Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women
Summary record of the 1704th meeting
Held at the Palais des Nations, Geneva, on Thursday, 11 July 2019, at 10 a.m.
Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under article 18 of the Convention (continued)
Ninth periodic report of Cabo Verde
The meeting was called to order at 10.05 a.m.
Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under article 18 of the Convention (continued)
Ninth periodic report of Cabo Verde (CEDAW/C/CPV/9; CEDAW/C/CPV/Q/9 and CEDAW/C/CPV/Q/9/Add.1)
1. At the invitation of the Chair, the delegation of Cabo Verde took places at the Committee table.
2.Ms. Rosabal Peña (Cabo Verde), introducing her country’s ninth periodic report (CEDAW/C/CPV/9), said that the Government worked continuously to improve the situation of women in all areas of life, especially where inequalities persisted. A government programme for the period 2016–2021, approved by the parliament in April 2016 as a means of addressing obstacles that prevented Cabo Verdean women from fully enjoying their rights, made gender equality a national priority. The programme covered areas including gender-based violence, women in the workplace, health care, discrimination and education.
3.Under the Strategic Plan for Sustainable Development for 2017–2021, gender equality was a precondition for achieving inclusive and sustainable development through the incorporation of the gender perspective in public policies and programmes. The Plan comprised three main areas. The first addressed the economy, finance, economic growth and agriculture. The second covered sport, education, family, health and inclusion, including two projects developed by the World Bank, on education and skills development and on social inclusion. The third dealt with the participation of women in leadership positions and in the justice system. The measures taken under the Plan were overseen jointly by the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Family and Social Inclusion. The Interministerial Commission for Gender Mainstreaming, which had been established in October 2018, comprised representatives of civil society organizations and the Research and Training Centre on Gender and Family. The Commission made public policy proposals and was required to submit an annual report on the progress made in gender mainstreaming. It had been involved in preparing the ninth periodic report and the country’s report for the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.
4.Local sustainable development plans focusing on the eradication of gender-based violence and the economic empowerment of women had been adopted by several municipalities. Planning and monitoring at the national level had created a powerful synergy across all government sectors, paving the way to gender equality through a mainstreaming approach. The Ministry of Finance had taken the lead by adopting gender-sensitive budgeting. The Government sought to develop its vision for the country through gender-sensitive budgeting and gender markers.
5.Specific policies had been devised in the area of the real economy, including development programmes that used positive discrimination criteria to encourage female entrepreneurs and enhance the employability of young women. The Ministry of Agriculture and the Environment, in collaboration with the Ministry of Family and Social Inclusion and town halls, was implementing projects aimed at the economic empowerment of rural women by granting them access to land, water and technology, and by incorporating them into the production chain. Selection criteria adopted by the Ministry of Tourism, Trade and Energy meant that half of all young people recruited to install renewable energy sources were women. The Ministry was also investing heavily in installing public lighting to enable women to travel at all hours. Along similar lines, the Ministry of Infrastructure, Territorial Planning and Housing had developed a programme to improve women’s mobility and access to public water and sanitation services.
6.The Government was considering an amendment of the Criminal Procedure Code, proposed by the Ministry of Justice, whereby the investigation of crimes against sexual freedom and gender-based violence offences would be dealt with as a matter of urgency. The International Labour Organization (ILO) Social Security (Minimum Standards) Convention, 1952 (No. 102) and the Tripartite Consultation (International Labour Standards) Convention, 1976 (No. 144) were pending ratification by the National Assembly. If ratified, social security would be extended to sectors of the labour market such as domestic work, in which the majority of workers were women. A proposal to amend judicial instruments and procedures to speed up the resolution of gender violence cases and improve the programme for the rehabilitation of gender-based violence offenders was being prepared.
7.The Ministry of Internal Affairs had implemented gender parity criteria for National Police training courses and it had incorporated a protocol into the Integrated Operational Management System to assess the level of risk faced by potential victims of gender-based violence and to ensure their protection. Other measures taken by the Ministry included community surveillance for families with a history of gender-based violence, the introduction of an unspecified gender option in visa application forms, training for dispute mediators in conjunction with Praia Town Hall and the adoption of a module on gender equality and violence against women in the National Police training curriculum. Action was currently under way to improve the functioning of support centres for gender-based violence victims by training additional staff.
8.The Ministry of Health and Social Security had taken steps to promote men’s sexual and reproductive health, introduced measures to promote their shouldering of parental responsibilities, opened integrated adolescent sexual health centres on five islands and had launched the Adolescent-Friendly Health Facilities initiative. The Ministry had adopted gender-specific health care for older persons and had recently adopted the recommendations of a study on the quality of health-care services for women living with HIV.
9.The Ministry of Education had taken steps to roll out universal preschool education and to make secondary education free by September 2020. As a result of efforts to ensure gender parity, women accounted for approximately half of all staff in the education system. A law had been passed preventing the education system from discriminating against pregnant adolescents and establishing social support mechanisms to ensure that those adolescents were able to attend school. The Ministry had set up a directorate to promote gender equality, eliminate gender-based violence in schools, remove gender stereotypes from textbooks and introduce materials that promoted gender equality. Teacher training courses on gender equality had also been developed.
10.The Ministry of Family and Social Inclusion had devised and implemented the National Plan to Combat Sexual Violence against Children and Adolescents for the period 2017–2019. The Ministry provided care services for victims of gender-based violence in 21 of the country’s 22 municipalities and provided training courses for prosecutors and health-care professionals on identifying and dealing with victims of violence. It had also established, in conjunction with civil society organizations, temporary shelters for such victims across the country. A programme to end intimate partner violence, which comprised teacher training, activities for adolescents to promote relationships free from violence and a weekly television programme promoting gender equality, was in the implementation stage.
11.Given the significant amount of unpaid care work carried out by women, the national care system had been placed at the top of the agenda in order to ensure that women had the same amount of time available for their personal and professional development as men. Another area that needed to be addressed urgently was the underrepresentation of women in decision-making roles, particularly in the legislature. To that end, a gender parity bill had been tabled that would require 40 per cent of the candidates on electoral lists to be women. The bill was set to be debated by the parliament in July 2019.
Articles 1 to 6
12.Ms. Toé-Bouda said that she wished to know why the definition of discrimination under article 1 of the Convention had not been incorporated in the numerous laws and regulations adopted in that area. She would be interested to hear about the results of the pilot projects launched in various municipalities to implement the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly Goal 5 on achieving gender equality and empowering women and girls. She asked whether the pilot projects had been evaluated and, if so, whether they would be extended to all levels of government.
13.Ms. Narain said that she would be interested to know how many female judges sat in the Supreme Court of Justice. She wondered whether any reports of gender bias on the part of judges had been received and whether there was a mechanism to file complaints against judges. She wished to know whether the State party would ensure that all members of the judiciary were given training on gender equality, gender-based violence and stereotypes on an ongoing and structured basis. She would appreciate clarification as to whether the court judgments were accessible to the general public and whether they could be found on the Internet, for example. It would be useful to have an explanation of action taken to improve the legal literacy of women in the country and to ensure that victims were able to seek redress in court. Was legal aid available free of charge to victims of women’s rights violations?
14.She would appreciate examples of cases where the Convention had been invoked and applied in national courts, and wondered whether those cases related mostly to gender-based violence. Given that the Committee had received no communications from women since Cabo Verde became a party to the Optional Protocol in 2011, she wished to know what measures had been adopted to make women, civil society organizations and legal professionals aware of the Optional Protocol. She would be interested to hear whether the State party would consider acceding to the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. She asked whether the State party had fully incorporated the provisions of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights into national law and whether it had been disseminated among the general population, as well as legal professionals and civil society organizations.
15.She wished to know whether the National Commission on Human Rights and Citizenship had been brought into line with the principles relating to the status of national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights (the Paris Principles) and was duly accredited. Was the Commission able to recommend payment of compensation to victims of women’s rights violations?
16.Ms. Rosabal Peña (Cabo Verde) said that, in accordance with the Constitution, international conventions became directly applicable upon ratification. A framework was in place that identified vulnerable families, particularly those with female heads of household and those living in poverty, as beneficiaries of various social programmes.
17.The projects aimed at achieving the Sustainable Development Goals at the municipal level were already bearing fruit, particularly in terms of women’s empowerment. Most of the country’s municipalities had advisers to promote gender equality. The Ministry of Family and Social Inclusion was preparing an evaluation tool to assess the achievement of the Goals at the municipal level and identify areas for improvement.
18.Of the seven judges of the Supreme Court of Justice, two were women, including the chief justice. The President of the High Council of the Judiciary and the head of the Bar Association were currently women. While the National Police training programme contained a specific module on gender-based violence, there was no training course for judges on gender issues specifically. Prosecutors and court staff had recently been given training to enhance the services they provided, which included information on national and international instruments for promoting gender equality. Municipal councils were responsible for providing legal aid in collaboration with the Bar Association, and support centres for victims of gender-based violence gave information on the assistance available. The income threshold to be eligible for free legal aid was slightly above the national minimum wage.
19.The ratification of the Optional Protocol had been publicized but awareness-raising efforts needed to be improved. The Committee’s recommendations were often incorporated in national legislation, including the gender parity bill that was currently under consideration. One of the main objectives of the Gender Commission was to raise awareness of the Convention and to promote gender mainstreaming across all government bodies. Proposals for new statutes for the National Commission on Human Rights and Citizenship were currently under consideration.
20.Ms. Rana said she was concerned that the coordination, monitoring and funding of the plethora of women’s rights mechanisms in the country might prove so challenging as to undermine their efficiency and effectiveness. She wondered whether it might be better to have a single entity responsible for overseeing all gender equality issues. Given that the Ministry of Family and Social Inclusion dealt with broad areas, including children’s rights and combating poverty, she wondered how the State party ensured that the gender equality issues received sufficient attention. She asked whether the Government would consider establishing a dedicated ministry for gender equality to take holistic, focused and effective action to meet the State party’s obligations regarding women’s rights.
21.She would appreciate information on the Institute for Gender Equality and Equity including its status, who headed the Institute and what authority was responsible for its oversight. It would be useful to have specific examples of its gender mainstreaming policies. It was unclear how the responsibilities of the Gender Commission were different from those of the Institute for Gender Equality and Equity. She wished to know how the State party ensured that the work of the Commission was effective. She would be interested to learn how the Commission intended to integrate global mechanisms such as the Convention, the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the Sustainable Development Goals into its implementation and monitoring framework. She asked whether civil society was engaged in the work of the Commission. In the light of the fact that, according to alternative sources, female victims of violence did not have easy access to support services in municipalities without gender focal points, she enquired when gender focal points would be established in those remaining municipalities and what had prevented them from being set up sooner.
22.Ms. Eghobamien-Mshelia said that she would appreciate confirmation as to whether the State party accepted temporary special measures that addressed vertical and horizontal discrimination and sought to achieve targets within specific time frames, as envisaged in the Convention, in all areas of government. She wondered whether the State party had adopted temporary special measures to enhance women’s participation in decision-making, promote economic empowerment, provide economic opportunities for women from rural and disadvantaged backgrounds and women with disabilities, and tackle gender-based violence. If so, she wished to know whether such measures had been effective in redressing persistent shortcomings and whether they had helped consolidate gains from women’s empowerment programmes. It would be useful to know whether any progress had been made towards incorporating the provisions of the gender parity bill into the Electoral Code. She asked whether there were any specific temporary special measures for women living in natural disaster-prone areas and for low-income families headed by women. What measures had been adopted to ensure access to sexual and reproductive health services by women with disabilities?
23.Ms. Rosabal Peña (Cabo Verde) said that the Ministry of Family and Social Inclusion had been created to coordinate all of the entities involved in women’s rights and a process of decentralization was under way to prevent the duplication of functions at the national and local levels. Members of the Interministerial Commission for Gender Mainstreaming also belonged to government ministries’ planning and budgeting departments, which facilitated coordination across sectors. According to an analysis carried out in 2019, almost all State-funded programmes were gender-sensitive. The Commission had representatives from the University of Cabo Verde to provide support in terms of research. A recent study on women with disabilities and women living with HIV had been carried out, for example. The only municipality without a centre for victims of gender-based violence was an island that lacked human resources required to run the centre. Efforts were under way to resolve the issue.
24.The National Gender Equality Plan for the period 2019–2021, which was currently under discussion, would contain specific temporary special measures for each government sector. Temporary special measures adopted within the education system had contributed to the achievement of gender parity within the municipal education authorities. In the police force, half of trainees for leadership roles were required to be women. A policy was in place whereby 50 per cent of recipients of microfinancing and credit for small and medium-sized enterprises had to be women. A project had been launched in the municipality of São Miguel to assist women in securing access to land and other services.
25.Measures had been introduced within the education system to diagnose children with disabilities and special needs. In such cases, individual educational plans were drawn up, which would ensure that their teachers and parents would be informed and that they would be equipped to provide those children with adequate support. Training was given to health-care staff at the country’s three main hospitals to ensure appropriate care for persons with disabilities and persons living with HIV. The Electoral Code would be amended once the gender parity bill was passed. However, political parties already recognized the importance of gender equality.
26.Ms. Eghobamien-Mshelia said that it was important for temporary special measures to be specifically targeted and to have a set time frame so that they would be removed once the targets had been achieved. She would like to know whether the measures taken by the State party to achieve gender equality were targeted and subject to assessment and time limits.
27.Ms. Rosabal Peña (Cabo Verde) said that all of the plans and strategies had set time frames and were subject to periodic evaluation. Indicators were in place to measure the fulfilment of the targets set.
28.Ms. Tisheva said that patriarchal attitudes were still deeply entrenched in society and gender-based violence remained disproportionately high compared with the country’s socioeconomic and democratic progress. Gender-based violence was alarmingly high among young people. The delay in the adoption of full protection measures for women victims of violence had resulted in a discrepancy between law and practice, as women were not offered protection or shelters. She asked why Act No. 84/VII/2011 on gender-based violence had not been fully implemented and whether the Government envisaged adopting all the regulations necessary for its effective enforcement. She asked whether that law would be amended to ensure the issuance of prompt protection orders for victims of all forms of gender-based violence and when all the protection measures in civil and criminal law would be available to women and girls who were victims of violence.
29.She asked when the integrated support services, particularly shelters, would be available to women in all major centres in the country. She wondered whether there was provision for rehabilitation programmes for perpetrators of gender-based violence and services to facilitate access to temporary housing for victims and employment for women, whether budgets were planned for those and, if so, when they would be allocated, and how the sustainability of those services would be ensured. She asked why investments in health care had not yielded results. She asked whether the Government would ensure sufficient provision of resources and capacity-building for the representatives of the coordinating bodies and local centres offering services for victims and whether regular training in that regard would be organized for police and judicial officials.
30.She would like to know what measures would be taken to ensure a comprehensive strategy to prevent gender stereotyping and harmful traditional practices, what institutional, educational and communication measures relating to gender stereotypes would be developed, and under which coordination body, and how that coordination would be strengthened with local institutions to ensure sustainability. She would like to know what plans were in place to systematically involve young persons, particularly men and boys, in the prevention of gender-based violence and gender stereotyping.
31.Ms. Leinarte, commending the Government on its cooperation with regional and international bodies to combat trafficking in persons, said that prosecution rates were nevertheless low and impunity was widespread in relation to that crime. The national referral system was weak, there were no formal victim identification procedures for law enforcement officers and social workers and, while written instructions had been issued to the border police, no training had been provided to them regarding trafficking. No shelters had been established for victims of trafficking. Cabo Verde was a country of origin and destination for trafficking of women and girls, particularly minors, for the purposes of sexual and labour exploitation. In the light of the foregoing, she asked what the main obstacles were to reducing trafficking in women and girls and increasing the prosecution of traffickers.
32.Ms. Rosabal Peña (Cabo Verde) said that patriarchal values were deeply entrenched in the Cabo Verdean culture and the Government was addressing that situation. Traditional gender relations could be traced back to the famines that had struck the country in the 1940s, which had prompted the mass migration of men, resulting in a significant demographic imbalance of eight women for each man until the 1970s. The rarity of men had perpetuated the view that they were particularly valuable and important. However, owing to a demographic levelling off and efforts at improving education, the situation was changing and women were becoming empowered. The White Ribbon Network was composed of men and boys, and aimed to change stereotypical attitudes towards women and combat gender-based violence.
33.To raise awareness about gender-based violence, the White Ribbon Network was being expanded in schools and gender equality was taken into account in school syllabuses. Most cases of femicide were committed by male partners during the breakdown of relationships. Within the context of a police deterrence strategy, visits were made to families with a history of violence to prevent incidents. A weekly television programme also promoted gender equality and non-violence. A study was being conducted to determine the common denominators in cases of violence against women. An evaluation carried out by the Ministry of Justice revealed a change in the attitudes of offenders after participation in the national rehabilitation programme. Negotiations had been held with mobile phone companies to establish a new free hotline for reporting cases of violence to the police, as the former hotline had been based on a fixed network, which very few people used anymore. The time allocated to calls made to the hotline was currently limited and steps were being taken to remedy that situation. The Ministry of Justice was currently considering a proposal to introduce summary trials within 30 days of the submission of a complaint of gender-based violence with a view to simplifying proceedings, in addition to the protection orders imposed.
34.Challenges persisted regarding medical care for women victims of violence. Funds had been allocated for vocational training in nursing, which was considered a national priority, including a module on gender equality and long-term programmes. Capacity-building relating to gender-based violence was being carried out with health professionals working in the emergency departments of the major hospitals.
35.Temporary shelters were in operation to provide protection to victims of domestic and gender-based violence, based on an assessment involving the police, the shelter staff and the victim. In some cases, victims were placed in hotels or hostels operating as safe houses. Four long-term shelters were being established in cooperation with NGOs to guarantee protection for victims. The number of proceedings initiated for cases of gender-based violence had risen moderately between 2016 and 2018. While rates of violence in general had declined, rates of gender-based violence remained extremely high.
36.Trafficking in persons was a matter of deep concern for the Government, particularly given the country’s open borders and lack of reliable data, which rendered it an invisible problem. The National Plan to Combat Human Trafficking (2018–2021) had been established under the Ministry of Justice in 2018, which provided for the creation of a monitoring centre to gather data, mount awareness-raising campaigns and introduce victim protection mechanisms. Various migrant women victims of trafficking had been repatriated following their request and one woman had been provided with protection measures by the Immigration General Directorate. A trafficking network on one of the islands had also been dismantled. The country was receiving an increasing number of immigrants. A working group had been set up to establish a high-level authority for immigration under the Council of Ministers to provide information services and support the integration of immigrants, and develop an institutional framework to address trafficking and immigration. Awareness-raising on immigration was also being carried out among the population and a national campaign entitled “Cabo Verde For All” had been launched.
Articles 7 to 9
37.Ms. Manalo said that she wondered whether the absence of men on the delegation indicated their lack of cooperation. She asked how the bill on parity would strengthen women’s participation in political life. She asked what actions were being taken, particularly by women, to ensure the enactment of the bill as soon as possible. She asked how many Cabo Verdean women were in the diplomatic service and international organizations and what efforts were being made to encourage them to enter that domain. She would like information on the defence and security bodies in the country and on how women’s participation in peace processes, defence and security was encouraged. She would also appreciate hearing about the ways in which the Government, particularly the Ministry of Family and Social Inclusion, collaborated with NGOs working in the fields of women’s rights.
38.Ms. Akizuki said that she wished to know whether Cabo Verdean women married to foreign men could confer their nationality to their children. It was important to ensure that all persons born in the country were registered and, in that connection, she asked whether data were available on the number of stateless persons or persons with unknown nationality. She asked whether all women in rural areas were properly registered and thus had nationality. She also wondered whether migrant women, and displaced women and their children who were stateless or whose nationality was unknown, had any chance of obtaining Cabo Verdean nationality. She asked whether the Government intended to ratify the Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons and the Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness.
39.Ms. Rosabal Peña (Cabo Verde) said that it had fallen within her competence as the Minister of Family and Social Inclusion to come before the Committee. Various other male government representatives who supported women’s empowerment would have been willing to accompany the delegation. The White Ribbon Network had been established by women to engage men. It provided training to promote positive masculinity, and was active in schools, neighbourhoods and theatre groups. The NGO movement was very vibrant, and over 220 NGOs were registered in the country. In addition, the national platform for NGOs had been set up to promote their activities. The Ministry of Family and Social Inclusion also organized an annual competition for funds for NGO projects, sometimes defining specific target areas for the funds.
40.Women’s representation in the diplomatic field was very poor, although all the members of the Permanent Mission in Geneva were women. One of the Deputy Director Generals of the Food and Agriculture Organization was a Cabo Verdean woman, and there were women diplomatic representatives in China and Cuba. The Government intended to promote women’s representation in international organizations. Women were beginning to enter the national police force following the introduction of a rule stipulating that women must comprise half of new police recruits accepted for official training. The national defence force was small and the vast majority of its members were men. The national police and defence forces were rolling out a programme for internal security and civic responsibility, in cooperation with community-level organizations, which would contribute to increasing women’s representation in those bodies. Despite a lack of consensus on certain provisions, the bill on parity was due to be discussed in the parliament shortly, and advocacy efforts were being made, especially among women parliamentarians, to ensure its adoption. It provided for women’s representation of 40 per cent in legislative bodies and gender parity in all other electoral processes.
41.The number of stateless persons in the country was determined through the population census. The 2010 census had revealed around 220 stateless persons, whose cases had been resolved between 2013 and 2015. The inclusive education management system introduced by the Ministry of Education enabled the Government to identify pupils with migrant parents. A meeting had been held with migrant children and their families to discuss specific ways to support them. Discussions on the ratification of the Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons and the Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness were on the Ministry of Justice’s agenda.
42.Ms. Manalo asked how lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex persons and women with disabilities were encouraged to get involved in the diplomatic, defence, police and security fields and how their right to be involved was protected.
43.Ms. Rosabal Peña (Cabo Verde) said that there were no programmes to support the integration of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex persons and women with disabilities into the armed forces. Questions relating to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex persons were only just coming to the fore in the country and had not previously been part of the political agenda. Awareness-raising among the public in that regard had first been carried out in the context of the National Plan to Combat Gender-based Violence 2013–2018. That plan had included protection of the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex persons and training for public officials to prevent discrimination. There were three associations working in that area. Gay pride parades had taken place and been supported by the Ministry of Family and Social Inclusion. Furthermore, Cabo Verde had been the first African country to join the Equal Rights Coalition, in 2018.
Articles 10 to 14
44.Ms. Acosta Vargas asked whether the Decree-Law 47/2017 to prevent adolescent pregnancy was implemented in all schools. She would like statistics showing the number of cases of adolescent pregnancy before and after that law had entered into force. She asked whether the Strategic Plan for Education (2017–2021) provided for inclusive education for children with disabilities at preschool level and whether teachers were given appropriate training in that regard. She asked whether existing education plans included age-appropriate education for adolescent girls and boys on sexual and reproductive health and rights in school curricula, in line with the Committee’s recommendations in its previous concluding observations (CEDAW/C/CPV/CO/7-8), and whether the provisions of the Convention were taught in schools. She asked what was being done to encourage women to pursue further studies in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. She asked whether the Department of Inclusive Education and Promotion of Citizenship had taken measures to eliminate corporal punishment in schools and establish non-violent ways of getting children to behave as part of the promotion of a non-violent and gender equality-based culture. She asked whether the procedures for lodging complaints of violence had been disseminated throughout the education system, particularly violence committed by teachers against students. She would like information on any proceedings initiated and sentences imposed in that regard.
45.Mr. Bergby said that he wished to know why the principle of equal pay for work of equal value had not been incorporated into national labour law. He would like the delegation’s view of the idea that equal pay for work of equal value, and equal opportunities for men and women, did not conflict with growth of the private sector, investment and productivity. He asked how the Government would ensure equal pay for work of equal value and equal opportunities for men and women, and whether it would consider amending the law towards that end. He would like further information and data on the pay gap in the country in the public sector, in the private sector in areas dominated by women, such as domestic work, and the private sector in areas dominated by men, such as construction. He asked what measures were in place in the National Employment Plan to reduce horizontal and vertical occupational segregation. He asked what was being done in the legal system to uphold the rights of domestic workers. He would like further information on domestic workers’ enrolment in the national social security system and inclusion in the unemployment insurance fund.
46.In the light of alternative reports indicating non-compliance with regulations on working conditions, he would like further information on the implementation of the existing legal framework and on the kinds of sanctions established for employers who did not adhere to the rules. He asked whether the current legal framework on domestic workers was in line with the ILO Domestic Workers Convention, 2011 (No. 189), and what was the status of ratification of that Convention.
47.Given the absence of court cases and complaints before the Labour Inspectorate relating to sexual harassment in the workplace, he would like to know what initiatives had been taken to establish complaints mechanisms and channels for redress, and what was being done in the areas of prevention and victim assistance. He wished for further information on the content and implementation of the recommendations that had been developed following the Forum on Sexual Harassment in the Workplace organized in March 2017 by the Association to Combat Gender-based Violence. He asked whether the Government would consider extending maternity leave from two to four months and introducing paternity leave for the first two weeks after a child’s birth. He asked whether the Government envisaged ratifying the ILO Workers with Family Responsibilities Convention, 1981 (No. 156), and Maternity Protection Convention, 2000 (No. 183).
48.Ms. Rosabal Peña (Cabo Verde) said that significant efforts had been made to reduce the school dropout rate, which had fallen by 1 per cent, to 5.5 per cent in 2018. The rate was higher among boys, who dropped out mainly to enter the workforce, than girls, who dropped out primarily because of pregnancy. To prevent boys from dropping out, apprenticeship programmes and school meals had been introduced, with positive results. Although the Statute of the Child and Adolescent of 26 December 2013 had revoked the Ministry of Education’s measure of 2001 that recommended pregnant schoolgirls should suspend their studies and resume them after childbirth, that recommendation was still followed in practice. In 2017, the Cabinet of Ministers approved Decree-Law 47/2017 setting out specific measures for social and educational support for students during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. Ongoing efforts were made to follow up and ensure implementation of those measures. Legislative amendments in 2018 set out measures to guarantee preschool education for children from families living in poverty. In cooperation with the United Nations Children’s Fund, the Government had introduced age-appropriate sexual and reproductive health and rights education into school curricula, including the preschool curriculum.
49.Regulations providing for training for local support teams for children with disabilities were pending adoption. Diagnostic tests to identify children with disabilities were carried out. As general teacher training did not take into account pupils with disabilities, inclusive education was ensured through the designation of classroom support assistants, particularly for children who were deaf or blind. Workshops had been carried out on some of the islands to reduce illiteracy and teach Braille to blind students. A plan was being developed for initial and ongoing training of teachers which covered support measures for pupils with disabilities.
50.While more women than men enrolled in further education, women tended to pursue traditionally female-dominated subjects. However, training had been led in new technologies, which had resulted in an equal number of men and women applicants for jobs in new technologies and renewable energies. The Ministry of Education had drawn up a proposal for awareness-raising in schools about such technologies and renewable energies.
The meeting rose at 1 p.m.