List of issues and questions in relation to the combined fourth and fifth periodic reports of Djibouti *

Visibility of the Convention and the Committee’s general recommendations

1.Please provide updated information on steps taken to translate and disseminate the Convention in all national languages, as well as measures taken to raise awareness among women, including disadvantaged and marginalized groups of women and women living in rural and remote areas, of their rights under the Convention. Please inform the Committee of measures taken to ensure that the Convention and the Committee’s general recommendations are sufficiently known and applied by all branches of Government, in particular the judiciary, at the national, regional and municipal levels, as a framework for all laws, court decisions and policies on gender equality and the advancement of women, including in the context of training courses for officials at the local level, as indicated by the State party in its report (para. 173). Please provide information on the specific academic and professional training courses for lawyers, judges, prosecutors and other law enforcement officials on the application of the Convention in the national domestic framework and how such training courses cover the Convention and the Committee’s general recommendations. Please also inform the Committee of measures envisaged for resolving inconsistencies between statutory law and customary law.

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

2.In line with the Committee’s guidance note on the obligations of States parties to the Convention in the context of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, issued on 22 April 2020, please indicate the measures implemented by the State party to redress long-standing inequalities between women and men and to give a new impetus to the implementation of gender equality by placing women at the centre of the recovery as a strategic priority for sustainable change, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals, to meet the needs and uphold the rights of women and girls, including those belonging to disadvantaged and marginalized groups and women in situations of conflict or other humanitarian emergencies, and to ensure that, in the context of lockdown measures, whether partial or total, and in post-crisis recovery plans, women and girls are not relegated to stereotypical gender roles. Please indicate the measures in place to ensure that all COVID-19 crisis response and recovery efforts, including the recovery and resilience plan: (a) address and are aimed at effectively preventing gender-based violence against women and girls; (b) guarantee the equal participation of women and girls in political and public life, decision-making, economic empowerment and service delivery, in particular in the design and implementation of recovery programmes; and (c) are designed so that women and girls benefit equally from stimulus packages, including financial support for unpaid care roles, that are aimed at mitigating the socioeconomic impact of the pandemic. Please explain how the State party is ensuring that measures taken to contain the pandemic, such as restrictions on freedom of movement or physical distancing, do not limit access for women and girls, including those belonging to disadvantaged and marginalized groups and those living in rural areas, to justice, shelters, education, employment and health care, including sexual and reproductive health services.

National machinery for the advancement of women

3.Please provide information on the human, technical and financial resources allocated to support the functioning of the Ministry for Women and the Family and on the provision of capacity-building on gender equality to officials working in the Ministry, including its regional offices, and those working in other government departments at the national, regional and municipal levels. Please inform the Committee of the monitoring role of the Gender Observatory (para. 44) and indicate whether gender-responsive budgeting is mandatory for all government departments and whether specific budgetary benchmarks have been defined. Please describe the baselines, targets and impact assessment of the implementation of the national gender policy (para. 26), and provide information on measures taken to develop and adopt a new national policy with a clear time frame and measurable benchmarks, with the engagement of civil society organizations working on women’s rights.

Access to justice

4.Please provide information on measures taken to raise awareness among women of their rights and how to claim them and to facilitate their lodging of formal complaints, rather than opting for mediation, in particular with regard to women living in rural and remote areas. Please also indicate the availability of accessible and free legal aid to women in the State party, the number of women beneficiaries of such aid and any factors impeding their access, including the stigmatization of women who pursue criminal complaints, in particular against a spouse or relative, especially in cases of gender-based violence. Please provide information on measures taken to ensure that disadvantaged groups of women, such as women with disabilities, have access to courts and free legal aid. Please inform the Committee of plans to ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention.

Temporary special measures

5.In line with article 4 (1) of the Convention and the Committee’s general recommendation No. 25 (2004) on temporary special measures, aimed at accelerating the achievement of substantive equality between women and men in all areas covered by the Convention, please indicate whether the State party has adopted temporary special measures, beyond the quota system to increase the political participation of women, in particular in the areas of employment, education, health, the judiciary and poverty reduction, including with regard to disadvantaged groups of women, women living in rural and remote areas and women with disabilities.

Discriminatory stereotypes and harmful practices

6.In line with the Committee’s previous recommendations (CEDAW/C/DJI/CO/1-3, para. 17), please inform the Committee about measures to adopt a comprehensive strategy targeting women and men, including religious leaders, to raise awareness about, and eliminate, gender stereotypes and harmful practices against women, including polygamy and child marriage, in particular in rural and remote areas. Please provide information on measures to ensure the effective implementation of article 333 of the Criminal Code, on female genital mutilation, and provide data on the prevalence of female genital mutilation in the State party, in particular in rural and remote areas, the number of prosecutions and convictions and the penalties imposed on the perpetrators. Please also provide information on the implementation of the national strategy to combat female genital mutilation, 2017–2021, the role of the national committee on female genital mutilation (paras. 71 and 79), and whether an impact assessment has been undertaken regarding those measures, as well as on the organization of awareness-raising campaigns, in order to identify shortcomings and to remedy them accordingly.

7.With reference to joint general recommendation No. 31 of the Committee/ general comment No. 18 of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (2019) on harmful practices, please inform the Committee of measures to provide redress to girls who have experienced female genital mutilation and to those who have entered into child and/or forced marriage, such as rehabilitation and social and psychological counselling services, and on mechanisms to track cases of child and/or forced marriage. Please also inform the Committee of measures taken to combat the stigmatization of women with albinism.

Gender-based violence against women

8.Please inform the Committee of measures taken to effectively implement the Act on violence prevention and the protection of women and children who are victims of violence, to ensure the provision of victim assistance and rehabilitation by providing free and accessible legal aid and psychological counselling, opening shelters for victims and supporting women’s rights organizations that are assisting victims. Please provide information on steps taken to disseminate among women, in particular women and girls living in rural and remote areas and women and girls with disabilities, the guide on sexual violence and the legal guide to addressing gender-based violence (para. 75).

9.In line with the Committee’s previous recommendations (CEDAW/C/DJI/CO/1-3, para. 21), please inform the Committee of measures taken to criminalize marital rape. Please provide data on gender-based violence against women, disaggregated by age, sex, disability status, geographical location, type of violence and the relationship between the perpetrator and the victim, as well as on the number of cases reported, investigated and prosecuted, and the nature of sanctions imposed on the perpetrators, in line with the national survey on violence against women (para. 83).

Trafficking and exploitation of prostitution

10.Please provide information on measures taken to ensure the effective implementation of the Act on combating trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants, as well as the national action plan of 2014, including the results achieved and challenges faced, and please indicate whether a new action plan is being developed (para. 91). In line with the provision of assistance to migrants and refugees (para. 95), please inform the Committee of steps taken to establish mechanisms aimed at the early identification, referral and provision of support to victims of trafficking and to provide refugee and migrant women with access to income-generating activities, through microcredits and self-employment opportunities. Please provide updated data, disaggregated by age, sex and geographical location, on the number of reported cases of trafficking in persons, prosecutions and convictions and the sentences imposed on perpetrators, since 2017.

Participation in political and public life

11.Please provide information on the status and the time frame for the adoption of the bill on gender parity, which is aimed at introducing measures to promote equal access by men and women to decision-making authority in all institutions (para. 85). Please inform the Committee of measures taken to increase and accelerate the equal participation of women at all levels of government, at the national, regional and municipal levels, including in the judiciary, academia and the foreign service, in particular for women living in rural and remote areas.

Education

12.Please provide information on the implementation of the action plan on education, 2017–2019, and the master plan, 2010–2019, the results achieved and measures taken to develop new plans (para. 118). Please provide statistical data on the school completion and dropout rates in the State party, disaggregated by sex, age and geographical location, for all levels of education, and indicate the measures taken to address the causes of school dropout among girls, including child marriage and early pregnancy, and to ensure the reintegration of girls and young women into the education system. Please inform the Committee of measures taken to eliminate barriers to access for women and girls to all levels of education, in particular in rural areas, such as negative cultural attitudes, child marriage, excessive domestic duties and the low number of female teachers, in line with the Committee’s previous recommendations (CEDAW/C/DJI/CO/1-3, para. 27). Please inform the Committee of measures taken to strengthen adult literacy programmes, in particular for disadvantaged groups of women, such as women living in rural and remote areas and women with disabilities. Please provide detailed information on the steps taken to eliminate traditional stereotypes and structural barriers that may deter girls and women from choosing traditionally male-dominated fields of study. Please provide information on measures taken to ensure access to inclusive education for women and girls with disabilities.

Employment

13.Please provide information on measures taken to eliminate occupational segregation in the labour market and to address the concentration of women in the informal sector, with a view to improving access for women to the formal labour market, in particular for women living in rural and remote areas. Please inform the Committee of measures adopted to ensure the effective implementation of the principle of equal pay for work of equal value. Please also inform the Committee of measures taken to monitor the implementation of the prohibition of sexual harassment in the workplace and to encourage victims to file complaints against perpetrators, in the light of the amendment of the Labour Act (para. 131). In relation to the concerns expressed by the Committee in its concluding observations on the combined initial to third periodic reports of the State party (CEDAW/C/DJI/CO/1-3, para. 28), please provide information on measures taken to combat child labour through labour inspections and sanctions on employers that violate labour laws and to regulate and monitor the working conditions of domestic workers, including girls.

Health

14.In view of the national health development plan (para. 142), please inform the Committee of results achieved regarding the components of the plan aimed at reducing the maternal and infant mortality rates and efforts to assess its implementation. Please provide data and information on measures taken to address adolescent pregnancy and unsafe abortion. Please indicate measures taken to legalize abortion, at least in cases of rape, incest, threats to the life or health of the pregnant woman or severe fetal impairment, and to decriminalize it in all other cases. Please inform the Committee of measures taken to ensure access for women and girls to affordable modern contraceptive methods, including through awareness-raising campaigns, and to prohibit forced sterilization.

15.Please provide data, disaggregated by sex, on the prevalence of HIV and sexually transmitted infections, while fully respecting the confidentiality of patient information, and on the availability of age-appropriate sexual and reproductive health services and treatment, including confidential services, indicating whether they are accessible to all women and girls living with HIV/AIDS. Please inform the Committee of measures taken to combat the stigmatization of and discrimination against women living with HIV, including by health personnel.

Economic empowerment of women

16.Please inform the Committee of measures taken to address obstacles faced by women in terms of access to means of economic empowerment and microfinance programmes and developing their entrepreneurship skills (para. 153). Please provide information on steps taken to extend the Islamic microfinance unit throughout the country (para. 155) and to raise awareness among women of microfinance programmes, in particular women working in the informal sector, women with disabilities and women living in rural areas. Please inform the Committee of measures to mainstream the gender dimension of poverty into the activities of the Djibouti Partial Credit Guarantee Fund (para. 159). Please provide data on the number of women who have benefited from the economic and microfinance programmes, disaggregated by loan amount, age and geographical location.

Rural women

17.Please provide updated information on the results achieved through, and the challenges in the implementation of, the strategy on women’s empowerment and community-building and measures to assess its implementation (para. 166). With reference to article 14 of the Convention and the Committee’s general recommendation No. 34 (2016) on the rights of rural women, please indicate measures taken to improve access for rural women and girls to basic services, including health-care and family planning services, water, education, formal employment, social protection, justice, land and credit.

Disadvantaged groups of women

18.Please inform the Committee of measures taken to expand and strengthen the services of the social security assistance programme to refugee and migrant women (paras. 95 and 140), as well as services provided to internally displaced women, in the light of the African Union Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa. In line with the Committee’s previous recommendations (CEDAW/C/DJI/CO/1-3, para. 35), please inform the Committee of measures adopted, including temporary special measures, to ensure access to education, health care, including sexual and reproductive health care, basic services, housing, food and employment for disadvantaged groups of women and girls, such as older women, women with disabilities and asylum-seeking, refugee and migrant women, in particular undocumented migrant women. Please provide data, disaggregated by relevant factors, on the situation of women facing multiple forms of discrimination.

Climate change and natural disasters

19.Please provide information about the measures taken to integrate disaster risk reduction into development processes and to counter the adverse impact of climate change. Please indicate whether the State party plans to incorporate a gender perspective into, and include women in, national strategies on disaster management and relief and recovery, in line with the Committee’s general recommendation No. 37 (2018) on the gender-related dimensions of disaster risk reduction in the context of climate change.

Marriage and family relations

20.Please inform the Committee of the measures taken to eradicate the practices of child and forced marriage and to raise awareness of the harmful effects on women and girls of child and forced marriage, in line with joint general recommendation No. 31 of the Committee/general comment No. 18 of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (2019).

21.Please provide information on measures taken or envisaged to amend the Family Code, within a clear time frame, to ensure that the minimum age of marriage is set at 18 years of age, without exception, and to repeal discriminatory provisions relating to marriage, divorce, the custody and legal guardianship of children, polygamy, division of property and inheritance.