* The present document is being issued without formal editing.
Information received from Suriname on follow-up to the concluding observations on its combined fourth to sixth periodic reports *
[Date received: 15 September 2020]
A.Follow-up information relating to paragraph 11 (c) of the concluding observations (CEDAW/C/SUR/CO/4-6)
1.As reported during the constructive dialogue, the Ministry of Labour drafted a bill on equal treatment regarding labour matters with input from stakeholders. This draft bill was submitted to the National Assembly in July 2019 and placed on its agenda as per January 2020. The bill contains a definition on distinction (article 1.g) which includes both direct and indirect distinction, and reads as follows:
“Direct and indirect distinction as well as the assignment to make a distinction based on race, sex, religion, skin color, ethnic origin, national origin, social origin, political opinion, disability or family responsibility, pregnancy, age or marital status”.
2.The draft bill applies primarily to the private sector. In addition, the draft bill, in article 11a, contains provisions that regulate the application of the law to the public sector.
3.The text of the draft bill may be obtained from http://www.dna.sr/media/263434/Wet_Gelijke_Behandeling_Arbeid__ID_50211_.pdf.
B.Follow-up information relating to paragraph 11 (d) of the concluding observations
4.The Bureau Gender Affairs (BGA) of the Ministry of Home Affairs has organized Introductory Presentations on Gender for the National Assembly and the Council of Ministers in June 2018. During these sessions emphasis was placed on, inter alia, CEDAW, the CEDAW Concluding Observations on the Combined Fourth to Sixth periodic reports of Suriname. The Concluding Observations related to legal reform were highlighted during the session with members of parliament.
5.Through the Technical Assistance Agreement, which the Ministry of Home Affairs signed in 2019 with the Islamic Development Bank, awareness raising sessions are also included for policymakers and government officials, such as raising awareness on the importance of comprehensive, consistent and coherent legal reform to achieve substantive equality of women and men. These awareness sessions will be implemented in 2021 for the newly installed members of parliament and Council of Ministers after the elections of May 2020.
C.Follow-up information relating to paragraph 15 (a) of the concluding observations
6.As stated during the constructive dialogue with the CEDAW Commission in February 2018, the new organizational structure that would strengthen the Bureau for Gender Affairs had been submitted to the Minister of Home Affairs and would be discussed. In this regard, in 2018 various sessions were organized within the Bureau for Gender Affairs and one session with the Minister of Home Affairs and his policy advisors.
7.In January 2019, a draft with recommendations from the Minister of Home Affairs was submitted but was not approved in June 2019.
8.In September 2019 with support of a consultant, a workable concept of the organizational structure, linked to the implementation of the Gender Vision Policy document 2021-2035, was drafted and resubmitted to the Minister for approval.
9.The importance of an organizational structure of the Bureau Gender Affairs, with sufficient decision-making authority, human, technical and financial resources to actually promote gender equality and combat gender discrimination is recognized in the Gender Vision Policy Document 2021 – 2035 as one of the conditions in order to coordinate, supervise and monitor the national gender policy for the period 2021 – 2035 (page 28).
D.Follow-up information relating to paragraph 15 (b) of the concluding observations
10.The Ministry of Home Affairs launched its Gender Vision Policy Document 2021 – 2035 in July 2019. This Gender Vision Policy Document elaborates on Suriname’s international and regional obligations to achieve gender equality and empowerment of women and girls; the Constitution of Suriname; the evaluation of prior integral gender policy plans of the Ministry of Home Affairs; and the Development Plan of Suriname for the period 2017 – 2021 (OP2017 – 2021), which introduces gender policy in Chapter X, Paragraph 1.
11.It was decided to develop a policy document containing a vision for gender equality and equity over a period of roughly 15 years (2021 – 2035).
12.In this manner, the goals of the 2030 Agenda can be better coordinated with the national goals and the vision of development, and intended change can also be better articulated.
13.The intention is that this gender vision policy plan will be integrated in the national development plans of Suriname for the coming years. The priority areas for the period 2021 – 2035 are:
•Labour, income and poverty reduction;
•Power and decision-making;
•Legal and regulatory framework;
•Environment and climate change.
14.Simultaneously, the Gender Action Plan 2019 – 2020 was developed to serve as an example for forthcoming annual work plans, which in the future should be derived from the Gender Vision Policy Document 2021 – 2035.
15.The 2019 – 2020 Gender Action Plan specifically bridges the periods indicated by the OP2017 – 2021 and the Gender Vision Policy Document 2021 – 2035.
16.Currently, the Bureau for Gender Affairs is in the process of evaluating the implementation of the activities of 2019, confirming with stakeholders the activities for 2020, and simultaneously started the planning for 2021.
17.It is also worth noting that the CEDAW Concluding Observations on the Combined Fourth to Sixth periodic reports of Suriname, related to the aforementioned seven priority areas, are also incorporated in the Gender Vision Policy Document 2021-2035 as actions or interventions.