4- 22 July 2016
Item 4 of the provisional agenda
Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under article 18 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
List of issues and questions in relation to the combined seventh and eighth periodic reports of France
Constitutional, legislative and institutional framework
1.Please provide information on the current status of implementation of Act No. 2014-873 on substantive equality between women and men, and indicate whether all the planned measures are being implemented and the obstacles overcome. Please update the information given on the cross-cutting action plan entitled “Third generation of women’s rights: towards a society of actual equality”, aimed at promoting equality, parity, the protection of women against all forms of violence and the elimination of gender stereotypes (CEDAW/C/FRA/7-8, paras. 2.3.1-2.3.3) and indicate the human, technical and financial resources allocated for its implementation in the State budget according to the explanation given on gender budgeting (para. 2.3.6). Please also indicate the results of any assessments conducted and the new action priorities adopted with respect to women’s rights. Please indicate the outcome of the annual evaluations of the strategic regional plans for gender equality and whether, and if so how, they were taken into account in the development of a new generation of plans. Please indicate whether lawyers, judges and all other actors of the justice system are systematically trained on the Convention and its Optional Protocol. Please indicate whether the Convention has been invoked in courts and, if it has, the number, nature and outcome of the cases.
Access to justice
2.Please provide information on awareness-raising campaigns and other measures to encourage women to defend their rights and, in particular, bring complaints alleging sex or gender-based discrimination. Please inform the Committee of the provision of human, technical and financial resources to enable the Defender of Rights to fully exercise its mandate. Please also provide information on the impact of the individual recommendations and provision of mediation made to date by the Defender and on the studies conducted and the proposals for legislative reforms suggested, in the field of discrimination against women. Please also indicate how women suffering from multiple or intersecting discrimination can bring their claims before administrative or judicial authorities and obtain decisions addressing the grounds on which they are claiming their rights.
National machinery for the advancement of women
3.Please indicate whether the budget allocated to the national machinery for gender equality (currently a State secretariat in the Ministry for Social Affairs, Health and Women’s Rights) will remain at around €25 million (para 2.3.3) and the amounts invested by other ministries in gender equality policies and in efforts to tackle violence against women. Please provide information on the role played by the designated senior officials on the equal rights agenda in each ministry (para. 2.3.5) and indicate whether they have the time and authority necessary to carry out their mission. Please also provide information on measures taken at the central, regional and municipal levels to coordinate the policies and mechanisms to achieve the full and uniform implementation of the Convention throughout the territory of the State party, including the overseas territories (paras. 1.5.1 and 22.214.171.124 and CEDAW/C/FRA/7-8/Add.1). Please further provide information on the resources of the High Council for Gender Equality (paras. 2.3.3 and 2.3.5) and of the National Consultative Commission for Human Rights and indicate whether their resources are sufficient for their mandates in the field of gender equality, how duplication of functions between them is avoided and how their advice, opinions and/or recommendations are implemented.
Stereotypes and harmful practices
4.Please update information on the numerous measures presented in the report (paras. 126.96.36.199-188.8.131.52) regarding training, education, awareness-raising and materials to eliminate discriminatory stereotypes in the media, culture, sport, public administration and education, among others. Please indicate whether the measures, including the “ABCD of equality” pilot programmes for pupils and the “equality” modules in initial and ongoing training for teachers (para. 2.4.1), have been evaluated and extended to other schools. Please also provide information on the evaluation of initiatives in the media, culture, sport and public administration, the challenges encountered and the results achieved with regard to changing social attitudes, including those relating to gender-based violence. Please further provide information on measures taken to encourage girls to study non-traditional subjects and to encourage companies to recruit women for non-stereotypical posts, and to address the persistent stereotypical views that affect the position in the labour market, education and public and political life of migrant women, indigenous women in the overseas territories, Roma women and women of immigrant origin.
5.Female genital mutilation has decreased in the State party (para. 184.108.40.206), but reportedly continues to be practised outside the country on girls living in the State party who are sent to their countries of origin for that purpose. Please provide updated information on the various measures taken to tackle female genital mutilation, such as the gathering of primary data thereon, quantitative and qualitative studies conducted for the purpose of better assessing the risks among different groups of migrants, training for law enforcement officers, members of the judiciary, border guards, social workers and health providers, and the prosecution and punishment of perpetrators.
Violence against women
6.Please indicate whether evaluations have been conducted with regard to the measures taken to date, in particular the implementation of Act No. 2010-769 of 9 July 2010 on violence specifically against women, spousal violence and its impact on children, the four interministerial plans for preventing and combating violence against women, and the joint framework protocol established by the Ministers of Justice, the Interior and Women’s Rights, and indicate the results of such evaluations and the adoption of policies based on them (para. 2.5.1). Please indicate whether, under the current system, women and girls, including asylum-seeking, refugee, migrant and Roma women, as well as women of immigrant origin and those with disabilities, and/or women living in sensitive urban areas enjoy sufficient protection and access to justice and to all other services, such as shelters, social services and legal and psychological counselling, throughout the territory of the State party, including the overseas territories. Please further elaborate on the role of the Interministerial Mission for the Protection of Women Victims of Violence and for Combating Human Trafficking (paras. 220.127.116.11 and 2.5.3), in particular regarding the training of professionals providing care for women who are the victims of violence, and provide information on the human, technical and financial resources allocated for its role in combating violence against women.
7.Please provide information on measures taken to overcome women’s reluctance to file complaints of assault and/or sexual abuse in the home (para. 2.5.1). Please also provide information on further measures taken to raise awareness of the mechanisms available to victims of domestic violence, in particular those belonging to the most vulnerable groups of women (para. 2.5.3), and on the more effective implementation of protection orders envisaged (para. 18.104.22.168).
Trafficking and exploitation of prostitution
8.Information received by the Committee indicates that the interministerial plan for combating human trafficking adopted for the period 2014-2017 has not yet been implemented owing to the lack of allocation of the necessary funds. Please indicate whether funds will be allocated, whether the objectives of the previous interministerial plan have been achieved and whether the statistical instrument (para. 2.6.1) has been established. Please also indicate whether the Interministerial Mission for the Protection of Women Victims of Violence and for Combating Human Trafficking and the National Consultative Commission for Human Rights will receive increased human, technical and financial resources to ensure the effective coordination, monitoring and assessment of government action against trafficking in persons and exploitation. Please indicate whether the number of prosecutions and sanctions for trafficking have increased with the broadened interpretation of trafficking (para. 2.6.2) and provide an update on the number of victims (para. 2.6.1).
9.Please indicate whether the repeal of the requirement to cooperate with the police in order to obtain a temporary residence permit for women victims of trafficking is envisaged and whether the evaluation mentioned has been conducted (para. 22.214.171.124). Please provide information on measures envisaged to offset the possibly increased security and health risks for sex workers owing to the criminalization of clients of prostitution (para. 2.6.3).
Participation in political and public life
10.The report presents the legislative measures and electoral reforms adopted to increase the participation of women in elective functions (para. 3.1.1). Please provide statistics on the gender composition of all legislative and executive bodies at the national, regional, departmental and municipal levels. Please also provide statistics for independent administrative authorities and key consultative State bodies, senior civil service administration, high-ranking positions in universities, the posts of ambassador and consul, positions in management and on company boards (paras. 3.1 and 3.2) and the professional and social responsibilities mentioned in paragraph 4.1.3 of the report.
11.Please provide information on the results obtained by the combination of measures based on the five laws mentioned in paragraph 126.96.36.199 of the report, on the interministerial convention for the equality of girls and boys and women and men in the education system, to which six ministries are parties, for the period from 2013 to 2018 (para. 188.8.131.52), and on the gender equality charter between the Ministry of Higher Education and Research and the standing conference of presidents of universities and specialized higher education institutions and directors of schools of engineering. Please indicate the degree to which the triple aims of the Committee on Equality, which is responsible for the coordination of policies on equality in higher education and research, have been achieved.
12.It is indicated in the report that women are still a minority in the most prestigious sectors and levels, which are major providers of jobs (para. 3.1.5). Please provide information on measures taken to eliminate traditional stereotypes and structural barriers that may deter girls, in particular those with parents of immigrant origin (para. 184.108.40.206) and/or those living in sensitive urban areas, from enrolling in traditionally male-dominated fields of study in higher education and to step up efforts to provide girls with career counselling on non-traditional career paths, as well as alternatives outside formal education, including non-stereotypical vocational training. Please also provide data on the educational achievements of migrants and girls of immigrant origin at all levels.
13.It is acknowledged in the report that, notwithstanding the numerous measures taken to promote equality in the labour market, women still suffer from persistent discrimination (para. 4.1) and indicated that a new approach is being pursued. Please provide updated information on the status of implementation, and any assessment made, of the joint action plan to ensure occupational equality adopted by a tripartite steering committee in September 2012. Please also provide information on the results achieved through the implementation of the “free choice of activity” supplement, which is aimed at encouraging fathers to take paternity leave. Please indicate whether the State party has attained the goal of ensuring uniform coverage of care facilities for infants throughout the territory to overcome the difficulties experienced by the lowest-income families, and single-parent households in particular (para. 220.127.116.11).
14.Please provide information on measures taken to strengthen the social entitlements of part-time workers and to reduce the share of women in this category (para. 18.104.22.168). Please indicate whether businesses comply with their legal obligations to develop measures aimed at closing the wage gap through collective bargaining, and specify how women working in small and medium-sized enterprises that have no union representation can benefit from such a practice (para. 4.1.2). Please indicate whether the draft act guaranteeing the future and fairness of the pension system, which includes provisions aimed at improving the pensions of women, has been adopted, and, if it has, whether an initial gender impact assessment has been conducted with a view to reducing the pension gap (para. 4.1.5).
15.Please provide information on measures taken to scale up information and awareness-raising efforts to encourage the correct use of contraceptive methods, and on inequality among women with regard to access to such methods, and to develop the use of more diversified methods of contraception, better suited to the various lifestyles, ages and plans of women and couples (para. 22.214.171.124). Please also provide updated information on measures to reduce the rate of teenage and/or unwanted pregnancy, including through improvements in the accessibility, availability and affordability of sexual and reproductive health services, including family planning information and services, in both metropolitan and overseas territories. Please further indicate any steps taken or envisaged to ensure that sex education classes are actually held in all schools and also provided to pupils from the primary level in an age-appropriate manner (paras. 126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52). Please provide information on further measures taken to reduce the maternal mortality rate, including by implementing the recommendations of the survey by the national expert committee (para. 4.2.4). Please indicate what measures are planned to further combat new HIV infections in women, especially in the most exposed groups (para. 184.108.40.206), such as women with a low level of education, migrants and sex workers.
Disadvantaged groups of women
16.In its report, the State party acknowledges that immigrant women are exposed to situations of inequality and violence more frequently than other women (para. 220.127.116.11). In the light of the current social and political context, which is characterized by an increasing number of acts of a racist, xenophobic and Islamophobic nature, please provide information on measures taken or envisaged to combat all forms of discrimination against women belonging to racial, ethnic, national and religious minorities, including women living in sensitive urban areas, in particular single mothers, to ensure their equal access to employment, social security and social services, housing, health and education, and to the public and political arenas. Please also indicate measures taken to ensure that racist, xenophobic, Islamophobic and sexist acts are thoroughly investigated and prosecuted and that sentences imposed on perpetrators are commensurate with the gravity of their acts. Please further indicate whether any studies on violence against women and girls of immigrant origin have been conducted and used as a basis for the adoption of well-targeted policies and programmes.
17.Please provide information on current and planned initiatives to address the challenges that indigenous women and girls face in the overseas territories, including the limited access to birth registration, culturally and linguistically relevant education, health-care services and employment opportunities; the limited access to financial support to develop and implement income-generating projects and local training programmes; discriminatory customary laws, especially in the area of inheritance and succession (e.g. Kanak customary laws); the low representation in customary institutions (e.g. the Kanak Customary Senate); the difficulty that they experience in fully exercising their right to self-determination and determining their own priorities for development; the lack of recognition of their right to own, have access to and use their traditional lands, resources and territories; the deteriorating health and living conditions, sometimes owing to the expansion of extractive industries into their territories; and the high rates of domestic and sexual violence against them.
Refugee and asylum-seeking women
18.According to information received by the Committee, refugees and asylum seekers throughout the territory of the State party may find themselves in a very vulnerable position. In particular in Calais, they experience precarious sanitary and housing conditions, no guarantee of access to food, clean water, sanitation or medical care, psychological support or legal counselling and high levels of exposure to violence and exploitation, especially for women and girls. Please provide information on measures taken to guarantee compliance with the international obligations of the State party towards women and girl refugees and asylum seekers, including the protection of their fundamental rights and the provision of basic services, and training and guidelines for law enforcement officials and border guards on the gender-sensitive treatment of women and girl refugees and asylum seekers, at all stages of the asylum procedure.
Marriage and family relations
19.Single-parent families, most often headed by women, are particularly exposed to the risk of poverty. Please provide information on the results of the safeguard mechanism against failure to pay maintenance, introduced by the Gender Equality Act on a pilot basis (para. 4.3.2) and indicate whether the mechanism will be extended for general implementation throughout the State party, including the overseas territories.
20.Please indicate whether the six lines of action against forced marriage (para. 18.104.22.168) are being implemented to protect migrant women and women of immigrant origin in particular and indicate whether they are also being implemented in the overseas territories. Please indicate whether the new offence introduced in article 222-14-4 of the Penal Code (misleading a person into travelling abroad and obliging her or him to enter into marriage) has yet been committed and prosecuted. Please also indicate the legal conditions under which cases of forced marriage committed outside the territory of the State party can be prosecuted in the State party. Please also update information, including statistics, on the incidence of forced marriage in the State party.