List of issues and questions in relation to the seventh periodic report of Gabon *
Constitutional, legislative and institutional framework
1.Please inform the Committee of the steps taken to include in the Constitution or other appropriate legislation of the State party an explicit definition of discrimination against women addressing direct and indirect discrimination and discrimination in the private sphere. Please provide information on steps taken to finalize the revision of the Civil Code, the Labour Code and the Penal Code with a view to ensuring that all discriminatory provisions are repealed. Please inform the Committee of the measures taken to enact a comprehensive law on combating violence against women. In reference to paragraph 13 (b) of the seventh periodic report of the State party (CEDAW/C/GAB/7), please elaborate on whether consultations with civil society during the drafting of such legislation have been ensured.
Access to justice
2.Please provide information on measures taken to ensure free legal aid for women without sufficient means. Please explain which measures have been taken to ensure that free legal aid is ensured for victims of sexual violence and that the necessary medical certificates recognizing the status of victim of sexual or physical violence are issued. Please inform the Committee of measures taken to combat sociocultural barriers that women may face in gaining access to justice and to increase the number of judicial structures in rural areas. Please provide detailed information on how the Decade of the Gabonese Woman initiative ensured greater access to justice for women and girls. Please provide updated information on the number and type of training for judges, lawyers, prosecutors, police officers and other law enforcement officers organized by the State party.
National machinery for the advancement of women
3.Please provide detailed information on the financial resources allocated for gender equality-related matters to the Directorate General for the Advancement of Women (para. 25). Please inform the Committee on whether adequate human and financial resources have been ensured for the Directorate. Please also inform the Committee on the steps taken to implement Law No. 9/2016 in order to increase the representation of women at the decision-making and policymaking levels, including in national and local development institutions and structures. Please provide information on whether a comprehensive system of gender indicators has been developed to improve the collection of sex-disaggregated data.
National human rights institution
4.Please provide information on whether the National Commission on Human Rights applied for accreditation by the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions. Please inform the Committee on steps taken to ensure that the National Commission on Human Rights complies with the principles relating to the status of national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights (the Paris Principles).
Temporary special measures
5.Please provide information on temporary special measures, in line with article 4 (1) of the Convention and the Committee’s general recommendation No. 25 (2004) on temporary special measures, applied during the reporting period through national policies and programmes, including quotas to accelerate the achievement of substantive equality between women and men in all areas covered under the Convention.
Discriminatory stereotypes and harmful practices
6.Please provide information on measures taken to ensure the effective implementation of Act No. 38/2008 aimed at combating and preventing female genital mutilation. Please provide information on measures taken to adopt legal provisions prohibiting child marriage, widowhood practices and other harmful practices. Please provide information on measures taken to fully implement the Children’s Code, adopted in 2018, with a view to ensuring the eradication of child marriage. Please also provide information on steps taken to eliminate levirate marriages.
Gender-based violence against women
7.Please provide information on measures taken to adopt a comprehensive law on violence against women that prohibits and introduces adequate sanctions for sexual harassment, domestic violence and rape, including marital rape. Please provide data on gender-based violence against women in the State party, including on domestic violence, marital rape, sexual harassment, violence relating to accusations of witchcraft and information on the measures taken to improve data collection. Please also provide information on complaints of gender-based violence and the prosecutions, convictions and sentences imposed with regard to such cases. Please inform the Committee of the measures taken to guarantee that sentences are commensurate with the gravity of the offence, in particular with regard to rape. Please provide information on the availability of shelters, specialized assistance and rehabilitation services for victims.
Trafficking and exploitation of prostitution
8.Please provide information on laws and policies in place to combat and prevent trafficking in persons and to protect, assist and provide women and girls who are victims of trafficking with psychological redress and support, considering the specific circumstances of girls and women in rural areas, women and girls with disabilities and those at risk of gender-based violence and child and/or forced marriages. Please report on the number of cases investigated and prosecuted, convictions and the sentences imposed on the perpetrators in cases of trafficking, as well as on measures in place to, inter alia, identify, screen, protect and assist women and girls who are victims of trafficking and to raise public awareness of trafficking. Please also provide information on the availability of shelters, specialized assistance and rehabilitation services for victims.
Participation in political and public life
9.Please provide information on measures taken to promote the equal representation of women in political and public life at the national, provincial and local levels, including in decision-making positions in the Government, the parliament and the judiciary, the civil and foreign services and in diplomacy. Please also inform the Committee about measures taken to ensure the implementation of the 30 per cent quota in political elections and state high-level positions set in Law No. 9/2016 and whether a mechanism has been established to monitor the implementation of the law. Please provide information on measures taken to remove stereotypes about the participation of women in public life.
10.Please indicate the proportion of non-registered births and the efforts made to ensure universal birth registration.
11.Please inform the Committee of measures taken to strengthen programmes to retain girls in school, including existing programmes that provide scholarships to female pupils and enable young women to return to school after giving birth (para. 71). Please provide data, disaggregated by sex, age, region and location in rural or urban area, on access to and rates of completion of primary, secondary and tertiary education, school dropout rates, receipt of scholarships and the number of pregnant girls in school. Please inform the Committee of measures taken to reduce the school dropout rate among girls by facilitating their re-entry into school. In this regard, please indicate whether mandatory, age-appropriate and evidence-based sexual and reproductive health education has been ensured in school curricula for girls and boys.
12.Please provide information on the number of functioning literacy centres throughout the country, the number of women and girls who are beneficiaries thereof and the human, technical and financial resources allocated to those centres and explain how they complement existing educational institutions. Please report on budgets earmarked to improve the infrastructure of schools in rural areas and to ensure accessibility for and the inclusion of girls with disabilities, including in boarding schools.
13.Please inform the Committee of the measures adopted to reduce the unemployment rate among women. Please provide information on the number, nature and results of the labour inspections conducted, including in the areas of agriculture and domestic work, and updated statistics on the minimum wage and the ratio of employment to unemployment, disaggregated by sex, age and location in urban or rural area. Please provide information on measures taken to ensure the respect in practice of the principle of equal pay for work of equal value in the State party’s legislation and to ensure that it is also applied in the private sector. Please also provide information on the measures taken to extend social protection to women and men working in the informal sector. Please indicate the steps taken to ratify the Domestic Workers Convention, 2011 (No. 189) of the International Labour Organization.
14.Please provide information on national public policies in the area of health and sanitation, indicating how gender is mainstreamed into such policies, and on the human, technical and financial resources allocated to health care at the national and regional levels. Please report on measures taken to improve the availability and quality of sexual and reproductive health counselling services for women and girls and provide information on measures taken to improve access to modern contraceptive methods, including by ensuring universal coverage under the State health insurance system of all costs relating to such methods.
15.Please provide information on the incidence of unsafe abortion and its impact on women’s health, including maternal mortality, in the State party. Please also indicate which steps have been taken to ensure that abortion is legally available not only in cases of threats to the life of the pregnant woman, but also in other circumstances, such as threats to her health, rape, incest and severe fetal impairment.
Economic empowerment of women
16.Please report on measures taken to address and mainstream the gender dimension of poverty into public policies, in particular national development plans or strategies to combat poverty. Please report on strategies to develop and sustain social protection schemes for women on an equal basis with men, including in the agricultural sector. Please report on measures taken to ensure that the growth and poverty reduction strategy is effectively implemented and that issues relating to gender equality are sufficiently reflected therein.
17.Please provide information on the measures taken, such as reinforcing human, technical and financial resource allocations, to guarantee the provision of good-quality health and educational services and access to improved sanitation infrastructure for all women and girls living in rural areas. Please provide information on the measures taken to address cultural barriers that restrict access for women to land. Please also provide information on measures taken to increase land registration and distribution and farm ownership rates among women and the participation of women in cooperatives and on measures taken to inform rural women of their rights to property and land ownership and use and to empower them to claim those rights.
Disadvantaged groups of women
18.Please provide up-to-date data, disaggregated by relevant factors, on the status of disadvantaged groups of women, including refugees, girls living on the streets, older women, women with disabilities, widows, migrant women, women in detention and women living in poverty, focusing on the intersecting forms of discrimination that they encounter and paying special attention to their needs to ensure that they enjoy equal access to basic services.
19.With reference to the Committee’s previous concluding observations (CEDAW/C/GAB/CO/6, para. 43), please provide updated information on legislative and policy measures taken to put an end to sexual violence against indigenous women and the practice of enslaving indigenous women, including by prosecuting and punishing the perpetrators, and ensure that indigenous women and girls have equal access to education, health care and birth registration and unobstructed access to their ancestral lands.
Marriage and family relations
20.With reference to the Committee’s previous concluding observations (CEDAW/C/GAB/CO/6, para. 45), please provide information on steps taken to:
(a)Repeal without delay all discriminatory provisions relating to marriage and family relations in the Civil Code, including those relating to polygamy (arts. 177 and 178), the lower minimum age of marriage for girls compared with boys (art. 203), differences in spousal obligations (art. 252), the husband’s role as the head of household (art. 253), the choice of residence being solely that of the husband (art. 254) and his right to forbid his wife to continue to work (art. 261), the practice of repudiation (art.265) and the administration of family property solely by the husband (art. 335);
(b)Adopt and implement legal provisions that prohibit polygamy, levirate marriage, widowhood rites and child and early marriage;
(c)Review all discriminatory provisions of the Penal Code, repeal sanctions that are applied only to women in cases of adultery (art. 267) and provide equal sanctions for men and women in relation to killings motivated by adultery (art. 54);
(d)Adopt all legislative means necessary to protect the rights of women upon dissolution of customary marriages, regardless of their registration status, in particular with respect to their inheritance rights.
Sustainable Development Goals
21.Please provide information about the measures taken to integrate a gender perspective into all efforts aimed at achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.