* Adopted by the pre-sessional working group on 1 June 2023.

List of issues and questions in relation to the ninth periodic report of Cuba *

Visibility of the Convention, the Optional Protocol thereto and the Committee’s general recommendations

1.Please provide information on efforts to give visibility to the Convention and the Committee’s general recommendations, so that they are made an integral part of the training of judges, lawyers, prosecutors, police officers and other law enforcement officials. Please also provide information on the measures taken to disseminate the Committee’s previous concluding observations (CEDAW/C/CUB/CO/7-8).

Women’s rights and gender equality in relation to the pandemic, recovery efforts and global crises

2.Please describe efforts made and mechanisms put in place to contend with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and its long-term impact, and ways to apply these in the State party’s response to current and future crises, such as armed conflict, food insecurity and the energy crisis. Please provide information on strategies to ensure that gender equality and women’s empowerment are a fundamental requirement in addressing such crises and in elaborating adequate responses, such as policies, the scope of essential services, assistance programmes, recovery efforts and the application of the rule of law. Please also provide information on measures taken to ensure the equal and meaningful participation of women in these processes, and to ensure that such crises will not lead to a reversal of progress made in the protection and promotion of women’s rights.

Women and peace and security

3.Please inform the Committee about the steps taken to:

(a)Develop a national action plan on women and peace and security, in line with Security Council resolution 1325 (2000) and other subsequent resolutions, which is linked to the national security strategy and emphasizes the three pillars of the women and peace and security agenda – prevention, participation and protection – to foster the role of women, women’s organizations and women human rights defenders as important agents driving resilient and peaceful societies, nationally and regionally;

(b)Ensure that women are fully included and consulted in dialogues on conflict resolution and in climate change and foreign policy negotiations in a way that supports women’s space and participation in civil society.

Legislative framework and definition of discrimination

4.In accordance with the State party’s obligations under articles 1 and 2 of the Convention and in line with target 5.1 of the Sustainable Development Goals, to end all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere, please provide information on the following:

(a)Measures taken to adopt a comprehensive definition of discrimination that ensures the protection of women against direct and indirect discrimination, including intersecting forms of discrimination, in both the public and private spheres, as recommended by the Committee in its previous concluding observations (CEDAW/C/CUB/CO/7-8, para. 11);

(b)Legislative and policy measures taken to address intersecting forms of discrimination faced by women;

(c)Measures taken to modify or repeal existing discriminatory laws and regulations to ensure compliance with the Convention and with international human rights treaties;

(d)Legal remedies and compensation available to women who are subjected to any form of gender-based discrimination, in particular women of African descent, women with disabilities, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex women, migrant, refugee and asylum-seeking women, older women and rural women and girls.

Access to justice and legal complaint mechanisms

5.Please provide information on the following:

(a)Steps taken to elaborate a gender strategy for the legal system and the number of training sessions on women’s rights, including their right to access justice, which have been delivered to law students, judges, prosecutors, lawyers and law enforcement officials, as foreseen in the national programme for the advancement of women;

(b)Measures taken to establish follow-up mechanisms to periodically assess the progress made in implementing different gender-sensitive policies that have been adopted since 2021 and the development of indicators of progress, disaggregated by race, age and disability, made towards gender equality and the elimination of discrimination against women and girls;

(c)Specific measures taken to implement the victim protection programmes, including the referral system, and mechanisms foreseen in different gender-sensitive policies that have been adopted since 2021;

(d)Specific measures taken to institutionalize and expand a public legal aid service that is adequately funded to ensure the legal representation for women without sufficient means in criminal, civil and administrative proceedings relating to gender-based violence and discrimination;

(e)The number of complaints of discrimination on the basis of sex and gender submitted by women during the period under review, disaggregated by year, and the number of investigations undertaken and the outcomes thereof;

(f)Steps taken to design a strategy aimed at guaranteeing access to justice for groups of women who are disadvantaged and discriminated against, such as women of African descent, women with disabilities, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex women, migrant, refugee and asylum-seeking women, older women and rural women and girls, which addresses accessibility and other cultural barriers and establishes and disseminates information about effective legal remedies and procedures enabling women to claim their rights.

National machinery for the advancement of women

6.Please provide information on the following:

(a)Measures taken to strengthen the mandate of the Federation of Cuban Women, to allocate adequate resources to it, improve its operational efficiency and ensure coordination between it and other government agencies and the mechanisms established by the national programme for the advancement of women to implement legislation and public policies on gender equality, as recommended in the Committee’s previous concluding observations (CEDAW/C/CUB/CO/7-8, para. 17);

(b)Measures to mainstream gender equality across sectoral policies and to ensure coordination between the working group created under the national programme for the advancement of women and other national and provincial mechanisms to implement public policies on gender equality;

(c)Mechanisms to promote the participation of, and consultations with, women’s organizations, in particular those for women of African descent and women with disabilities, in the adoption and implementation of public policies and programmes by the national machinery for the advancement of women.

National human rights institution

7.The State party noted the recommendations made during the third cycle of the universal periodic review in 2018 that it establish a national human rights institution in accordance with the principles relating to the status of national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights (the Paris Principles). Please provide information on steps taken to establish a national human rights institution with a broad mandate in compliance with the Paris Principles and steps taken to seek the support and advice of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in the process.

Women human rights defenders

8.Information received by the Committee indicates that there has been an increase in gender-based violence, including threats, intimidation, criminalization and violent attacks, perpetrated against women human rights defenders. Please provide information on:

(a)Measures taken to expedite the investigation and prosecution of all acts of gender-based violence, including threats, intimidation, criminalization and violent attacks, perpetrated against women human rights defenders;

(b)Measures taken to raise awareness about the importance and legitimacy of the work carried out by women human rights defenders and by non-governmental organizations working on the promotion and protection of women’s human rights.

Temporary special measures

9.In line with article 4 (1) of the Convention and the Committee’s general recommendation No. 25 (2004) on temporary special measures, please provide information on temporary special measures applied during the reporting period to accelerate the achievement of substantive equality between women and men, in particular in the areas of education, employment and economic empowerment, and those taken for the most disadvantaged groups of women, such as women of African descent, women with disabilities, rural women, older women and migrant women.

Stereotypes

10.In the light of the Committee’s previous recommendations (CEDAW/C/CUB/CO/7-8, para. 23), please provide detailed information on:

(a)Specific steps taken to eliminate discriminatory stereotypes and patriarchal attitudes about the roles and responsibilities of women and men in the family and in society, including awareness-raising and educational programmes and media campaigns to convey positive images of women as active participants in economic, social and political life, and the impact of those measures;

(b)Measures taken to address discriminatory gender stereotypes and negative portrayals of women, including all forms of objectification of women in the media, social media and advertisements, and the monitoring and results of those measures.

Gender-based violence against women

11.Information received by the Committee indicates that there is a high prevalence of gender-based violence against women in the State party, including femicides. In the light of the Committee’s general recommendation No. 35 (2017) on gender-based violence against women, updating general recommendation No. 19, and the Committee’s previous recommendations (CEDAW/C/CUB/CO/7-8, para. 25 (a)), please provide information on:

(a)Steps taken to develop a comprehensive law on gender-based violence;

(b)Steps taken to codify the crime of femicide in the Penal Code;

(c)Updated and disaggregated data on the number of femicides that occurred in the State party from 2018 to 2023 and the protocols that are in place to prevent, address and punish gender-based discrimination and violence, especially in relation to disadvantaged groups of women.

12.Please also inform the Committee on measures taken to:

(a)Prevent cases of gender-based violence against women in institutions, in particular in detention centres, psychiatric hospitals, centres for persons with disabilities and centres for minors, and ensure that all types of institutions are supervised by independent authorities;

(b)Provide victims with effective protection, rehabilitation and remedies, including compensation;

(c)Ensure that rural women and girls and women and girls of African descent who are victims of gender-based violence have effective access to protection orders, shelters and psychosocial counselling;

(d)Collect statistical data on gender-based violence against women, disaggregated by form of gender-based violence, age, ethnicity, disability and the relationship between the perpetrator and the victim, and on the number of prosecutions and convictions and the sentences imposed on the perpetrators;

(e)Provide accessible information to women with disabilities about available remedies and redress in cases of gender-based violence against them;

(f)Expand the coverage of shelters for women and girl who are survivors of domestic and other forms of gender-based violence, including women with disabilities. Please include information on the number and accessibility of shelters and the support available to survivors.

Trafficking and exploitation of prostitution

13.In its previous concluding observations (CEDAW/C/CUB/CO/7-8, para. 27), the Committee requested the State party to conduct studies and surveys on the prevalence of the exploitation of prostitution and to include in its next report updated information and data on the prevalence of this phenomenon and of trafficking in women and girls. It also called upon the State party to address the root causes of trafficking and prostitution and to ensure the rehabilitation and social integration of victims, including by providing them with shelter and assistance. Please provide information on measures taken to implement those requests.

14.Please provide information on measures taken to:

(a)Prevent and eliminate trafficking in persons, in particular trafficking of women of African descent and rural women for the purposes of exploitation of prostitution, sexual exploitation and sex tourism, including through awareness-raising campaigns and community networks that address the heightened risks for girls in marginalized and rural areas, and those at risk of gender-based violence and child and/or forced marriage;

(b)Improve international, regional and bilateral cooperation with countries of origin, transit and destination to prevent trafficking of women and girls, through information exchange and by harmonizing legal procedures for the prosecution and punishment of perpetrators;

(c)Build the capacity of the judiciary and the police to effectively and in a gender-sensitive manner investigate, prosecute and punish perpetrators of trafficking in women and girls and exploitation of prostitution;

(d)Ensure the protection of women and girls who have been victims of trafficking and provide them with free and immediate access to specialized shelters, medical care, psychosocial counselling, legal aid and rehabilitation and reintegration services.

Participation in political and public life

15.In the light of the Committee’s general recommendation No. 25 and general recommendation No. 23 (1997) on women in political and public life, please describe measures taken to:

(a)Adopt specific goals and timelines, including for women belonging to disadvantaged groups, such as women of African descent and women with disabilities, for example, through statutory quotas for the parliament, political parties, public administration and the foreign service and for senior government positions. Please elaborate on the outcomes achieved, supported by data;

(b)Periodically assess the progress made in implementing the different policies, with a view to measuring the increase in the number of women in executive and decision-making positions.

Education

16.Please provide information on the following:

(a)Measures taken to ensure safe educational environments and quality school infrastructure, in addition to preventing violence and harassment on the way to or at school;

(b)Enrolment rates at all levels of education among girls and women, disaggregated by location (urban or rural), whether the student is of African descent, disability status and migrant or refugee status;

(c)The school dropout rate among girls for the past five years, indicating how the State party addresses dropout owing to factors such as poverty, early pregnancy, competing household and caretaking obligations and the recruitment of girls as domestic workers;

(d)Measures to implement ministerial resolution No. 16/2021 and to ensure mandatory, age-appropriate education on sexual and reproductive health and rights at all levels of education, including on responsible sexual behaviour and modern contraceptives;

(e)The career choices made by women, disaggregated by age and location (urban or rural), and measures taken to encourage women and girls to choose non‑traditional fields of study, such as information and communications technology and science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Employment

17.Please provide information on:

(a)Measures taken to promote access to formal employment for rural women, women with disabilities, women of African descent and migrant and returnee women;

(b)Progress made in implementing Decree-Law No. 56/2021 on maternity protection for working women and the responsibility of families, and the results achieved (para. 143);

(c)Steps taken to ratify the Domestic Workers Convention, 2011 (No. 189) and the Violence and Harassment Convention, 2019 (No. 190) of the International Labour Organization;

(d)Advances made to gather data, disaggregated by sex, geographical location and minority status, in the area of employment to monitor women’s working situation and conditions, as well as complaints relating to gender-based discrimination and sexual harassment in the workplace for the past five years.

Health

18.In its previous concluding observations (CEDAW/C/CUB/CO/7-8, para. 35), the Committee requested the State party to increase access to, as well as the use of, effective and high-quality methods of contraception with a view to improving family planning. Please provide information on:

(a)Measures taken to address the lack of availability of modern, high-quality methods of contraception and to raise awareness about these for women and adolescent girls, in particular in rural and remote areas (para. 167);

(b)The results and impact of the implementation of the national programme for sexual health and education in ensuring access to safe and affordable contraception for women and adolescent girls, in particular in rural and remote areas;

(c)Access to health for disadvantaged groups of women, in particular women of African descent, older women, women with disabilities and rural women.

Rural women and women of African descent

19.Recalling the Committee’s general recommendation No. 34 (2016) on the rights of rural women, please indicate measures taken to:

(a)Improve access for rural women and girls and women and girls of African descent to basic services, including health care, family planning services, clean water, education, social protection in the formal and informal economies and credit, and to formal employment, means of economic empowerment and land;

(b)Monitor and measure the results and impact of the comprehensive mountain development programme known as the Turquino plan (para. 183), and its specific impact on the social and cultural development of women of African descent and rural women.

Disadvantaged groups of women

20.In view of the intersecting forms of discrimination faced by disadvantaged and marginalized groups of women, please provide information on the situation of older women, migrant and internally displaced women, women in detention, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex women and women with disabilities, as well as about obstacles preventing them from enjoying basic rights, such as access to health-care services, social benefits, education and participation in political and public life.

Climate change and disaster risk reduction

21.In the light of the Committee’s general recommendation No. 37 (2018) on the gender-related dimensions of disaster risk reduction in the context of climate change, please provide information on the following:

(a)Measures to mainstream a gender perspective into national disaster risk reduction management and relief and recovery strategies;

(b)The involvement of women in the formulation and implementation of policies and programmes relating to disaster risk reduction, post-disaster management and climate change (para. 192);

(c)Measures taken to provide relief and recovery for women who are affected by natural disasters, including hurricanes and storms;

(d)Measures taken to ensure food security for rural women in the light of the effects of climate change.

Marriage and family relations

22.Please provide information on the following:

(a)Legislative measures taken to recognize intangible property, such as pension and insurance benefits, as part of the joint property to be divided upon divorce;

(b)Measures taken to recognize de facto unions and promote the registration of marriages to ensure that women enjoy adequate legal protection during such unions and upon their dissolution.