List of issues and questions in relation to the ninth periodic report of Iceland *

Visibility of the Convention, the Optional Protocol thereto and the Committee’s general recommendations

1.Please provide information on additional measures taken to ensure the full implementation of the Convention and the Committee’s concluding observations on the combined seventh and eighth periodic reports of the State party (CEDAW/C/ISL/CO/7-8). In particular, please indicate the measures in place to increase the visibility among the general public, and particularly women, of the Convention, the communications and inquiry procedures provided for under the Optional Protocol, and the Committee’s general recommendations, including how the attention of the general public is brought to the State party’s human rights web page (para. 19). Please also indicate what steps the State party has taken, or is taking, to ensure that the Convention and the Committee’s general recommendations are integrated into judicial training programmes for judges, lawyers and prosecutors.

Women’s rights and gender equality in relation to the pandemic and recovery efforts

2.In line with the Committee’s guidance note on the obligations of States parties to the Convention in the context of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, issued on 22 April 2020, please indicate the measures implemented by the State party to redress long-standing inequalities between women and men, to give a new impetus to the implementation of gender equality by placing women at the centre of the recovery as a strategic priority for sustainable change, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals, and to meet the needs and uphold the rights of women and girls, including those belonging to disadvantaged and marginalized groups and women in situations of conflict or other humanitarian emergencies. Please indicate the measures put in place to ensure that all COVID-19 crisis response and recovery efforts, including the recovery and resilience plan:

(a)Address and are aimed at effectively preventing gender-based violence against women and girls;

(b)Guarantee the equal participation of women and girls in political and public life, decision-making, economic empowerment and service delivery, in particular in the design and implementation of recovery programmes;

(c)Are designed so that women and girls benefit equally from stimulus packages, including financial support for unpaid care roles that are aimed at mitigating the socioeconomic impact of the pandemic.

Legislative framework and definition of discrimination against women

3.In the light of the Committee’s previous recommendations (CEDAW/C/ISL/CO/7-8, para. 10), please provide further clarifications as to why human rights conventions such as the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women are not incorporated into domestic legislation. Please also describe in more detail, including through examples, as appropriate, how the State party implements the Convention through its legislation and actions (para. 23 of the State party’s report).

National machinery for the advancement of women and gender mainstreaming

4.In the light of the Committee’s previous recommendations (CEDAW/C/ISL/CO/7-8, para. 12), please indicate whether the State party intends to relocate the Directorate of Equality from its more remote location in Akureyri to the capital and, if not, please describe in detail the specific measures put in place to make the Directorate more accessible to women in other regions of the country. Please also indicate the budgetary allocations made to the Directorate of Equality in 2021 and 2022 in relation to the overall national budget (para. 26).

National human rights institution

5.Please provide an update on the recommendations of the working committee established by the Minister of Justice in 2021 to seek ways to establish an independent national human rights institution, in line with the principles relating to the status of national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights (the Paris Principles), within the total Treasury expenditure framework, and its current status (paras. 30–31).

Temporary special measures

6.In the light of the Committee’s previous recommendation (CEDAW/C/ISL/CO/7-8, para. 16), please provide information on the following:

(a)Steps taken, including through the analysis of data disaggregated by gender, to evaluate the impact of existing measures to accelerate the achievement of substantive gender equality in all areas under the Convention in which women continue to be disadvantaged and underrepresented;

(b)The output of the working committee on the collection, use and publication of gendered statistical data established in June 2020 (para. 33);

(c)Measures taken to evaluate and comprehensively address the potentially negative implications of “gender-neutral” policies for public funding programmes specifically for women.

Discriminatory gender stereotypes and harmful practices

7.In the light of the Committee’s previous recommendations (CEDAW/C/ISL/CO/7-8, para. 18), please provide information on measures taken to enhance awareness-raising through the media – traditional and new – and in educational programmes, and generally to eliminate stereotypes and structural barriers that might deter girls and boys from making non-traditional educational and occupational choices or impede the advancement of women in academic institutions, the labour market, the family and society. Please indicate the measures in place to address the stereotypical presentation of women in the media, especially with regard to the division of roles and responsibilities in the family between men and women, and to develop media literacy among young women and men to ensure greater gender awareness when engaging with social media.

Gender-based violence against women

8.Recalling the Committee’s previous recommendations (CEDAW/C/ISL/CO/7-8, para. 20), please provide additional and updated information on the establishment and work of the steering committee appointed to follow up on the ratification of the 2011 Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (Istanbul Convention). Please explain in further detail how the programme on measures against violence and its consequences for the period 2019–2022, adopted by parliamentary resolution in June 2019, addresses the issues of sexual and domestic violence and how it takes into account the specific needs and vulnerabilities of migrant women and women with disabilities (para. 41). Please also provide details on the human and financial resources that have been allocated to expanding the approach of the Reykjavik Metropolitan Police to combating domestic violence to all police districts, and on the resources allocated to other entities that address the issue, such as the judiciary and social services. Please describe any preventive measures that have been put in place, such as parental education and engagement of men and boys, to combat gender-based violence against women. Please explain the extent to which university research on gender-based violence against women is integrated into preventive measures aimed at reducing violence against women and girls.

9.Recalling the Committee’s previous recommendations (CEDAW/C/ISL/CO/7-8, para. 22), please indicate the steps taken to provide an adequate number of accessible shelters with qualified personnel and adequate financial resources for women victims of gender-based violence living in rural areas. Please also indicate the number of rape crisis centres and walk-in centres established and their locations. Please indicate what agreements, if any, are in place with non-governmental organizations providing medical and psychosocial services to women who are victims of violence outside the capital, including agreements for the provision of adequate funding. Please briefly describe measures put in place to ensure the safety and security of women with disabilities in general and those sheltering in accessible hotels under agreement with the Women’s Shelter Association in particular. Please describe the mechanisms in place to reduce gender-based violence against migrant and refugee women.

Trafficking and exploitation of prostitution

10.In the light of the Committee’s previous recommendations (CEDAW/C/ISL/CO/7-8, para. 24), please elaborate on the following in relation to women and girls:

(a)The entry into force of Act No. 79/2021 amending the provision on human trafficking in article 227a (1) of the General Penal Code (para. 57);

(b)The State party’s current action plan on human trafficking, including whether the plan has received sufficient funding to be effective and to ensure the prosecution and adequate punishment of perpetrators and the early referral of victims to protection and assistance services;

(c)The work of the coordination unit established in 2020 by the Ministry of Social Affairs to coordinate the work and response of the parties involved in the provision of welfare services to victims of human trafficking, including details on the type of protection, support and reintegration services provided to them, in line with the Committee’s general recommendation No. 38 (2020) on trafficking in women and girls in the context of global migration;

(d)The impact of legislation making the purchase of prostitution services illegal while decriminalizing women in prostitution and any efforts to provide exit programmes for women who wish to leave prostitution.

Participation in political and public life

11.Recalling the Committee’s previous recommendations (CEDAW/C/ISL/CO/7-8, para. 26), please explain in detail how the State party ensures the equal participation of women in politics and in public office, especially at the municipal level, and the measures in place to ensure that women are able to access all positions and portfolios in public office (para. 69).


12.Please explain how the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture has moved forward with the proposals on more efficient teaching about sexual health and active prevention of gender-based violence in primary, lower secondary and upper secondary schools contained in the 2021 report of the working group established under its auspices (para. 71). Please explain how these efforts link with the implementation of the action plan for the new education policy (para. 71).

13.Please provide an update on:

(a)Specific actions formulated in cooperation with universities to address their promotion systems in the context of family situations and career choices (para. 76);

(b)The draft programme of action to halt the withdrawal of women from academic work and efforts to improve those factors that affect academic promotions from a perspective of gender and equality (para. 76);

(c)The access of women and girls with disabilities to inclusive education and their retention at all levels of the education system.

14.Please provide detailed information on measures to eliminate gender stereotypes and ensure that the important roles and contributions of women are reflected in all textbooks, including history textbooks, currently being used in schools.


15.Please inform the Committee about the proposals of the 2020 working group of social partners regarding actions to eradicate pay differences caused by gender divisions in the labour market and the systematic undervaluing of occupations that have traditionally been held by women (para. 89). Recalling the Committee’s previous recommendations (CEDAW/C/ISL/CO/7-8, para. 30), please provide information on the following:

(a)Measures to bring into alignment the number of cases of bullying and sexual harassment of women within the police force brought before the special professional board and the estimated number of victims and perpetrators (para. 97);

(b)The implementation and impact of the 2015 Regulation on Measures against Bullying, Sexual Harassment, Gender-Based Harassment and Violence in Workplaces (para. 195);

(c)Targeted measures, including through the project TINNA (para. 102), adopted to facilitate access by single mothers to the formal labour market and to support them in having a better balance between family and working life;

(d)Sanctions imposed on companies for not meeting the obligations of equal pay as set out in the Act on Equal Pay Certification (2017).


16.In the light of the Committee’s previous recommendations (CEDAW/C/ISL/CO/7-8, para. 36), please provide information on the following:

(a)Gender-sensitive training programmes for health and social workers to enable them to carry out their responsibilities under the law in a way that does not discourage women seeking an abortion;

(b)Efforts to ensure that all women, including young women and rural women, are aware of their right to have access to modern contraceptives and receive information about their sexual and reproductive health and rights, including family planning, to avoid unwanted pregnancies (para. 105);

(c)Efforts to address mental health issues among women and girls and to carry out research on the factors contributing to self-harm among girls (para. 107);

(d)Efforts to provide a safe environment for lesbian, bisexual and transgender women and intersex persons in hospitals and other medical environments by providing adequate training and orientation to medical staff and health workers.

Disadvantaged groups of women

17.Recalling the Committee’s previous recommendations (CEDAW/C/ISL/CO/7-8, paras. 44 and 46), please provide information on the following:

(a)Policies to address intersecting forms of discrimination against migrant women, including policies developed or to be developed as part of the implementation of the Action Programme for Immigrants’ Issues 2021–2024;

(b)Measures to ensure full, effective and easy access for migrant women to the Multicultural Information Centre in Ísafjörður (para. 121);

(c)Policies in place to specifically address the issue of gender-based violence, including sexual violence, against women of foreign origin (para. 114);

(d)Efforts to ensure that women with disabilities, and in particular women with learning disabilities and substance use disorder, are able to access general health services free from prejudice and humiliation;

(e)The extent to which reasonable accommodation is available in all health environments, with regard to both the physical environment and the provision of information.

Rural women

18.Please provide information on:

(a)National policies in relation to the economic empowerment of women and girls in rural areas;

(b)Policies, strategies and measures to ensure that women and girls living in rural areas have full access to education, health services and employment opportunities and are protected against gender-based violence;

(c)Mechanisms to mainstream gender equality into, and consult rural women’s organizations regarding, the protection and management of natural and other assets.

Climate change and disaster risk reduction

19.Please describe steps taken to integrate a gender perspective into national policies on climate change in line with the Committee’s general recommendation No. 37 (2018) on the gender-related dimensions of disaster risk reduction in the context of climate change. Please specify any measures taken to ensure the effective participation of women in decision-making processes on climate change adaptation, disaster risk reduction, and land and environmental resource management.

Marriage and family relations

20.Recalling the Committee’s previous recommendations (CEDAW/C/ISL/CO/7-8, paras. 48 and 50), please indicate the steps taken, in line with the Committee’s general recommendation No. 29 (2013) on the economic consequences of marriage, family relations and their dissolution, to: address gender-based economic disparities between spouses in the State party under the matrimonial property regime upon the dissolution of marriage; prevent the concealment of matrimonial property; and recognize the rights of women living in de facto relationships to the property accumulated during the relationship.