Stalking or harassment

11 582

11 201

8 758

8 127

5 387

5 052

2 928

Obscene acts

1 439

1 017







16 574

15 177

13 042

9 654

6 549

5 941

3 540

Trafficking in women








Physical violence

28 711

28 490

28 594

27 198

16 797

13 497

7 096

Violence involving property and money








Psychological violence

14 667

14 198

14 572

15 385

8 425

7 372

4 904

Sexual violence

1 276

1 141







74 619

71 677

66 946

62 051

38 487

33 156

19 263

57.The Public Prosecution Service and the Unit for Scientific, Criminal and Forensic Investigation enacted 57,727 protection and safety measures between January 2014 and September 2020 for crimes of gender-based violence. Of this total, 35 per cent were for physical violence, 29 per cent for psychological violence, 18 per cent for threats and 13 per cent for stalking or harassment.

58.The Ombudsman’s Office for the Rights of Women provides support, counselling and legal aid to female victims of violence in judicial and extrajudicial proceedings, with a special focus on the most vulnerable women. Between 2014 and 2020, 133,329 women were assisted.

59.In 2013, the Ministry of People’s Power for Women and Gender Equality created the programme for Community Defenders of Women’s Rights, with the aim of encouraging community participation in prevention, training, involvement and support for victims of gender-based violence. During the period from 2013 to 2019, awareness and training activities involved a total of 54,272 women, including 5,817 Community Defenders specializing in cases of obstetric violence.

60.Between 2015 and 2020,180 persons (65 women, 61 girls and 54 boys) sought protection and safety in shelters of the Ministry of People’s Power for Women and Gender Equality. These confidential and secure shelters provide temporary accommodation, protection, care and support to female victims and survivors of gender-based violence and their sons and daughters under 12 years of age. In 2016, Guidelines for the shelters set standards for programme evaluation, activities, protection, safety, confidentiality and psychological and legal assistance for victims of violence against women in its extreme manifestations. During this period, there were four shelters. In December 2020, there was one active centre and others were in the pipeline.

61.The psychological, psychiatric and social services provided through the National Institute for Women help female victims to deal with the aftermath of violence and between 2015 and August 2020 helped 10,110 women. With technical assistance from the United Nations Population Fund, a booklet entitled “Ending Violence Against Women: Group strategies” was published to help mental health professionals and communities devise strategies for ending violence against women.

62.In 2016, in order to improve services for female victims of violence, the Public Prosecution Service created the Comprehensive Care Service for victims of the crime of gender-based violence. In 2017, the Cooperation Framework Agreement between the Ministry of People’s Power for Internal Relations, Justice and Peace and the Ministry of People’s Power for Women and Gender Equality reported:

(a)Expansion of the telephone hot line for female victims of violence by linking VEN911 and 800MUJERES, plus design and implementation of a single protocol for assisting female victims of gender-based violence, in order to guarantee and optimize care and actions efficiently and effectively.

(b)Development and adoption of indicators for quantifying crimes of violence against women; development of methodological and statistical instruments, such as the Single Register of cases of violence against women; development of areas of joint research with a gender focus, and transfer of the National Civic Safety Research Committee and its subsidiaries to the Ministry of People’s Power for Women and Gender Equality, with the goal of devising p0licies and strategies to reduce violence against women.

63.In February 2021, the Ministry of People’s Power for Internal Relations, Justice and Peace issued Performance Standards for members of the police force and crime investigators to ensure the provision of early and timely assistance to victims of gender-based violence, processing of the relevant complaints and police involvement in investigations, in order to ensure successful application of the Act on Women’s Right to a Life Free from Violence.

64.The Ombudsman’s Office and the Ministry of People’s Power for Health, working with the United Nations Population Fund, the World Health Organization and UNICEF, have developed ways of dealing with cases of sexual violence against women, girls and adolescents. Examples are: (a) the institutions dealing with sexual abuse of children and adolescents (2016) and the Protocol for dealing with cases of sexual violence.

65.The National School for Public Prosecutors regularly provides training in women’s rights and gender parity for female and male lawyers, prosecutors and other legal staff, as well as for male and female members of the police force and crime investigators. Between August 2017 and August 2020, the School trained 95,525 students (60 per cent male and 40 per cent female), 70.8 per cent of whom participate in civic safety patrols.

66.Between 2014 and 2020, the Ministry of People’s Power for Internal Relations, Justice and Peace organized eight training courses for police on the subject of violence against women and girls, which were attended by 49,777 female and male staff. In addition, 21 research projects or studies were conducted on violence against women and girls, plus 22 campaigns to raise awareness of the need to prevent and deal with violence against women, girls and adolescents. During the same period, various training strategies were used at the community level in order to reduce the incidence of crimes against women and to promote peaceful coexistence. These involved 485,000 people (343,000 women and 142,000 men).

67.In 2015, in accordance with Joint Instruction No. 026 issued by the Ministry of People’s Power for Education and the Ministry of People’s Power for Women and Gender Equality, 8,412 teachers were trained in the prevention of violence against women.

68.The following national mass media campaigns were conducted in 2017 for prevention and extensive awareness-raising: “Words can kill; Ill-treatment is not a sign of love” in 2014 and “Peace begins at home - No more violence against Women” in 2017. In addition, symbolic events were held at historic, tourist and public sites with the motto “Venezuela is painted pink to condemn violence against women”.

69.During the COVID-19 pandemic, various institutions joined forces to campaign against gender-based violence. They posted on social media, with emphasis on the joint efforts made by the United Nations Population Fund, the Ministry of People’s Power for Women and Gender Equality and VEN911 and on the campaigns of the Ombudsman’s Office and the Supreme Court’s National Commission for Gender Justice.

G.Trafficking and exploitation of prostitution

70.Article 15.19 of the Act on Women’s Right to a Life Free from Violence lists trafficking in women, girls and adolescents as one of the 21 forms of violence and article 56 categorizes it as a crime, representing one of the most aberrant forms of human rights violations. Article 41 of the Act against Organized Crime and Financing of Terrorism specifies a more severe penalty than the one envisaged in the Act on Women’s Right to a Life Free from Violence.

71.In its Ruling No. 1378 of 7 March 2014, the Constitutional Division of the Supreme Court ruled that judges specializing in crimes of violence against women will also try cases of trafficking in persons, as described in article 41 of the Act, when the victims are women, children and adolescents of either sex. On the other hand, when only adult men are the crime victims, the crime of trafficking in persons will be tried by judges competent to hear ordinary criminal cases.

72.The Public Prosecution Service, the Ministry of People’s Power for Internal Relations, Justice and Peace, and the Ombudsman’s Office have scheduled various workshops to improve prevention, focus broad attention and ensure criminal investigation of the crime of trafficking in persons. The workshops are aimed at male and female members of security forces, prosecutors in the Public Prosecution Service, judges in the Judiciary and counsellors for the protection of children and adolescents. Between 2014 and 2019, 1,405 male and female civil servants were trained to deal with trafficking of persons and illegal smuggling of migrants.

73.Under an agreement between the Ombudsman’s Office and UNHCR, 9,000 pamphlets on the prevention of human trafficking were distributed with the aim of preventing trafficking of persons by prosecuting ensnarement and deceitful propaganda on social networks and identifying possible fake offers made to potential migrants.

74.Under the 2017 Agreement between the Ministry of People’s Power for Women and Gender Equality and the Ministry of People’s Power for Internal Relations, Justice and Peace, an interagency commission was created consisting of the National Office to Combat Organized Crime and Financing of Terrorism and the National Institute for Women to focus on trafficking in women, children and adolescents and smuggling of migrants, with the aim of standardizing criteria for prevention, recruitment and solutions, by designing a single care protocol focused on gender and human rights and including frontier patrols.

75.In 2020, the Ombudsman’s Office added a Special Division with nation-wide competence for the protection of migrants, refugees and victims of trafficking in persons.

76.Between 2019 and 2020, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela adopted the following additional measures to prevent and combat trafficking in women, girls and adolescents:

(a)Creation of the National Council to Combat Human Trafficking, which streamlines and coordinates national efforts to prevent, address, investigate and punish that crime.

(b)The campaign “This is about people, not goods. Trafficking is not negotiable”.

(c)An inter-agency round table to draft a protocol for the care of trafficked women and girls.

(d)An Inter-agency Commission to Combat Trafficking in Persons, which works with the Ombudsman’s Office, the National Office for Comprehensive Care of Victims of Violence and the Ministries of People’s Power for Labour and for Foreign Relations.

77.When trafficking occurs abroad, the Ministry of People’s Power for Foreign Relations forwards to the competent authority the requests and reports submitted by diplomatic missions and consular offices concerning trafficking of Venezuelans. Between March 2017 and June 2019, there was a total of 11 cases. In five cases, the victims were successfully repatriated to Venezuela from Panama, Italy, Equatorial Guinea, and Brazil.

78.The Ministry of People’s Power for Foreign Relations created the Homecoming Plan as an initiative to promote and facilitate the voluntary return of Venezuelans who find themselves in conditions of extreme vulnerability abroad. By October 2020, a total of 117,088 people had been repatriated; 48 per cent of them were women. As regards age groups, 56 per cent of the repatriated persons were women between 18 and 59 years of age and 61 per cent were women 60 or older.

79.The roll-out of the Homecoming Plan was affected by the imposition of unilateral coercive measures on CONVIASA (the Venezuelan Consortium of Aeronautical Industries and Airline Services, S.A). On 7 February 2020, the United States Treasury Department included the airline in the list of Specially Designated Nationals compiled by the Office of Foreign Assets Control, in application of Executive Order 13.884.

80.These measures prohibit trade with and provision of services to CONVIASA by firms and persons anywhere in the world. They therefore create problems for the Homecoming Plan, such as inability to obtain fuel and airport services for aircraft in countries where the Venezuelan migrants protected by the Plan are located.

IV.Part II of the Convention

A.Participation in political and public life

81.In elections held between 2014 and 2020, the electoral roll consisted mainly of women (51.22 per cent on average). In addition, there was an improvement in political parity, following the adoption by the National Electoral Council of resolutions on parity for candidacies in electoral processes.

82.Women accounted for 35.34 per cent of the candidates for the 2015 parliamentary elections; 46.88 per cent for the 2018 elections to Municipal Councils and 47.23 per cent for the 2020 parliamentary elections. The temporary measures put in place had a positive effect on the political participation and leadership of women in posts to be filled by popular vote.

83.During the 2010-2015 parliamentary term, 17 per cent of National Assembly seats were won by women (28 women for a total of 165 seats). Between 2015 and 2020, the figure rose to 20 per cent (34 women for a total of 167 seats). The proportion of women elected to the National Assembly in 2020 rose to 31 per cent.

84.In elections to the Legislative Councils, women won 35 per cent of the seats and 46 per cent in the elections to the Municipal Councils. In 2020, following elections to individual posts in the Executive Branch at the state and municipal levels, 17 per cent of the elected Governors and 23 per cent of the elected Mayors were women.

85.In the Executive Branch, more women are playing leadership roles in decision-making and occupying senior posts as Ministers, Deputy Ministers, presidents of institutions, directors and rectors of universities. The period between 2013 and 2020 saw the appointment of Delcy Rodriguez to the post of Executive Vice-President of the Republic in June 2018 and in October 2020 Carmen Meléndez was reappointed to the post of Minister of the Interior, Justice and Peace. In 2020, 33 per cent of ministerial posts were occupied by women (11 Ministries). The Ministries are Interior; Justice and Peace; Economy and Finance; Trade; Science and Technology; Women and Gender Equality; Indigenous Peoples; Communities; Urban Agriculture; Ecological Mining Development; Prisons; and Water.

86.Between 2015 and 2019, the representation of women in the Bolivarian Armed Forces increased from 11 to 15 per cent, thanks to the policy encouraging the admission of women to the various military schools. The breakdown for the different branches shows an increase from 14 to 21 per cent for the Army, from 16 to 22 per cent for the Air Force; from 15 to 26 per cent for the Navy and from 6 to 8 per cent for the National Guard. In 2020, a female Admiral occupied the post of Deputy Minister and there were five female Vice-Admirals and one female General of Division, all of which are high-level posts.

87.In 2020, the Supreme Court, the highest body in the Judiciary, had 15 female judges, which represents 47 per cent of the total of 32 posts.

88.The National Electoral Council, which is the highest electoral body, has been headed by a woman since 2005. As regards its composition, in the period between 2014 and 2020 four of the five posts of Rector and Principal Rector were occupied by women. Since 2020, the Council continues to have a female majority: three women and two men.

89.With regard to the membership of subsidiary bodies, for the 2020 National Assembly elections 67 per cent of the members of the Regional Electoral Boards were women. And 71 per cent of the Electoral Boards were chaired by women.

90.Women have played a significant role in public life and particularly in direct management of local affairs. For 2020, it was reported that 2,997,755 women (56.77 per cent) were involved in Community Councils. The leadership roles played by women in this area are illustrated by their participation in the working committees: for instance 56.63 per cent in the Executive Unit, 56.87 per cent in the Administration and Finance Unit; 96.61 per cent in the Women and Gender Equality Committee; 80.31 per cent in the Health Committee; 75.96 per cent in the Nutrition Committee; and 79.40 per cent in the Committee on the Protection of Children and Adolescents.

91.Nation-wide, 57.97 per cent of the projects uploaded to the Community Integration System of the Federal Council of Government are headed by women, illustrating female leadership in the management of projects spearheaded by community organizations. In 2020, out of a total of 112,748 spokespersons of Community Councils 53.37 per cent were women.

92.Out of a total of 42,145 people involved in the Local Supply and Production Committees, 79 per cent are women working in the food distribution process in the territories.

93.The environment in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela favours the participation of women and girls in public life, including as Ombudspersons for Women’s Rights. The right to political activity, freedom of expression and peaceful and unarmed demonstration is guaranteed by the Constitution.


94.Education as a human right is guaranteed by the State. For 2018, the Gender Parity Index at the three levels of education was 0.97 for the initial level, 0.92 for the primary level and 1.04 for the middle and diversified level. School enrolment is basically egalitarian and equitable.

95.Following the 2014 national referendum on education quality, the middle school curriculum was overhauled. In 2015, the Ministry of People’s Power for Education included “gender equality” as an essential topic for mainstreaming in the education process.

96.In order to eliminate gender inequalities, the Canaima Education Project has provided digital resources on subjects such as equality, sexual and reproductive rights and sexually transmitted diseases. In addition, textbooks for the initial, primary and middle levels and Bicentenary Collection Media deal with the topics “We are not the same people, but we have the same rights”; “My body is my new friend”; “These new feelings: sexual identity and gender” and “Your sexual and reproductive rights”.

97.The ongoing and growing inclusion of women in the subsystem of university education has yielded positive results. Between 2014 and 2020, 1,280,451 women pursued studies in various areas and academic disciplines. Their participation averaged: 71 per cent in health; 74 per cent in education; 62 per cent in social sciences; 62.7 per cent in agriculture and marine sciences; 50 per cent in basic sciences; 58.96 per cent in humanities, literature and arts; and 44 per cent in engineering, architecture and technology. The figure for women attending public university education centres is 57.9 per cent. Women account for 57.9 per cent of enrolment at public universities.

98.Women account for 50.47 per cent of research workers at the Ministry of People’s Power for Science and Technology (a gender parity index of 1.02).

99.Between 2014 and 2020, 9,070,791 women benefited from the cultural education policy, with easy access to books on various topics. Similarly, 147,941 female artists and creators benefited from programs of accreditation, training, promotion, circulation and distribution of artistic and cultural works, as well as traditional, popular and ancestral knowledge.


100.As regards access to jobs, of the 6,514,338 women of working age 8 per cent were unemployed in 2018. Of the total number of employed women, 65.5 per cent were working in the formal sector and 34.5 per cent were performing informal activities. The Chamba Juvenil Mission was an attempt to improve access to jobs in the formal sector and reduce unemployment. A total of 1,040,320 women participated, representing 57 per cent of all beneficiaries.

101.In 2020, according to the National Register of Trade Unions, a total of 2,566,192 people including 1,223,166 women (48 per cent) were members of trade unions.

102.In 2018, the Act on Workers’ Councils was adopted, with the goal of giving the working class a say in the management of productive activity. For 2020, 2,236 Workers’ Councils were created. Female workers have 32.46 per cent of the votes in these participatory bodies.

103.Between January 2014 and September 2020, the National Training Programme for Correction Staff trained 52,485 people, including 22,974 women. During 2019 and 2020, a total of 1,484 participants, including 849 women, attended the Intensive Programme of Comprehensive Training

104.Between 2015 and 2020, the National Workers’ Training and Recreation Institute trained a total of 15,101 workers (of whom 7,778 or 52 per cent were women) in topics connected with recreation and use of leisure time. Between 2018 and 2020, this Institute trained a total of 2,439,714 workers, including 1,250,252 women.

105.Articles 343 and 344 of the Act on Work and Workers requires every workplace to have an initial education centre that includes a breastfeeding room or to pay the enrolment cost and monthly fees for workers’ children between three months and six years of age to attend an initial education centre. Between 2015 and 2020, 12 per cent of workplaces met these requirements. 17 per cent had their own initial education centres, 10 per cent arranged for initial education centres to admit their workers’ children and 73 per cent provided this benefit by paying the fees for the initial education centres caring for the children.

106.Between 2014 and 2020, the Labour Inspectorates assisted 101,384 female workers with applications for re-employment (56,941), complaints of deteriorating work conditions (5,283), transfers refused (1,951), individual complaints (30,202) and family welfare complaints (5,590). The Inspectorates were also involved in 1,417 cases brought by female domestic workers. In 2020, cases relating to job security in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic were brought by a total of 258,187 workers and 40 per cent of these cases were brought by women.

107.In addition, between 2014 and 2020, the National Institute for Accident Prevention and Occupational Health and Safety certified a total of 177,853 work accidents, of which 40 per cent affected women. As regards occupational diseases, women accounted for 42 per cent of the 9,063 certified cases. Out of a total of 162,573 prevention delegates on Occupational Safety and Health Committees, 56,861 (35 per cent) are women.

108.Between 2014 and 2020, the number of women receiving long-term financial benefits (pensions) from the Venezuelan Social Security Institute increased from 1,545,044 to 2,752.825, representing 59.9 per cent of the total number of recipients. In the same period, short-term benefits (compensation and involuntary separation from employment) were paid to 724,838 women and 483,224 men.

109.According to social security enrolment lists, 1,640,137 women were enrolled between 2014 and 2020, representing 60.1 per cent of the total work force covered by social security.

110.In order to alleviate poverty and assist women, the Great Housing Mission was created in 2014 and by 2020 had helped 5,466,758 families throughout the nation. Women account for 78 per cent (4,272,194) of the heads of household registered and enjoying the benefits of the various programmes offered by the Great Mission.

111.In 2020, a total of 28,638 people, including 17,182 women, received a stimulus payment in addition to their salary as cultural workers. In the context of the COVID‑19 pandemic, 3,000 women found formal employment in culture and the arts.

112.On the subject of sexual harassment in the workplace, the Act on Precautions, Conditions and Work Environment requires employers to adopt the necessary measures to prevent any form of sexual harassment and to pursue a policy designed to eliminate harassment in the workplace (article 56). The Act on Women’s Right to a Life Free from Violence considers sexual harassment to be a form of violence against women and specifies consequences including compensation (article 63) for victims, and prison sentences and fines for perpetrators. The Act on Work and Workers defines sexual harassment and allows the victim to leave the workplace and the firm to dismiss the offender, provided that proof exists. The implementing regulations of the Act prohibit sexual harassment as gender discrimination in the workplace.


113.Thanks to the country’s social welfare policies, women’s life expectancy has continued to improve, increasing from 76.58 years in 2014 to 78 years in 2020.

114.In 2014, a participatory and democratic approach was adopted for the first National Plan for the Protection of Sexual Rights and Reproductive Rights of Women in Venezuela, 2014-2019. This was followed by the National Plan for Humanized Childbirth and the National Plan for the Prevention of Early and Teenage Pregnancy. In 2020, another referendum was held to decide on the future contents of the Plan.

1.Measures to reduce maternal mortality

115.The Official Guidelines on a Comprehensive Approach to Sexual and Reproductive Health, first issued in 2003, were updated in 2013 and will in the future be reproduced, circulated and used to train staff. In 2014, Protocols were issued concerning prenatal care and emergency obstetrics, with the goal of expanding education in obstetric health, identifying preconception maternal risk and suggesting behaviour to reverse or decrease it, improving the quality of prenatal and perinatal care, ensuring appropriate staffing geared to needs at each level of care and at the various stages of the therapeutic process.

116.The unilateral coercive measures adopted against Venezuela since 2014 adversely affected maternal mortality, which had previously been stable. Starting in 2016, maternal mortality declined, as a result of action by the State, including the adoption in 2018 of the Concerted Strategy for the Reduction of Maternal and Neonatal Mortality. The Strategy described and coordinated the activities of the Ministries of People’s Power for Health and for Women and Gender Equality with those of the international cooperation agencies (PAHO, UNFPA and UNICEF) and nongovernmental organizations.

117.Analysis of the data shows that the prevalence of hypertension, bleeding complications and symptoms of sepsis affecting pregnancy, birth and puerperium are among the leading causes of maternal mortality, which for September 2020 was showing signs of declining.

Table II

Causes of maternal mortality

Ministry of People’s Power for Health









Hypertensive edema and proteinuria during pregnancy, birth and puerperium








Termination of pregnancy by abortion








Delivery and birth complications








Principal postpartum complications








Other problems connected with the fetus and the amniotic cavity and with possible delivery problems








Maternal problems connected with the fetus and the amniotic cavity and possible delivery problems








Other maternal conditions basically connected with pregnancy
















118.Staff training is part of the current Concerted Strategy for the Reduction of Maternal and Neonatal Mortality, using the life course approach: health of women, children and adolescents. In particular, improvements have been made in the training of teams working in delivery rooms for low-risk pregnancies.

119.In addition, between 2016 and 2019, 25,473 health workers were trained in subjects such as: obstetric emergencies, normal delivery, resuscitation, prenatal monitoring, contraception updates, clinical management of sexual violence, prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, syndromic diagnosis and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases, and diagnosis and management of HIV in pregnant women.

120.In addition, workshops were held, between 2018 and 2019 on topics such as: breastfeeding, warning signs during pregnancy and postpartum, sexual and reproductive rights, importance of prenatal monitoring, prevention of sexually transmitted diseases and HIV, and nutrition; attendees included 184,413 community leaders, advocates of humanized childbirth and members of health committees.

121.Measures to optimize care during and after pregnancy, with a view to providing better and more compassionate care for women and decreasing maternal mortality in Venezuela, include the 2015 Ruta Materna plan and the programme of comprehensive care for states which had the largest number of maternal deaths in 2016 and 2017.

122.In 2020, when progress with the Concerted Strategy was hampered by the COVID-19 pandemic and with a view to continuing the progress made, the strategy entitled “Health for women, children and adolescents, 2020” was launched with the aim of changing the serious pattern of maternal disease and reducing maternal and neonatal mortality.

123.Between 2014 and 2019, 2,209,856 pregnant women received prenatal care. In September 2020, 206,888 pregnant women were registered. During the COVID-19 pandemic, 17,431 pregnant women received care at home.

124.With the help of international cooperation agencies and bodies, social organizations and women’s groups, the programme “Wanted, safe and happy motherhood” provided advice about pregnancy and humanized childbirth. In 2016, a “Guide to wanted, safe and happy motherhood” was published and Joint Resolution No. 378 and 043/2016 of the Ministries of People’s Power for Women and Gender Equality and for Health was adopted to protect pregnant women from action that could be described as obstetric violence.

125.In addition, since 2016 the new System of Maternal and Child Vigilance requires immediate reporting, investigation and analysis of maternal deaths. Since 2017, a new unified methodology allows reclassification and classification of maternal deaths in each region of the country and a new system for identifying maternal deaths allows all deaths among women of child-bearing age to be investigated.

126.Since 2018, the Health Information System of the Ministry of People’s Power for Health has been improved by using the record of users covered by the Maternal and Child Tracking and Monitoring System. This requires standardization of the format for tracking expectant mothers in the territories, formats for registering contraception users, the format for registering high-risk pregnancies and creation of a specific module for the registry in the new system.

127.The solution adopted included the creation in in 2018 of the Oversight, Analysis and Response Committee for the prevention and control of serious disease, maternal mortality and neonatal mortality. It encourages states to establish institutional committees (hospital and maternity wards), regional committees (state authorities) and local committees to oversee complicated and high-risk pregnancies and analyse cases in order to develop appropriate strategies and recommendations. The year 2018 saw the adoption of Resolution No. 007 ordering the organization, linkage and georeferencing of each state’s maternal and childcare networks and of Resolution No. 041 requiring public and private establishments to provide care, evaluation and reliable referral for all pregnant or postpartum women and children in need of care, in order to strengthen the Ruta Materna strategy as a system of coordination, linkage and management to optimize maternal and childcare.

128.Under Ruta Materna, 16 Maternal Shelters were opened. These provide warm and humanized care to mothers and children. Also noteworthy is the existence of 497 birthing rooms for low-risk pregnancies. These are part of a plan to provide training, supplies and support and this has increased the number of uncomplicated or vaginal births and reduced the number of Caesarean sections. The number of low-risk deliveries and pregnancies (vaginal delivery) has increased by 25 per cent compared with Ruta Materna figures for the first half of 2019 and for 2020 in the network of community specialized outpatient services.

129.In 2018 and 2019, the number of uncomplicated births increased by 31 per cent if we consider only hospital births and by 71 per cent if specialized community outpatient births are included. In 2019 and 2020, the percentage of normal births remained above 70 per cent, including those which occurred in the network of birthing rooms used for low-risk pregnancies.

130.A policy of supplying high-technology equipment to hospital centres has been pursued in recent years. By 2020, 998 items of equipment (fetal monitors, ultrasound machines, surgical instruments for deliveries and Caesarean sections, multiparameter scales) had been delivered to 75 obstetric units in Venezuela, hospitals and networks for local outpatient care. The unilateral coercive measures adopted against the country have prevented or complicated the acquisition and repair of specialized equipment, adversely affecting services to the public.

131.Between 2014 and 2019, 4,867,386 women of child-bearing age received family planning counselling. Among these women, 60 per cent were given free contraceptives, 51 per cent of which were oral contraceptives. These are distributed under two plans: 1. The network of local care and specialized outpatient care, prioritizing vulnerable territories and people, and 2. Post-partum contraception, provided in the main maternity and obstetric centres.

132.Because of the unilateral coercive measures against the country, in 2015 and 2016 there was a considerable decline in the availability of contraceptives, affecting births in the year 2016. Thanks to the measures adopted to offset the economic aggression against the country, it was possible in 2020 to expand the distribution and prescription of contraceptives, which increased from 174,966 in the first half of 2019 to 439,002 in the first half of 2020.

133.In 2018 and 2019, as part of the strategy of safe and timely contraception implemented under the Concerted Strategy for the Reduction of Maternal Mortality, protection was provided under the public system for one year to 1,532,243 women

134.In 2018 and 2019, the Plan for immediate post-partum contraception using endouterine manual aspiration was launched in 14 priority states and 35 establishments There were 52 sessions of the training workshop, with a total of 1,476 trained staff monitoring free and informed contraception for 25,362 women immediately after delivery.

135.Between 2019 and 2020, 1,105,702 women were given medication and protection under the Plan implemented in the network of specialized local outpatient care. This activity was monitored by regional coordinators from Ruta Materna.

136.the National Humanized Childbirth Plan was approved on 11 July 2017 as a coordinated strategy of the Ministries of People’s Power for Health and for Women and Gender Equality and the National Institute for Women, in order to promote community support for women and their families during pregnancy, childbirth, puerperium, breast-feeding and responsible parenting.

137.Between 2017 and August 2020, a total of 18,101 Local Women Advocates for Humanized Childbirth were trained to provide breastfeeding support to future mothers and breastfeeding mothers in 54 per cent of parishes and 77 per cent of municipalities. “Pregnancy and breast-feeding support groups” were formed, in which the Local Advocate for Humanized Childbirth acts as a local trainer, counselling pregnant women and providing information on a healthy and responsible pregnancy and responsible parenting.

138.Under the National Humanized Childbirth Plan, 10,848 active Advocates received:

(a)Written material including the log of the Local Advocate for Humanized Childbirth, the Advocate’s ABC and guides to the National Humanized Childbirth Plan.

(b)ipads to facilitate reporting by Advocates on the counselling of pregnant and breastfeeding women in their communities.

139.The Governing Body of the National Plan for Humanized Childbirth and Breastfeeding was created in 2019 to coordinate and harmonize public policies for the comprehensive care and protection of pregnant, breastfeeding or post-partum women, in order to protect their human rights.

140.The strategies used to combat maternal mortality and promote breastfeeding include monthly financial incentives provided through the Patria System to pregnant and breastfeeding women. In 2019, 600,822 pregnant women and 342,119 breastfeeding women received help in the form of monthly financial incentives. In addition, for the first half of 2020, the Nutrition Protection Plan for pregnant and breastfeeding women, implemented by the National Nutrition Institute, provided nutrition protection for 126,553 pregnant and breastfeeding women.

141.In 2020, there are 13 Women’s Comprehensive Care Units. These facilities protect women’s right to a life free from violence, focusing on humanized delivery and childbirth, breastfeeding and promotion of sexual and reproductive rights, in close coordination with hospital centres. Since 2018, these Units have provided care and support to 18,755 people (17,745 women and 1,010 men).

2.Access to medical care

142.The policies followed to ensure that women have access to medical care have been affected by the unilateral coercive measures adopted against Venezuela, which make it difficult to obtain specialized equipment and medicines, to maintain infrastructure and to hire health workers.

143.The number of instances in which women received medical care from the Venezuelan Social Security Institute decreased from 11,953,339 in 2014 (before the adoption of the unilateral coercive measures) to 3,700,097 in 2020 (after the unilateral coercive measures).

144.Serious problems occurred with the Institute’s programme to provide expensive medicines without cost to persons suffering from chronic diseases or requiring prolonged treatment, including treatment for breast and cervical cancer. However, between 2014 and 2020, the programme helped a total of 1,926,466 women. Before the adoption of the unilateral coercive measures, the programme distributed 515,660 medicines in 2013 and 535,075 medicines in 2014. After the “sanctions” were imposed against the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, this figure dropped to 370,928 in 2016, 243,250 in 2017 and 72,413 in 2018. There was a slight improvement in 2019 but the figure then fell to its lowest point in in the second decade of the twenty-first century (64,078 medicines provided).

145.Regular screening and testing for the 39-60 age group are included in the programme for the control and prevention of cervical cancer led by the Ministry of People’s Power for Health and are organized by 24 state coordinators. There are 21 centres providing advanced diagnoses using colposcopy at all nation-wide facilities in the Primary Care Network and the Specialized Outpatient Network. As a result, until 2018, there was a significant decrease in cervical cancer and an improvement in the detection of precancerous lesions and carcinoma in situ; cell collection kits were provided under the Agreement between Cuba and Venezuela.

146.Adjuvant external radiation therapy to treat breast cancer and brachytherapy or internal radiation for cervical cancer are provided at a technology park which has 52 machines (24 linear accelerators, 9 cobalt units and 19 brachytherapy devices) in various parts of the country. The Ministry of People’s Power for Health is working on acquiring more modern mammography machines to produce digitized images instead of the unreliable diagnoses provided by the old machines. However, the unilateral coercive measures have made it difficult to acquire the latest machines, so that few people can benefit from oncology equipment, resulting in more false negatives and more cases of advanced breast cancer.

147.The unilateral coercive measures have seriously aggravated the shortage of reagents and supplies for cytology testing at care centres, resulting in a 70 per cent reduction in scheduled testing in 2018 and 2019. This resulted in an increase in cervical cancer and a decrease in the life expectancy of patients suffering from that disease. In 2020, there were 1,550 deaths from cervical cancer and only 5 per cent of the goal of 100,000 tests could be met in the first half of the year.

148.In 2015, the Ministry of People’s Power for Women and Gender Equality launched the programme “The Homeland is a Woman”, targeting women diagnosed with breast cancer. It offered support in the form of special assistance, alternative integral health therapies, support during chemotherapy and radiation therapy, equipment and medicines and psychological support during the recovery process. The programme helped 10,879 women survivors of breast and cervical cancer.

3.Prevention of teenage pregnancy

149.Between 2014 and 2017, the adolescent fertility rate declined from 95.1 to 85.8 per thousand, concentrated in the 17 to 19 age group. This decline is the result is attributable to new actions targeting this group, such as acquisition and distribution of subdermal contraceptive implants, particularly for adolescents with a history of pregnancy in 2016 and 2017. This was all part of the National Programme of Reproductive Sexual Health. In states with the largest number of teenage pregnancies, adolescents with prior pregnancies were identified and immediately given implants, after counselling, written consent and a comprehensive medical evaluation. A total of 24,637 implants were provided between July 2016 and March 2017.

150.In 2014, two campaigns (“Talking about Sex” and “Speak Clearly”) were conducted throughout the country in basic, secondary and technical education facilities, with the aim of preventing early and teenage pregnancies.

151.In 2015, the Ministry of People’s Power for Women and Gender Equality was instrumental in creating the Interagency Network for Protection of Motherhood and Prevention of Early and Teenage Pregnancy. This enabled the various ministries and public bodies to coordinate their strategies and activities. It led to the 2017-2021 National Plan for the Prevention and Reduction of Early and Teenage Pregnancy, which aims to encourage a series of actions and measures by the State to reduce the high rates of teenage pregnancy and cases of pregnancy at an early age.

152.The Plan included the Programme of Comprehensive Sex Education outside School. Teaching methods and curricula were updated to provide comprehensive instruction in sexuality and sexual and reproductive health from initial education through college. In this connection, the Subcommittee on Statistics of Early and Teenage Pregnancy was created, with the task of compiling statistics on teenage pregnancy to assist in decision-making. In addition, a campaign was launched to raise awareness of teenage pregnancy among teenagers and their families. The campaign consists of ten spots on television, ten on the radio and ten on social networks.

153.During the period covered by this report, the 2013 Official Guidelines for Integral Sexual and Reproductive Health and the 2014 Clinical Protocols for Comprehensive Care of Adolescents were updated.

154.Between 2014 and 2019, the database of the Ministry’s health information system recorded 4,167,791 cases of adolescent interventions. The national public health system has 79 facilities for the care of male and female adolescents. Since 2014, specific plans have been developed to prioritize the distribution of long-lasting contraceptives (subdermal implants) to the population.

155.In 2018, in conjunction with the international cooperation agencies, the Plan for Immediate Post-Obstetric Contraception was introduced in maternity clinics and hospitals and the Contraception Plan in the commune and outpatient network were introduced. They involve the provision of long-term contraceptive methods (implants and intrauterine devices) to adolescents at special medical offices, middle schools and universities. These plans include counselling on family planning, informed consent and guidance on preventing sexually transmitted diseases.

156.Other methods for the prevention of teenage pregnancy adopted during the period covered by this report include:

(a)Training and guidance on sexual and reproductive health provided to 121,402 students during 2019.

(b)Provision of contraceptives, involving five of the care units in the concept of differentiated care and giving a total of 289,362 students free, universal and direct access to contraceptives.

(c)Training for 1,269 new health workers in care strategies for providing friendly services to adolescents (2016-2019).

(d)Strengthening of 239 pilot centres for family planning.

(e)Technical cooperation from the Andean Health Agency - Convenio Hipólito Unanue in the formulation, implementation and monitoring of the Andean Plan for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention.

4.Measures to combat HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)

157.In the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, 78.5 per cent of HIV cases involve the 20 to 49 age group and women account for 32.3 per cent of this group.

158.The National AIDS/STD Programme of the Ministry of People’s Power for Health plans, executes and coordinates joint activities to combat HIV/AIDS and STDs in the national territory. The Programme has 24 regional offices.

159.The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela has laboratories at public health centres and laboratories or blood banks in all federal offices for the detection of HIV antibodies. They provide free testing, with informed consent, to all who request it, with guarantees of confidentiality. At some of the centres, counselling before and after testing is provided by the medical staff and by members of social movements and organized communities.

160.The ability to diagnose HIV has been significantly affected since 2016 by the unilateral coercive measures adopted against the country, which have delayed regular and adequate purchases of the necessary reagents for testing.

161.With regard to antiretroviral therapy (ARVT), the national programme has set a compulsory national standard which since 2015 complies with global treatment standards set by the World Health Organization requiring Treatment for All, regardless of CD4 count.

162.Universal free distribution of ARVT has been a priority for the Government. Most of the cost of ARVT is paid from the fund for strategic public health inputs or the PAHO/WHO Strategic Fund. However, since 2017 the unilateral coercive measures have made it difficult to obtain ARVT and the situation worsened in 2018. In order to deal with this situation, the Master Plan to strengthen the response to HIV, tuberculosis and malaria from a public health viewpoint was formulated, making it possible to obtain funding from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and this has been devoted entirely to the purchase of ARVT. Under this Plan, the distribution of ARVT is monitored jointly with civil society. The dolutegravir/lamivudine/tenofovir formula was obtained and made it possible during 2019 to meet at least 85 per cent of the demand from active population registered in the National AIDS/STD Programme.

163.As part of viral load reduction, this testing is part of the national policy for monitoring ARVT, which must be done at least twice a year in all patients, whether adults or children. However, implementation of this policy has been limited in recent years by the difficulty of obtaining the reagents needed for testing, because of the unilateral coercive measures. In 2019, no national laboratories in the public health system, including the National Institute of Hygiene, were able to perform viral load testing.

164.In 2018 and 2019, prevalence studies of population groups at risk were conducted jointly with UNAIDS and included incidence among trans women and sex workers. Following the publication of the Manual of Clinical Management of Sexual Violence, preventive care can be provided to victims of violence, by detection of sexually transmitted diseases, and prompt treatment recommended.

165.As regards attainment of the UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets, 62 per cent of people know their serological status, 64 per cent are receiving treatment and only 1 per cent know their viral load. This is because of the lag created by the unilateral coercive measures that have affected the country, despite the commitment to actively identify cases in the territories.

166.HIV testing is free of charge and compulsory for all expectant women. An initial test is performed when women first contact the health system, in order to identify positive women in a timely manner so that treatment can be started, and the pregnancy properly managed before 36 weeks have elapsed.

167.In coordination with the international cooperation agencies (UNFPA, UNICEF and UNAIDS), the strategy since 2018 has been to identify and monitor through the Ruta Materna in order to provide timely diagnosis and immediate treatment of expectant women. This strategy started with the main maternity centres and training, testing and treatment were provided to the community and outpatient network at the end of 2019 and in 2020.

168.ARVT is given to all infected pregnant women as of the fourteenth week of gestation, regardless of the results of immunological and virological tests. In 2019, because of the difficulty of measuring viral load, consideration was given to including in the treatment plan, following national treatment standards, all women who tested positive for HIV, as confirmed by a second rapid test or a test by a public health laboratory. In addition, 167,910 rapid diagnostic tests were distributed in 2019 and 101,050 by September 2020. This made it possible to control and eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis.

169.During the period covered by this report, the Guidelines for diagnosis and syndromatic treatment of sexually transmitted diseases and HIV were issued and health workers were trained, with priority given to maternity clinics in 2019 and to the community and outpatient network in 2020.

E.Economic empowerment of women

170.Between 2014 and 2020, women’s access to credit was expanded both by private and by public banks. Since 2017, at least 45 per cent of loans extended by public banks were reserved for female entrepreneurs. As a result of the policies adopted, women now form the majority of recipients of loans for small and medium-sized industries from public banks. The unilateral coercive measures have impacted credit, causing a decline in the absolute volume of loans that started in 1918 and mainly affected private banks.

Table III

Loans for men and women, by year

Private banks







6 609 436


8 135 812



8 381 419


9 831 587



8 894 010


10 891 124



8 514 404


10 525 257



7 299 732


8 857 585

54 . 82%


2 525 953


2 710 389



1 688 505


1 800 430


Table IV

Loans for men and women, by year

Public banks







2 094 339


1 954 846



3 026 254


2 680 338



3 744 679


3 118 575



4 013 049


3 166 706



4 115 746


4 017 786



2 707 632


3 334 424



1 790 473


2 881 992


Table V

Loans for small and medium-size businesses

Men and women, by year

Private banks







67 077


81 535



65 836


80 020



53 598


68 529



35 080


57 967

62.30 %


11 039


29 965





2 169







Table VI

Loans for small and medium-size businesses

Men and women, by year

Public banks







9 566


12 990



7 367


9 136



12 915


9 514



9 777


8 378



9 214


6 356



8 605


5 522



4 845


2 659


171.In 2016, the “I am a Woman” programme was created in order to involve women in the country’s production processes by providing financing for socially productive projects, training, and comprehensive support. By May 2019, a total of 24,046 women had received financing at interest rates between 1 per cent and 8 per cent without needing to provide security.

172.In another initiative, the Ministry of People’s Power for Women and Gender Equality funded the Madres del Barrio programme. Between 2014 and 2016, this initiative funded 1,569 women involved in social production enterprises and productive organizations. The Mama Rosa Network of Tourist Sites providing Training concentrates on tourism, gastronomy and the economy with a gender focus. It started with three inns and an initial funding of $US15,873,015.

173.The Professional Women Entrepreneurs programme provided financial support to women entrepreneurs individually and to women entrepreneurs working in social production companies and family production units and cooperatives, with loans granted by a public bank for a period of eight years, with interest rates ranging from zero to 12 per cent and a grace period of up to one year.

174.In September 2020, the Ministry of People’s Power for the Communities and Social Movements listed a total of 122,814 persons (52.76 per cent of whom were women) participating in community social production organizations.

175.In addition, during the period covered by this report, the Ministry of People’s Power for Women and Gender Equality concluded the following agreements to promote the economic empowerment of women:

(a)Agreement on cooperation with the National Institute for Training and Socialist Education to design and implement training programmes for women in the tourism, gastronomy and textile sectors, with certification of attendance at courses and workshops.

(b)Agreement on cooperation with the Simon Rodriguez National Experimental University to conduct training and certification programmes in the areas of tourism, trade and services.

(c)Agreement on cooperation with the Economic and Social Development Bank on the financing of social production projects.

(d)Agreement on cooperation with the Ministry of People’s Power for the Communities and Social Movements to enhance social production projects.

(e)Agreement on tourism training between the Central University’s Hotellerie School of the Venezuelan Andes and the Mama Rosa Cabins.

176.The Ministry of People’s Power for the Social Process of Labour has organized various technical and productive training programmes for women on production topics, reaching about 150,000 women throughout the country.

177.A Humanized Childbirth logo was created in 2020 to make women involved in the community productive economy aware of the Humanized Childbirth Plan. Women producers are participants in and leaders of this project, since they are responsible for developing a sustainable economy based on home-made products, personal hygiene, natural medicine and diet.

F.Rural women

178.In the period covered by this report, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela adopted various measures to improve the situation and meet the needs of rural women and girls, including access to basic services, justice, economic opportunities, land ownership, credit and politics.

179.According to data provided by the Federal Council of Government, 50.07 per cent of agricultural production projects are headed by women. The Women’s Development Bank (BANMUJER) has financed the expansion of productive work by rural women by approving 11,696 loans for the agrarian sector.

180.Among the initiatives taken to create economic opportunities, the Ministry of People’s Power for Women and Gender Equality, working with the Ministry of People’s Power for Agriculture and Land, Café Venezuela, and Cacao Oderi, made arrangements to provide induction, training, technical assistance and advice to social production organizations sponsored by it in the agriculture sector. Mention should also be made of the Cooperation Agreement between the Simón Rodriguez National Experimental University and the Ministry of People’s Power for Women and Gender Equality on sustainable farming training and certification. In addition, three Eva de Pernalete Schools of Sustainable Farming Production opened and are active throughout the country, following an investment of US$1,269,841 for equipment and supplies.

181.As part of the Technical Cooperation Programme between the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, a start was made in 2020 on the project to reduce vulnerability to the effects of climate change and increase the resilience of rural women.

182.The goal of the Female Smallholders programme, created in 2020, is to involve women in the agro-food production sector, with a view to the development of sustainable farming, by empowering rural women and tapping into their ancestral knowledge.

V.Part IV of the Convention

183.In the period covered by this report, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela took steps to guarantee the equality of women, including the most disadvantaged groups, and to eliminate discrimination in marriage and family relationships, following the Committee’s General Observations.

A.Disadvantaged groups of women

184.The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela has taken action to ensure the equality of women of African descent and indigenous women, older women, women with a disability, and lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersexual women and women deprived of their liberty.

1.Women of African descent and indigenous women

185.Since its creation, the Ministry of the People’s Power for Indigenous Peoples has always been headed by a woman. In addition, there is a National Institute against Racial Discrimination, which reports to the Ministry of People’s Power for Internal Relations, Justice and Peace and verifies compliance with public policies designed to prevent and punish racial discrimination and to defend the human rights of the populations of African descent and the indigenous and immigrant populations. These bodies have a differentiated gender approach.

186.The Ministry of People’s Power for Women and Gender Equality includes in its portfolio the coordination of activities for women of African descent and indigenous women. In 2014, it appointed two multiethnic and pluricultural Ombudspersons for Women’s Rights in Kumarakapay, the indigenous sector of Gran Sabana and Santa Elena de Uairen in Bolivar state to assist in the application of justice with a gender focus and comprehensive protection for women victims of violence. In this connection, attention should be drawn to the interagency cooperation between this Ministry and the Ministry of People’s Power for Indigenous Peoples, involving training of indigenous women to defend their specific rights.

187.The translation of the Act on Women’s Right to a Life Free from Violence into the Jivi, Ye’kuana and Yanomami languages was published in 2015. Similarly, the Apacuana Programme, which focuses broadly on indigenous women from an ethnic and gender viewpoint, was launched in 2017 by the National Institute for Women.

188.Another step guaranteeing the rights of indigenous women was the approval of the 2017 Basic Guidelines on Human Rights. According to these Guidelines, the attitude of civil servants towards indigenous peoples and communities should be based on and guided by recognition of their existence, their social, political and economic organization, their cultures, habits and customs, languages and religions as well as their habitat and ancestral entitlement to the land that they occupy historically and traditionally and that they need in order to develop and guarantee their way of life. Consequently, civil servants must guarantee the right of indigenous peoples to use their own indigenous language for all applications, petitions and administrative procedures.

189.On 23 October 2015, the symbolic remains of Juana Ramírez La Avanzadora were placed in the National Pantheon. Subsequently, on 8 March 2017 (International Women’s Day), the symbolic remains of Hipólita, Matea and Apacuana were placed in the National Pantheon, as a tribute to the role in the construction of Venezuelan identity played by indigenous women, women of African descent and women from the popular districts.

190.Other important initiatives for women of African descent were the Meeting of Black Women held in May 2016 and the creation in 2017 of the work plan for women of African descent.

191.In 2018, meetings were held on the sectoral work plan for women of African descent and agreements were reached with the Ministry of People’s Power for Foreign Relations, in the context of the International Decade for People of African Descent. In the same year, the International Day for people of African Descent was celebrated.

192.The 2019-2025 Motherland Plan to promote the economic and social development of the Nation had an ethnic component.

2.Older women

193.Between 2014 and 2020, the Venezuelan Social Security Institute reported that the number of women receiving ongoing pensions increased from 1,545,044 to 2,752,825, accounting for 59.9 per cent of all pensioners.

194.Another important development is “Jobs for Seniors” launched on 22 January 2019 with the goal of enabling adults and seniors to become involved in production, giving them productive jobs as part of the country’s economic, social and cultural development plans. For 2020, over 700,000 seniors registered (51.5 per cent were men and 48.5 per cent were women).

3.Women with a disability

195.For the whole country, women certified as disabled and registered with the National Council for Persons with Disabilities numbered 243,629 or 38.82 per cent of the total population. Of the total women registered, 90 per cent were older than 18 and 10 per cent were 17 years of age or less.

196.Most of the women certified suffered from a neuromusculoskeletal disability (38.06 per cent) or from multiple disabilities (35.24 per cent). As to the causes of the disabilities, 62.89 per cent were acquired and 16.27 per cent were congenital, 19.44 per cent were genetic and 1.39 per cent were hereditary. These figures cover 99.99 per cent of all women in the country with a disability.

197.According to the register and to information given to the National Council for Persons with Disabilities by employers throughout the country, 63.21 per cent of the people with disabilities working in the formal sector are women.

198.In 2015, the Ministry of People’s Power for Women and Gender Equality created the program Heroines without Barriers, advocating comprehensive measures to help women with disabilities.

199.The programme I can do it, run by the National Council for Persons with Disabilities, helps 44.17 per cent of women throughout the country, mainly in the states of Bolívar and Zulia, between 18 and 60 years of age. Among the women covered by the programme, 70.38 per cent have musculoskeletal disabilities, 8.30 per cent have vision disabilities and 7.31 per cent have hearing disabilities.

200.The National Service for Accessible Communication has a programme enabling people who have hearing problems, who are deaf or who are deaf and blind to access information and communication using methods suited to their various disabilities, including sign language, Braille and audiovisual aids. Between 2017 and September 2020, a total of 3,297 women were taught Venezuelan sign language.

201.In addition, the Counselling and Family Programme provides biopsychosocial care (technical, legal and emotional) concerning personal relationships in order to improve the quality of life of persons with disabilities and of their relatives and representatives, developing their potential and enabling them to develop their skills. Between 2015 and 2020, 67 per cent of the people helped by this Programme were women with disabilities.

202.In the period covered by this report, a total of 56,812 women with visual disabilities were helped by the José Gregorio Hernández Mission.

4.Women and sexual diversity

203.In 2013, the Ministry of People’s Power for Women and Gender Equality designed a basic course entitled Sexual Diversity: Argument and Disagreement, which was attended by 2,439 people and was aimed at ending discrimination and incitement to hatred against sexually diverse people. In 2014, on the occasion of World Sexual Diversity Day, the We Are Diversity training programme was launched.

204.The Advisory Council on Sexual and Gender Diversity was created in 2015 and in 2018 became the Presidential Council on Sexual Diversity. It provides an opportunity for LGBTI organizations to meet with the Executive in order to exchange views on public policies and institutional initiatives in favour of gender equality and support for the sexually diverse population.

205.As far as legislation is concerned, the 2017 Constitutional Act against Hatred and for Peaceful Coexistence and Tolerance prohibits messages advocating discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression; criminalizes the promotion of or incitement to hatred (article 20), mentioning as punishable conduct the promotion of or the incitement to discrimination or violence against a person or group of persons on grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression; and includes as an aggravating factor of any punishable act the fact that it is committed or intensified because of the victim’s sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression (article 21).

206.The Basic Guidelines for Civil Servants in the area of Human Rights were adopted in 2017 in order to establish binding principles and criteria for the work of civil servants, for the purpose of enhancing respect, guarantees and protection of human rights in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. In accordance with these Guidelines, the behaviour of civil servants must always respect, guarantee and protect human rights, in accordance with the principles of universality, equality, indivisibility, interdependence, progressiveness, inalienability, interculturality and shared responsibility for human rights. Accordingly, civil servants must refrain from any kind of discriminatory act or attitude of discrimination based on ethnicity, religion, social status, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, language, political opinion, nationality or origin, age, economic status, disability, health condition or any other personal, legal or social circumstance aimed at or resulting in cancellation of or disregard for the recognition, enjoyment or exercise of human rights.

207.The most significant legal developments include the 2016 ruling No. 1187 of the Constitutional Division of the Supreme Court which recognized same-sex parenting, interpreting article 75 of the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to mean that same-sex parents can be heads of families and that the children of these families are protected by the State in the same way as any other children born into a traditional family.

208.As far as regional jurisdictions are concerned, the Government of the Capital District approved Decree No. 006 of 17 May 2016 prohibiting any act of discrimination based on actual or perceived sexual orientation, in order to combat homophobia in the city of Caracas. In order to comply with this Decree, the Ministry of People’s Power for Culture and Public Defence started to display information posters on its premises indicating that discrimination against members of the LGBTI community is prohibited. In 2018, the Mayoralty of the Libertador Municipality (Caracas) created the Office for Sexual Diversity, which provides legal counsel, training plans and social assistance. In addition, the legislative councils in the Bolívar and Carabobo states have issued decisions rejecting any kind of discrimination threatening the identity of LGBTI persons in municipalities and communities in their territory and various municipal councils have taken decisions specifically designed to combat discrimination against LGBTI people.

209.In 2017, the Ministry of People’s Power for Women and Gender Equality created a work plan concerning sexual diversity, focusing on feminism and human rights for comprehensive care, training, leadership participation and research, working with the sexually diverse population.

210.The 2016-2019 National Human Rights Plan included the creation of specialized procedures in the Ombudsman’s Office and the Public Prosecution Service for the promotion and protection of the right to equality and non-discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. The 2019-2025 Plan for the Motherland advocates comprehensive protection for the LGBTI community.

211.In November 2020, the Ombudsman’s Office created a special subsidiary office with nation-wide competence for the protection of sexually diverse people, reporting to the Directorate for Matters requiring Special Attention.

5.Female prisoners

212.The period covered by this report saw the introduction of the new Penitentiary System in all women’s prisons, under the administration of the Ministry of People’s Power for the Penitentiary Service. The System encourages the social rehabilitation of female prisoners through comprehensive plans, projects and policies for them in areas including education, work, culture and sports.

213.In 2020, there were 2,153 female prisoners, distributed between 16 prison facilities. The managerial, disciplinary and custodial staff of these facilities are all female and are kept separate from the men’s facilities. The centres have space to accommodate the number of female prisoners specified in the United Nations Rules for the Treatment of Women Prisoners (Bangkok Rules) and the Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (Nelson Mandela Rules).

214.The main policies implemented include the Work Opportunities plan, designed to develop the work skills of prisoners and to mass produce some agricultural items by setting up factories and production units. The Luisa Cáceres de Arismendi programme also encourages women prisoners to form social production units, involving their family members and thus allowing them to do productive work when they leave prison. This programme funded 513 projects using textile raw materials.

215.The Autonomous Institute Funding Prison Work owns over 50 production units in women’s prisons working on bread-making, textiles, agriculture, ceramics, ironwork, carpentry, general services, maintenance, home-made soap, childcare, silk screening and hairdressing, among other pursuits. Between 2014 and 2020, over 2,500 women prisoners were involved, and the hours spent working for their own benefit were deducted from their sentences when they were serving a sentence of imprisonment. Between 2015 and 2020, the Institute served a nation-wide population of 2,576 women prisoners

216.By guaranteeing the right to education, the Ministry of People’s Power for the Penitentiary Service is promoting the intellectual development of women prisoners through Education Missions (Robinson, Ribas and Sucre) at the primary, secondary and university levels respectively. As regards non-formal education, various workshops and courses are offered, as is training geared to productive work. Between 2015 and 2020, 1,985 women prisoners received formal education at the national level.

217.The Orchestra and Chorus Network in the country’s prison facilities, as well as groups helping adolescents in trouble with the law, use classical music as a means of social readjustment for prisoners through learning, practising and enjoying music. In 2020, there were 15 Symphony Orchestra groups for adults. Over half of the participants in the various groups are women.

218.As far as health care is concerned, frequent medical briefings are held on women’s health topics, including diagnosis of breast and cervical cancer. The Ministry of People’s Power for the Penitentiary System pays special attention to pregnant and breastfeeding women. Accordingly, it has selected the National Women’s Advisory Institute to be the only penitentiary facility allowed to accommodate these women in these conditions and circumstances who are pregnant or caring for children under three years of age, since it has enough space for his purpose.

B.Marriage and family relations

219.Ruling No. 739 of the Constitutional Division of the Supreme Court repealed articles 394 and 395 of the Criminal Code because they discriminated against women and undermined the values and principles of equality, non-discrimination and human dignity embodied in articles 2, 3 and 21 of the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

220.In 2020, out of a total of 3,178,000 housing units constructed by the Great Housing Mission for Venezuela, 2,555,512 or 80.46 per cent were allocated to female heads of household. And 81.5 per cent of the Mission’s loans were made to women.

VI.Other recommendations of the Committee

221.After studying the Committee’s concluding observations in document CEDAW/C/VEN/CO/7-8, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela adopted various measures relating to the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the Sustainable Development Goals, the dissemination of the concluding observations and the ratification of international human rights treaties.

A.Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action

222.The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela confirms its commitment to the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. In addition to noting the observations concerning the Convention, it is taking action in response to the Committee’s general observations and to the 12 Critical Areas of Concern noted in the Beijing Platform for Action, such as:

1.Women and armed conflict and General Recommendation No. 30

223.In 2013, the Ministry of People s Power for Women and Gender Equality launched the Women’s movement for peace and life, which enrolled 12,000 women in prevention and awareness activities. In 2014, women from all walks of national life were invited to discussions on peace and life. In 2017, the strategic plan and plan of action for the movement were created. In 2017 and 2018, the First and Second Binational Congresses of Women from Colombia and Venezuela were held to strengthen peacekeeping under female leadership, with the participation of nongovernmental organizations from both countries. The goal was to implement the joint agenda for peace and eradication of instances of inequality in common territory, with an intercultural focus and under the leadership of the Wayuu women. 1,200 women from the two countries participated and agreement was reached on a road map for gender-based peace.

2.Women and the environment and General Recommendation No. 37

224.Over the last five years there has been an increase in female leadership in the national electricity industry, where women are occupying senior posts in a traditionally masculine field, reaching the 2918 goal of filling 69 per cent of such posts with women.

225.In the area of atomic energy, women are heading technical cooperation programmes with the International Atomic Energy Agency, participating in WiNArcal, where the WiN Venezuela segment is being implemented. There is also a Gender Mainstreaming project, which has produced a handbook on the inclusion of a gender perspective during the diagnosis, design, implementation and monitoring phases of alternative energy projects. Mention should also be made of the Sowing Light programme and the Energy Panels Programme, which reverses the feminization of poverty by providing free photovoltaic systems, bringing electricity to isolated, indigenous and frontier communities.

B.Sustainable Development Goals

226.In 2018, the Office of the General Comptroller of the Republic, working with the Organization of Latin American and Caribbean Supreme Audit Institutions, conducted an audit on the preparations made by the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals, with emphasis on Goal 5 (Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls). The audit showed an optimal efficiency index for the implementation by Venezuela of the 2030 Agenda, with emphasis on Goal 5.

227.The Goals are specifically incorporated in the 2019-2025 Motherland Plan, and a total of 29 general and specific national goals relating to various areas, results and methods for eradicating all forms of discrimination and violence against women have been established in relation to gender equality (Goal 5).


228.The National Human Rights Plan of Venezuela includes a unit responsible for relations with international human rights bodies, including the following programmatic activities: (i) Creation of awareness of the content of the rights recognized in international human rights treaties and of the possibility of invoking them in court, particularly among the components of the justice system and other entities responsible for their application; and (ii) Broad dissemination of the international human rights instruments accepted by the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and recommendations from the United Nations system, including publication in accessible formats such as Braille and audio recordings.

229.The concluding observations were disseminated promptly to the relevant institutions at all levels (national, region and local). They were also circulated in communities, by inclusion on the websites of the public agencies responsible for human rights policies.

D.Technical assistance

230.In September 2019, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights signed a memorandum of understanding to specify arrangements for cooperation and technical assistance concerning human rights. Following up on the memorandum, a work plan was drafted on the technical assistance to be provided each year to various government bodies. It was also agreed that human rights staff from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights could be present in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to perform their duties. The memorandum of understanding was renewed and expanded in September 2020.

231.The memorandum of understanding and the work plan mainstream the topic of gender. As part of the cooperation and technical assistance, a start was made on the creation of a national mechanism to follow up on the recommendations of the United Nations human rights mechanisms, including treaty bodies.

E.Ratification of other treaties

232.In May 2014, the National Assembly approved the Act ratifying the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of all Migrant Workers and their Families. The instrument of ratification was deposited on 25 October 2016.