convention, 1981 (No . 156), and the Domestic Workers Convention, 2011 (No. 189);
(b) Effectively enforce the principle of equal pay for work of equal value, in order to narrow and ultimately close the gender pay gap, by regularly reviewing wages in all sectors, conducting regular labour inspections, applying gender-sensitive analytical job classification and evaluation methods and conducting regular pay surveys;
(c) Take measures to eliminate horizontal and vertical occupational segregation and combat the underemployment of women in full-time jobs, including by enhancing efforts to encourage women and girls to select non ‑ traditional career paths, giving priority to the transition of women from part-time to full-time work supported by adequate high-quality childcare facilities;
(d) Ensure that victims of sexual harassment in the workplace have access to effective complaint procedures, protection measures and recourse to remedies, that all complaints are effectively investigated and that the perpetrators are prosecuted and adequately punished;
(e) Ensure that women seasonal workers are guaranteed the same level of protection and benefits as other workers, in particular with regard to holidays, maximum weekly working hours and regular days of rest.
35.The Committee is concerned that the State party has taken no measures to amend its legislation in order to decriminalize abortion under certain circumstances. The Committee also remains concerned:
(a)By the interpretation of the right to life in the Constitution as a limitation on women’s sexual and reproductive health rights;
(b)That women and girls are compelled to travel outside the State party to obtain an abortion in countries where it is legally available on wider grounds;
(c)That women and girls without the means to travel outside the State party to obtain an abortion, such as poor and/or migrant women and girls, may be compelled to carry their pregnancies to full term or to undertake unsafe abortions, which may lead to severe mental pain and suffering;
(d)By the limited access to modern contraceptives, including the barriers that adolescent girls may face in acquiring access to information and reproductive health services, including contraception;
(e)That health-care providers and pregnancy counsellors cannot freely provide information on abortion for fear of being prosecuted for violating article 108 of the Criminal Code.
36. The Committee reiterates its previous recommendations ( CEDAW/C/AND/CO/2-3 , para. 32) and, in line with its general recommendation No. 24 (1999) on women and health, recommends that the State party:
(a) Legalize the termination of pregnancy at least in cases of risk to the life of the pregnant woman, rape, incest and severe fetal impairment, and decriminalize abortion in all other cases;
(b) Intensify the implementation of health programmes, including inclusive awareness-raising programmes, to ensure the availability, accessibility and affordability and use of modern contraceptives;
(c) Amend article 108 of the Criminal Code in order to ensure free access to sexual and reproductive health information and education and ensure that health-care providers, physicians and pregnancy counsellors do not operate under a constant fear that their services may be subject to criminal investigation and prosecution;
(d) Ensure the provision of post-abortion health-care services for women, irrespective of whether they have undergone an illegal or legal abortion.
Economic and social benefits and the economic empowerment of women
37.The Committee notes the inclusion of social clauses in the public procurement processes in Act No. 13/2019, which also amends the Act on public procurement. However, it notes the following with concern:
(a)The absence of measures, including temporary special measures, and activities and programmes to support entrepreneurship and promote the economic empowerment of women, in particular young women who wish to manage their own businesses;
(b)The lack of information on loan schemes, mortgages and other forms of financial credit for women and the provision of specific training on entrepreneurship for women;
(c)The lack of data on low-income households headed by women and the lack of information on the concrete impact of social programmes to improve the economic situation of women with low incomes;
(d)The absence of specific interventions to leverage opportunities for the economic empowerment of women.
38. The Committee reiterates its previous recommendation ( CEDAW/C/AND/CO/2-3 , para. 36) and recommends that the State party:
(a) Adopt necessary measures, including temporary special measures, to support entrepreneurship and promote the economic empowerment of women, in particular young women who intend to manage their own businesses;
(b) Address barriers to entrepreneurship among women by devising specific programmes and developing evaluation mechanisms;
(c) Collect data on low-income households headed by women and strengthen its programmes to combat the feminization of poverty;
(d) Design specific interventions to leverage opportunities for the economic empowerment of women and ensure that they are involved in the design of those strategies and programmes, focusing on women not only as victims or beneficiaries but also as active participants in the formulation and implementation of such policies.
Women and girls facing multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination
39.The Committee is concerned that women and girls with disabilities, migrant women, women seasonal workers and widows, as well as young women, continue to face aggravated forms of discrimination and are insufficiently protected from multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination and gender-based violence.
40. The Committee recommends that the State party urgently implement temporary special measures to achieve substantive equality for women and girls who face intersecting forms of discrimination, such as women and girls with disabilities, migrant women, women seasonal workers, widows and young women.
Refugee and asylum-seeking women
41.The Committee notes the adoption of Act No. 4/2018 on temporary and transitional protection for humanitarian reasons. It is concerned, however, that, upon the expiration of the temporary protection measures, the asylum procedure is not available in the State party, due to the absence of asylum legislation, which may disproportionately affect female beneficiaries of temporary protection measures who arrive through humanitarian corridors programmes.
42. In line with its general recommendation No . 32 (2014) on the gender-related dimensions of refugee status, asylum, nationality and statelessness of women, the Committee recommends that the State party accede to the following treaties: the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and the 1967 Protocol thereto, the 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons and the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness. The Committee also recommends that the State party adopt national asylum legislation.
Marriage and family relations
43.The Committee welcomes the adoption of Act No. 34/2014 regulating civil partnerships and amending the Marriage Act of 1995, which provides the same legal basis for same-sex civil partnerships as for marriages and legalizes adoption for same-sex civil partnerships. However, it notes the following with concern:
(a)The minimum age of marriage remains at 16 years of age for girls and boys, with legal exceptions allowing for marriage at 14 years of age;
(b)The persistence of discriminatory provisions in practice in certain areas, in relation to the enjoyment of rights in favour of marriage compared with civil unions;
(c)The long mandatory waiting period (from one to three years) before being able to acquire access to the divorce procedure;
(d)The temporal limitation of the widow’s pension according to age;
(e)Insufficient support for young mothers who have limited resources with which to bring up their children.
44. The Committee recommends that the State party:
(a) Raise the minimum age of marriage and civil unions to 18 years of age;
(b) Eliminate in practice any discriminatory difference in the enjoyment of rights between those in marriages and those in civil unions;
(c) Eliminate the obligatory waiting period required to seek divorce;
(d) Eliminate the temporal limitation of the widow’s pension according to age;
(e) Guarantee all necessary support to young mothers who have limited resources with which to bring up and care for their children.
Data collection and analysis
45.The Committee regrets the limited availability of statistical data, disaggregated by sex, age, ethnicity, migration status, disability and other relevant factors, that would enable the State party to determine the magnitude and nature of discrimination against women and girls, develop informed and targeted policies and systematically monitor and evaluate progress achieved towards the realization of substantive equality between women and men in all areas covered by the Convention and the gender-related targets of the Sustainable Development Goals.
46. The Committee recommends that the State party enhance the collection, analysis and dissemination of comprehensive data, disaggregated by sex, age, ethnicity, migration status, disability and other relevant factors, and use measurable indicators to assess trends in the situation of women and the progress made towards the realization of substantive equality for women in all areas covered by the Convention and the gender-related targets of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action
47. The Committee calls upon the State party to use the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and to further evaluate the realization of the rights enshrined in the Convention in the context of the 25-year review of the implementation of the Declaration and Platform in order to achieve substantive equality between women and men.
48. The Committee requests the State party to ensure the timely dissemination of the present concluding observations, in the official language of the State party, to the relevant State institutions at all levels (national, regional and local), in particular to the Government, the ministries, the General Council and the judiciary, to enable their full implementation.
Ratification of other treaties
49. The Committee notes that the adherence of the State party to the nine major international human rights instruments would enhance the enjoyment by women of their human rights and fundamental freedoms in all aspects of life. The Committee therefore encourages the State party to ratify the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families and the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, to which it is not yet a party.
Follow-up to concluding observations
50. The Committee requests the State party to provide, within two years, written information on the steps taken to implement the recommendations contained in paragraphs 26 (a) and (c) and 36 (b) and (c) above.
Preparation of the next report
51. The Committee requests the State party to submit its fifth periodic report, which is due in November 2023. The report should be submitted on time and cover the entire period up to the time of its submission.
52. The Committee requests the State party to follow the harmonized guidelines on reporting under the international human rights treaties, including guidelines on a common core document and treaty-specific documents ( HRI/GEN/2/Rev.6 , chap. I).