Centre for Studies on Inclusive Education

supporting inclusion, challenging exclusion

Concluding observations of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women – extracts concerning inclusive education, 2002-2010

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A

Albania

(2003, A/58/38, Concluding observations on initial/second report, paras. 76 and 77)

“The Committee is concerned about the situation of rural women, as the majority of the female population, who are discriminated against in practice with respect to ... limited access to education, health-care services and social insurance. Noting the decrease in the school dropout rate of girls, the Committee remains concerned about this continuing problem....

“The Committee urges the State party to give full attention to the needs of rural women and to develop comprehensive policies and programmes aimed at their economic empowerment, ensuring their access to productive resources, capital and credit, as well as education, health-care services, social insurance and decision-making. The Committee requests the State party to undertake a study of the ownership and inheritance of land by rural women and of their general economic, educational and social situation, and to report the results in its next periodic report.”

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Algeria

(15 February 2005, CEDAW/C/DZA/CC/2, Concluding observations on second report, para. 14)

“The Committee notes with satisfaction the increase in women’s enrolment in institutions of higher learning, from 39.5 per cent in 1990 to approximately 55.4 per cent in 2003. It also appreciates that girls now comprise 57.53 per cent of students in secondary education.”

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Angola

(2004, CEDAW/C/AGO/CO/, Concluding observations on initial/second/third/fourth/fifth, paras. 158, 159, 164 and 165)

“The Committee is concerned at the poor educational infrastructure, as reflected in the very low budgetary allocation; the lack of, or insufficient number of, schools and teachers; and the poor quality of education. The Committee is concerned that these shortcomings result in a high rate of illiteracy among girls and women, their low enrolment rates in primary, secondary, vocational and higher education, in both urban and rural areas, and in their high drop out rates. The Committee notes that education is a key to the advancement of women and that the low level of education of women and girls remains one of the most serious impediments to their full enjoyment of human rights and the achievement of women’s empowerment.

“The Committee urges the State party to increase its investment in education as a fundamental human right and as a basis for the empowerment of women. It recommends that the State party continue and further prioritize efforts to: improve the literacy level of girls and women; ensure equal access of girls and women to all levels of education in both urban and rural areas; increase the enrolment rates for girls; and take measures to retain girls in school, including through temporary special measures in accordance with article 4, paragraph 1, of the Convention and its general recommendation 25, so as to implement article 10 of the Convention.

“Noting that the majority of women live in the rural areas, the Committee is concerned that many live in extreme poverty and lack access to education and vocational training, health care and income-generation opportunities. It is particularly concerned that the State party’s rural development strategy does not seem to include attention to the situation of rural women.

“The Committee urges the State party to ensure that ... rural women and girls have full access to health-care services, education and vocational training, as well as to income-generation opportunities.”

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Armenia

(2 February 2009, CEDAW/C/ARM/CO/4/Rev.1, Concluding observations on third/fourth report, paras. 20, 21, 30 an 31)

“The Committee reiterates its concern about the deeply rooted patriarchal attitudes subordinating women and the strong stereotypes regarding their roles and responsibilities in the family and society expressed in its previous concluding observations (A/57/38). These attitudes and stereotypes present a significant impediment to the implementation of the Convention and are a root cause of women’s disadvantaged position in political life, the labour market, education and other areas.

“The Committee calls upon the State party to take urgent measures, in particular in rural areas, to initiate change in the widely accepted subordination of women and the stereotypical roles applied to both sexes. Such measures should include awareness-raising and educational campaigns targeting, inter alia, community leaders, parents, teachers, officials and young girls and boys, in accordance with the obligations under articles 2 (f) and 5 (a) of the Convention. The Committee also recommends that the State party elaborate the role of the media in eradication of such stereotypes including by promoting non-stereotypical and positive images of women and the value of gender equality for society as a whole.

“While noting that primary and secondary education in State educational institutions is free of charge, the Committee is concerned that, owing to a number of factors including significant poverty and social stereotypes concerning women’s roles and responsibilities, there is a relatively high dropout rate especially of rural girls of ethnic minorities and underrepresentation of female students at doctoral level in institutions of higher education. The Committee is also concerned at the continuing concentration of women in traditional female subjects. The Committee is further concerned at the low number of women in academia, as professors, senior lecturers and researchers, and at the decision-making levels in the area of education.

“The Committee urges the State party to address the obstacles which hamper girls in continuing their education. The Committee recommends that seminars be held and awareness-raising activities undertaken with a focus on helping parents to understand the important role of education for girls; and special measures be implemented to allow girls and women who have dropped out of school to re-enter the education system in an age-appropriate classroom environment. It also requests the State party to continue to review all school textbooks to eliminate gender-role stereotypes, and to implement programmes encouraging girls to enter non-traditional study courses. The Committee urges the State party to adopt policies to increase the number of women holding positions in doctoral studies, at the highest levels of academia, as research specialists particularly in scientific fields and in decision-making positions at all levels of education.”

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Australia

(3 February 2006, CEDAW/C/AUL/CO/5, Concluding observations on fifth report, paras. 28 and 29)

“The Committee expresses concern that immigrant, refugee and minority women and girls, based on their ethnic background, may be subject to multiple forms of discrimination with respect to education, health, employment and political participation....

"The Committee urges the State party to take more effective measures to eliminate discrimination against refugee, migrant and minority women and girls and to strengthen its efforts to combat and eliminate xenophobia and racism in Australia, particularly its impact on women and girls. It also encourages the State party to be more proactive in its measures to prevent and eliminate discrimination against these women and girls within their communities and in society at large and to report on the steps taken in this regard in its next report.”

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Austria

(2 February 2007, CEDAW/C/AUT/CO/6, Concluding observations on sixth report, paras. 29 and 30)

“... the Committee expresses concern that some groups of women and girls, including migrants, asylum-seekers and refugees, may be subject to multiple forms of discrimination with respect to education, health, employment and social and political participation....

“The Committee calls upon the State party to keep under review and carefully monitor the impact of its laws and policies on women migrants, refugees and asylum-seekers with a view to taking remedial measures that effectively respond to the needs of those women, including the clear adoption of a gender perspective in the action plan for migrants. It calls upon the State party to pay specific attention to the vulnerability of women asylum-seekers while their claims are under examination. The Committee further recommends the adoption of measures for the integration of women of all minority groups in vulnerable circumstances into society and the labour market in order to advance de facto equality for all women.”

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Azerbaijan

(7 August 2009, CEDAW/C/AZE/CO/4, Concluding observations on fourth report, paras. 29, 30, 35, 36, 37 and 38)

“While noting the significant improvement in women’s and girls’ access to education, the Committee regrets the lack of correlation between women’s education levels and their economic opportunities. The Committee notes with concern that women continue to be concentrated in traditional female education subjects and that they are underrepresented at the decision-making levels in the area of education and in academia as professors, senior lecturers and researchers.

“The Committee recommends that the State party’s education policy include measures to encourage girls and women to seek education and training in non-traditional fields, which may give them access to employment in flourishing areas of the economy....

“While welcoming all the measures undertaken by the State party to improve the situation of vulnerable groups of women, the Committee remains concerned about the situation of girls and women in rural areas in terms of their adequate access to justice, health care, education, credit facilities and community services.

“The Committee recommends that the State party continue to pursue its efforts in promoting gender equality through its national development plans and policies. It also recommends that the State party modify existing genderrole stereotypes through awareness-raising campaigns targeted at community and religious leaders, teachers, parents, girls and boys....

“... The Committee remains concerned that refugee and internally displaced women and girls remain in a vulnerable and marginalized situation, especially in rural areas, with regard to access to education....

“The Committee reiterates its previous recommendation that the State party continue the implementation of targeted measures for refugee women and girls and internally displaced women and girls, with specific timetables, in order to improve access to education, employment, health and housing and to monitor their implementation....”

(2 February 2007, CEDAW/C/AZE/CO/3, Concluding observations on third report, paras. 15, 16, 31 and 32)

“The Committee continues to be concerned about the persistence of patriarchal attitudes and deep-rooted stereotypes regarding the roles and responsibilities of women and men in the family and in society in Azerbaijan, in particular in rural areas, which are reflected in women’s educational choices, their situation in the labour market and their low level of participation in political and public life. The Committee is concerned about persistent stereotypes found in school textbooks.

“The Committee urges the State party to intensify its efforts to overcome persistent and deep-rooted stereotypes that are discriminatory against women, and to galvanize action by all parts of society to bring about cultural change where women’s equal rights and dignity are fully respected. It also urges the State party to disseminate information on the Convention through the educational system, including human rights education and gender-sensitivity training, so as to change existing stereotypical views and attitudes about women’s and men’s roles. The Committee requests the State party to enhance the training of teaching staff in regard to gender equality issues and to revise educational textbooks to eliminate gender stereotypes. It calls on the State party to further encourage diversification of the educational choices of boys and girls, and urges the State party to encourage a public dialogue on the educational choices girls and women make and their subsequent opportunities and chances in the labour market. It recommends that awareness-raising campaigns be addressed to both women and men and that the media be encouraged to project positive images of women and of the equal status and responsibilities of women and men in the private and public spheres. The Committee invites the State party to specifically target rural areas in the implementation of such measures, and to regularly monitor and evaluate their impact.

“While welcoming the State Programme on the Settlement of the Problems of Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons, the Committee notes with concern that refugee women and girls and internally displaced women and girls remain in a vulnerable and marginalized situation, in particular with regard to access to education, employment, health and housing.

“The Committee urges the State party to implement targeted measures for refugee women and girls and internally displaced women and girls, within specific timetables, to improve access to education, employment, health and housing and to monitor their implementation. The Committee requests the State party to report on the results achieved in improving the situation of these groups of women and girls in its next periodic report.”

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B

Bahrain

(14 November 2008, CEDAW/C/BHR/CO/2, Concluding observations on initial/second report, paras. 32 and 33)

“While welcoming the introduction of a new curriculum entitled ‘Citizenship’, which includes human rights issues with the view to empower women in society, as well as a cooperation protocol of 2006 regarding the review of curricula and educational material in order to eliminate stereotypical portrayal of women, and the significant progress made by the State party with regard to equality in education, the Committee remains concerned that certain areas of education, such as industrial and vocational training, are available mainly to boys.

“The Committee recommends that the State party enhance its compliance with article 10 and continue raising awareness in the State party of the importance of education for the empowerment of women. It encourages the State party to take steps to overcome traditional attitudes which constitute obstacles to the education of girls and women. The Committee further recommends that girls and women be actively encouraged to choose non-traditional education and professions.”

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Bangladesh

(2004, CEDAW/C/BGD/CO/, Concluding observations on fifth report, para. 233)

“The Committee commends the State party for the achievement of gender parity in school enrolment at the primary and secondary levels, and has succeeded in decreasing girls’ dropout rates. The Committee also appreciates the successful efforts to increase girls’ and women’s literacy rates."

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Belgium

(7 November 2008, CEDAW/C/BEL/CO/6, Concluding observations on fifth/sixth report, paras. 35 and 36)

“The Committee expresses its concern that the ban of headscarves in schools may increase the discrimination faced by girls from ethnic and religious minorities and may impede equality of access to education. “The Committee recommends that the State party pay special attention to the needs of girls belonging to ethnic and religious minorities and ensure that they have equal access to education as well as promote a genuine dialogue with and within ethnic and religious communities aimed at the formulation of a common approach to the ban of headscarves in schools.”

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Belize

(10 August 2007, CEDAW/C/BLZ/CO/4, Concluding observations on fourth report, paras. 23, 24 and 27)

“The Committee is concerned about the persistence of social barriers that impede women’s education and are reflected in the early dropout rate of girls from school and the lack of measures to ensure that teenage mothers stay in or return to school. The Committee reiterates its concern about the influence of the church on girls’ and young women’s right to education. In that regard, the Committee repeats its concern that schools remain free to expel girls because of pregnancy, that only a few secondary schools allow girls to continue their education after pregnancy and that schools are allowed to dismiss unwed teachers who become pregnant. It is also concerned that insufficient efforts are being made to encourage girls and young women to enter traditionally male-dominated fields of study.

“The Committee recommends that the State party implement measures to ensure equal rights of girls and young women to all levels of education, to retain girls in school and to put in place monitoring mechanisms to track girls’ access to and achievement levels in education. The Committee recommends that the State party put in place measures, including monitoring mechanisms and sanctions, to ensure that pregnant students stay in school during pregnancy and return after childbirth. The Committee calls on the State party to formulate the necessary legislative and policy measures to ensure de facto adherence to article 10 of the Convention throughout the entire educational system. It also encourages the State party to actively promote the diversification of educational and professional choices for women and men and offer incentives for young women to enter traditionally male-dominated fields of study.

“... The Committee further reiterates its concern about the high rate of teenage pregnancies, which present a significant obstacle to girls’ educational opportunities and economic empowerment....”

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Benin

(22 July 2005, CEDAW/C/BEN/CO/1-3, Concluding observations on initial/second/third report, paras. 29 and 30)

“The Committee is concerned at the poor educational infrastructure and the insufficient number of schools and teachers, which constitute particular obstacles for the education of girls and young women. The Committee expresses its concern about the low rate of enrolment of girls in schools, preference for the education of boys and the high dropout rate of girls due to pregnancy and early and forced marriage. The Committee is especially concerned about the extremely high rate of illiteracy among women and girls, which presently stands at 81 per cent for women and girls between the ages of 15 and 49.

“The Committee urges the State party to increase its investment in education, including through international donor assistance, and to raise awareness of the importance of education as a human right and as a basis for the empowerment of women. It also encourages the State party to take steps to overcome traditional attitudes that constitute obstacles to girls’ education. It recommends that the State party take steps to ensure equal access of girls and young women to all levels of education, to retain girls in school and to strengthen the implementation of re-entry policies providing for girls to return to school after pregnancy. The Committee recommends that the State party make every effort to improve the literacy level of girls and women through the adoption of comprehensive programmes, in collaboration with civil society, at the formal and non-formal levels and through adult education and training. The Committee encourages the State party to take temporary special measures in accordance with article 4, paragraph 1 of the Convention and the Committee’s general recommendation 25, to accelerate the improvement of women’s and girls’ educational situation.”

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Bhutan

(7 August 2009, CEDAW/C/BTN/CO/7, Concluding observations on seventh report, paras. 25, 26, 31, 32, 35 and 36)

“While noting the progress made regarding girls’ enrolment in primary education, including that 83 per cent of qualified girls attend primary school, the impact of community primary schools and the expansion of the Continuing Education Programme, as well as the work done by NGOs in this field, the Committee is concerned at the growing gender gap and higher dropout rates of girls in secondary and further education. The Committee is also concerned at the limited access to schools for girls who live in rural and remote areas, due to a lack of qualified teachers and safe transportation and the inadequate infrastructure of the schools. The Committee is further concerned at the high rate of illiteracy among girls and women. While taking due account of the revision of textbooks to address the issue of gender sensitivity, the Committee remains concerned about traditional attitudes in some parts of the country, which may contribute to the low levels of education of women and girls.

“The Committee urges the State party to adopt and implement targeted measures to ensure equal access for girls and women to all levels of education. More specifically, the Committee recommends that the State party examine the possibility of providing incentives to girls and their families to encourage them to remain in schools. The State party should take all necessary steps to increase the number of qualified teachers, adequate educational infrastructure, including in rural and remote areas, as well as adequate transportation. The Committee also urges the State party to take measures, including the development of non-formal education, to address girls’ and women’s illiteracy, including through the continuation and increase of programmes for adult education. In addition, the Committee urges the State party to take the necessary steps to encourage pregnant girls and married girls to continue their education.

“The Committee is concerned at the persistence of child labour, in particular the situation of girl child domestic workers, mainly from rural and remote areas, who work long hours, do not have access to education and may be subject to violence.

“The Committee urges the State party to strengthen its efforts to eradicate domestic child labour abuse, and ensure that children, in particular girls, have access to education.... Further, the Committee recommends that the State party engage in a public outreach campaign to inform the population about the need to ensure that the rights of all children are respected, including access to education....

“The Committee recalls its previous recommendation on the situation of ethnic Nepalese women who lost their Bhutanese citizenship following the enactment of the 1958 Citizenship Act, and expresses its continued concern at the impact that this may have on women acquiring citizenship based on their marital status and passing their citizenship to children born outside of the country, as well as children with non-national fathers, in particular those under 15 years of age, whose rights, including to education and access to health care, may be limited.

“The Committee is encouraged by the State party’s willingness to resume talks with the Government of Nepal and recommends that it resolve all outstanding issues, including ensuring full access to free education and health services to all children under 15 years of age.”

(2004, CEDAW/C/BTN/CO/3, Concluding observations on initial/second/third/fourth/fifth/sixth report, paras. 113, 114, 117 and 118)

“While welcoming the significant progress achieved in the increase in the enrolment rate in primary education, where girls now constitute 45 per cent of the enrolled students, the Committee is concerned about the low participation of girls and women in secondary and tertiary education, including in technology- and science-related courses.

“The Committee encourages the State party to continue its efforts to close the gender gap in primary education and to take all necessary measures to increase the number of women in secondary and tertiary education in the country, including in technology- and science-related courses, in order to ensure that girls and women are accorded an equal opportunity to study, develop and benefit from science and technology. It also urges the State party to ensure that women have equal access with men to governmental loans and scholarships for pursuing higher education abroad.

“Noting that the overwhelming majority of women live in rural areas, the Committee is concerned about their situation, in particular with regard to their access to education and vocational training. It is particularly concerned about the continuing high rates of illiteracy among rural women, and about their limited representation in rural leadership positions and limited participation in agricultural and animal husbandry training programmes.

“The Committee ... recommends that the State party ensure that rural women and girls have full access to education and vocational training in the areas where they live.”

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Bolivia

(8 April 2008, CEDAW/C/BOL/CO/4, Concluding observations on fourth report, paras. 11, 20, 21, 32, 33, 44 and 45)

“The Committee is concerned at the persistence of high levels of poverty and social exclusion among Bolivian women, particularly among women living in rural areas, indigenous women, older women and women with disabilities, and their insufficient access to land, housing and basic social services.... The poverty conditions of women are reflected in their high illiteracy rates, low school enrolment and completion rates....

“Despite the existence of awareness-raising programmes, the Committee is concerned at the persistence of traditional stereotypes relating to the roles and responsibilities of women and men within the family, in the education system and in society in general, which reinforce their sense of inferiority and affect their status in all areas of life and throughout their life cycle. The Committee is concerned that the most recent educational reform has not dealt with these subjects in depth.

“The Committee recommends the development of policies and implementation of programmes for women and men in both the rural and urban areas aimed at eliminating stereotypes associated with traditional roles within the family and manifested in the education system, employment, politics and society in general. It also recommends that the media be encouraged to project positive images of women and of the equal status, roles and responsibilities of women and men in the private and public spheres.

“While noting the State party’s efforts to reduce illiteracy and improve boys’ and girls’ access to education and ensure that they remain in school, for example, through the ‘Juancito Pinto’ scholarship or the ‘Yo sí puedo’ (‘Yes I Can’) Literacy Programme, the Committee is concerned at the low level of education of rural and indigenous women and girls, who continue to be at a serious disadvantage in terms of access to and quality of education, as well as the number of years they attend school, basically owing to the lack of infrastructure, distance, the risk of violence, the cost of transport and language.

“The Committee urges the State party to adopt all necessary measures, including temporary special measures, in accordance with article 4, paragraph 1, of the Convention and the Committee’s general recommendation No. 25 on temporary special measures, with a view to reducing girls’ illiteracy and school dropout rates, particularly in rural and indigenous areas, and to provide an education, whether formal or informal, and in the relevant languages, to these women and girls.

“While the Committee takes note of the State party’s efforts to raise the age of marriage for women, particularly through current reforms to the Family Code, it is concerned that such reform sets 16 years of age as the minimum age for marriage for both males and females, since marriage at such a young age can prevent girls from pursuing their studies and induce them to drop out of school early.

“The Committee urges the State party to take the necessary steps in this reform currently under way to raise the minimum age for marriage to 18 years of age for both males and females, in line with the provisions of article 1 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child; article 16, paragraph 2, of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women; and the Committee’s general recommendation No. 21 on equality in marital and family relations.”

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Bosnia and Herzegovina

(2 June 2006, CEDAW/C/BIH/CO/3, Concluding observations on third report, paras. 10, 23, 24, 31 and 32)

“The Committee notes with appreciation the implementation of a number of projects and programmes for the advancement of women, including analysing textbooks for gender stereotyping in education.... “The Committee is concerned about the persistence of deep-rooted, traditional patriarchal stereotypes regarding the role and responsibilities of women and men in the family and in society at large, which are reflected in women’s educational choices, their situation in the labour market and their low level of participation in political and public life.

“The Committee urges the State party to disseminate information on the Convention in programmes in the educational system, including human rights education and gender training, with a view to changing existing stereotypical views on and attitudes towards women’s and men’s roles. It recommends that awareness-raising campaigns be addressed to both women and men and that the media be encouraged to project positive images of women and of the equal status and responsibilities of women and men in the private and public spheres.

“While noting the reform process directed at the harmonization and modernization of existing educational laws and curricula at all levels of the State party, the Committee remains concerned about prevalent discrimination in this area, in particular about the early drop-out rates of girls in rural areas, especially of Roma girls, the segregation of girls and boys in secondary education, in the disciplines in higher education and its consequences for women’s professional opportunities, and the high rate of illiteracy among elderly women and, in particular, among Roma women and girls.

“The Committee recommends that the reform process be continued in order to ensure consistency in educational opportunities for both sexes in both entities of Bosnia and Herzegovina, including in rural areas, and for marginalized groups of women and girls, in particular of the Roma minority. It also recommends that the State party encourage diversification of educational and professional choices for women and men.”

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Botswana

(5 February 2010, CEDAW/C/BOT/CO/3 Advance Unedited Version, Concluding observations on initial to third report, paras. 31 and 32)

“While appreciating the State party’s efforts in achieving parity in primary education and designing re-entry policies enabling young women to return to school after pregnancy, the Committee is concerned at the low enrolment rate of girls in secondary and higher education, as well as at girls’ high dropout rates. The Committee is further concerned that traditional attitudes, early pregnancies and early marriages are among the causes of girls dropping out. The Committee is alarmed at the high number of girls who suffer sexual abuse and harassment by teachers, as well as the high number of girls who suffer sexual harassment and violence while on their way to school. It is also concerned that corporal punishment is accepted in both school and home settings and constitutes a form of violence against children, including the girl child.

“The Committee recommends that the State party take steps to ensure de facto equal access of girls and young women to all levels of education, overcome traditional attitudes hampering women and girls in their full enjoyment of their right to education, retain girls in schools and strengthen the implementation of re-entry policies enabling young women to return to school after pregnancy in all districts. The Committee further urges the State party to take measures to increase the enrolment of girls in secondary and higher education and recommends the introduction of temporary special measures, in accordance with article 4, paragraph 1, of the Convention and its general recommendation No. 25. The Committee recommends that the State party encourage the collaboration of parents in the implementation of such measures. The Committee calls upon the State party to provide safe transportation to and from schools, as well as safe educational environments free from discrimination and violence. It calls on the State party to strengthen awareness-raising and training of school officials and students, sensitization of children through the media and the establishment of reporting and accountability mechanisms to ensure that perpetrators of sexual abuse and harassment are prosecuted. The Committee recommends that the State party explicitly prohibit corporal punishment in all settings, including through awareness-raising campaigns aimed at families, the school system and other educational settings.”

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Botswana

Brazil

(10 August 2007, CEDAW/C/BRA/CO/6, Concluding observations on sixth report, paras. 31 and 32)

“While noting measures taken to improve the situation of rural women and girls, including the establishment of a National Rural Working Women’s Documentation Programme, the Committee is concerned about the scope of inequality and poverty of rural women, as reflected in their relatively high illiteracy rates, lower school enrolment, poor access to health care, including sexual and reproductive health, and vulnerability to violence....

“The Committee urges the State party to ensure that all rural development policies and programmes integrate a gender perspective and explicitly address the structural nature of poverty faced by rural women. It recommends that the State party strengthen its efforts to implement comprehensive nationwide health and educational programmes, including programmes in the areas of functional literacy, enterprise development, skills training and microfinance, as a means of poverty alleviation....”

(2003, A/58/38, Concluding observations on initial/second/third/fourth/fifth report, paras. 122 and 123)

“Although women’s access to education has improved, the Committee is concerned at the high rate of illiteracy and the low percentage of women having education beyond primary school. It is further concerned at the persistence of gender segregation in educational fields and its consequences for professional opportunities. The Committee is also concerned that, even though teaching is a preponderantly female profession, women are underrepresented in higher education.

“The Committee recommends that proactive measures for women’s access to all levels of education and teaching be strengthened, particularly for marginalized groups of women, and that diversification of educational and professional choices be actively encouraged for women and men.”

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Burkina Faso

(22 July 2005, CEDAW/C/BFA/CO/4-5, Concluding observations on fourth/fifth report, paras. 21 and 22)

“The Committee is concerned that the State party has not taken adequate steps to implement the recommendations in regard to some concerns raised in the Committee’s previous concluding comments adopted in 2000 (A/55/38). In particular, the Committee finds that its recommendations in paragraphs 268 (to give priority to education of girls) ... have been insufficiently addressed.

“The Committee reiterates these concerns and recommendations and urges the State party to proceed without delay with their implementation.”

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Burundi

(8 April 2008, CEDAW/C/BDI/CO/4, Concluding observations on fourth report, paras. 18, 31 and 32)

“The Committee urges the State party to take measures to eliminate cultural practices and stereotypes that discriminate against women, in accordance with articles 2 (f) and 5 (a) of the Convention. It urges the State party to cooperate in this regard with civil society organizations, women’s groups and community leaders, as well as teachers and the media....

“While congratulating the State party on introducing free primary education in 2005, the Committee remains concerned about the significant disparity between boys and girls in education, particularly in secondary and higher education. It is also concerned that the low rate of girls’ enrolment may be due to stereotypes relating to girls, particularly in rural areas.

“The Committee urges the State party to take measures to eliminate traditional attitudes which perpetuate discrimination and non-compliance with the provisions of article 10 of the Convention. It recommends that the State party take measures to ensure equal access for girls and women to all levels of education and to ensure the retention of girls in school, including through temporary special measures in accordance with article 4, paragraph 1, of the Convention and the Committee’s general recommendation 25. The Committee calls on the State party to improve the literacy level of girls and women through the adoption of comprehensive programmes of formal and non-formal education, adult education and training, and the allocation of adequate financial resources. It encourages the State party to strengthen collaboration with civil society and to seek support from the international community and donors in order to accelerate the implementation of article 10 of the Convention.”

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C

Cambodia

(25 January 2006, CEDAW/C/KHM/CO/3, Concluding observations on third report, paras. 25 and 26)

“The Committee notes with concern the high illiteracy rates among women, in particular those from rural areas, ethnic minority groups or who are disabled, the large disparity in school enrolment rates for males and females and the high dropout rates of girls. The Committee is concerned about the related long-term implications for women’s health, their decision-making capabilities and the development of their marketable skills. The Committee is further concerned at the persistence of gender-based segregation in educational fields and its consequences for women’s professional opportunities. The Committee is also concerned about persistent stereotypes found in school curricula and textbooks.

“The Committee urges the State party to place high priority on the reduction of the illiteracy rate of women, in particular those who are from rural areas, belong to ethnic minority groups or who are disabled. It also urges the State party to immediately take all appropriate measures, including temporary special measures, in accordance with article 4, paragraph 1, of the Convention and the Committee’s general recommendation 25, to eliminate the disparity in school enrolment rates and to achieve universal primary education for girls in accordance with article 10 of the Convention, the strategic objectives and actions of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and Millennium Development Goals 2 and 3. It urges the State party to address effectively the obstacles that prevent girls from continuing their education, such as early and forced marriages. It also recommends the active encouragement of diversification of educational and professional choices for women. It requests the State party to revise educational curricula and textbooks to eliminate gender stereotypes.”

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Cameroon

(10 February 2009, CEDAW/C/CMR/CO/3, Concluding observations on second/third report, paras. 34 and 35)

“The Committee welcomes the steps taken by the State party to promote gender equity in both formal and informal education in the country. In this regard, the Committee commends the State party for the scholarship policy, the Educational Support Programme, with a mandatory quota of 40 per cent for girls. However, the Committee is concerned that, because of a number of factors, including poverty and social stereotypes, not all girls benefit from these measures, in particular girls living in rural areas. The Committee is also concerned that fewer girls complete the secondary and higher levels of education. Furthermore, it is concerned about the inadequate educational infrastructure and teaching materials, the limited number of qualified teachers, the marked difference in the quality of education between urban and rural areas and the lack of disaggregated, updated and statistical information on the rates of young women and young men who attend university.

“The Committee urges the State party to adopt comprehensive measures to improve the education of girls living in rural areas and to provide detailed and updated information on their educational situation. It also calls upon the State party to reinforce the training and recruitment of qualified teachers, allocate sufficient resources to ensure that schools have the required materials and undertake awareness-raising activities with a focus on helping parents to understand the important role of education for girls. The Committee also requests the State party to provide detailed and complete information on the number of young women and men who attend university, disaggregated by sex, age and field of study, in its next periodic report.”

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Canada

(7 November 2008, CEDAW/C/CAN/CO/7, Concluding observations on sixth/seventh report, paras. 43 and 44)

“The Committee is concerned at the fact that aboriginal women and women of various ethnic and minority communities continue to suffer from multiple forms of discrimination, particularly in terms of access to employment, housing, education and health care. The Committee notes the existence of a number of programmes, policies and activities aimed at addressing discriminatory treatment of aboriginal women. Nevertheless, it notes with regret that aboriginal women in Canada continue to live in impoverished conditions, which include high rates of poverty, poor health, inadequate housing, lack of access to clean water, low school-completion rates and high rates of violence....

“Recalling its previous recommendations of 2003, the Committee encourages the State party to take measures, including temporary special measures in line with article 4, paragraph 1, of the Convention and the Committee’s general recommendation 25, to eliminate de jure and de facto discrimination against aboriginal, ethnic and minority women, both in society at large and in their communities, in particular with respect to the remaining discriminatory legal provisions and equal enjoyment of their human rights to education, employment and physical and psychological well-being. It also recommends that the State party develop a specific and integrated plan for addressing the particular conditions affecting aboriginal women, both on and off reserves, and of ethnic and minority women, including poverty, poor health, inadequate housing, low school-completion rates, low employment rates, low income and high rates of violence, and that it take effective and proactive measures, including awareness-raising programmes, to sensitize aboriginal, ethnic and minority communities about women’s human rights and to combat patriarchal attitudes and practices and the stereotyping of roles....”

(2003, A/58/38, Concluding observations on fifth report, paras. 361 and 362)

“While appreciating the federal Government’s efforts to combat discrimination against aboriginal women, including the pending amendment to the Canadian Human Rights Act, and to achieve substantive equality for them, the Committee is seriously concerned about the persistent systematic discrimination faced by aboriginal women in all aspects of their lives. The Committee is concerned that aboriginal women, among other highly vulnerable groups of women in Canada, ... constitute a high percentage of those women who have not completed secondary education....

“The Committee urges the State party to accelerate its efforts to eliminate de jure and de facto discrimination against aboriginal women both in society at large and in their communities, particularly with respect to the remaining discriminatory legal provisions and the equal enjoyment of their human rights to education, employment and physical and psychological well-being....”

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Cape Verde

(25 August 2006, CEDAW/C/CPV/CO/6, Concluding observations on sixth report, paras. 18, 25 and 26)

“The Committee urges the State party to disseminate information on the content of the Convention in the educational system, and review school textbooks, human rights education and gender equality training, with a view to changing existing stereotypical views on and attitudes towards women’s and men’s roles. It recommends that awareness-raising campaigns be addressed to both women and men and that the media be encouraged to project positive images of women and of the equal status and responsibilities of women and men in the private and public spheres.

“While commending the efforts made by the State party to ensure that women have access to all levels of education, and noting that there is a similar percentage of girls and boys at different levels of the education system, the Committee remains concerned about the high illiteracy rate for women in the country (32.8 per cent), especially in rural areas (44 per cent). The Committee is also concerned that girls and women continue to choose study areas traditionally seen as “female areas” and that they are underrepresented in the technical stream. The Committee is further concerned that a significant number of pregnant girls who leave school as a result of the measure of “temporary suspension of pregnant girls from school” do not resume their studies after giving birth.

“The Committee recommends that the State party continue and intensify its efforts to improve the literacy level of girls and women, particularly rural women, through the adoption and implementation of comprehensive programmes, in collaboration with civil society, at the formal and non-formal levels and through adult education and training. The Committee calls on the State party to encourage the diversification of the educational choices of boys and girls in order to attract more women to the fields of science and technology. The Committee requests the State party to continue assessing the measure of ‘temporary suspension of pregnant girls from school’ to ensure that it achieves its intended goal of giving pregnant students an opportunity to resume their studies after giving birth rather than resulting in the abandonment of their studies. The Committee recommends that the State party implement further measures to support pregnant girls and enhance its measures to raise awareness in secondary schools about teenage pregnancy prevention. The Committee encourages the State party to monitor and regularly assess the impact of such policies and programmes in relation to the full implementation of article 10 of the Convention.”

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Chile

(25 August 2006, CEDAW/C/CHI/CO/4, Concluding observations on fourth report, paras. 17 and 18)

“The Committee notes the State party’s goal to reduce teenage pregnancy by 45 per cent by 2015 and welcomes measures taken so far in this regard, as well as measures to ensure the right to education for pregnant girls and young mothers. However, the Committee remains concerned about the high rates of teenage pregnancy and the rising levels of pregnancy in early adolescence, which continue to be a major cause of girls dropping out of school.

“The Committee ... calls on the State party to ensure appropriate measures for continuing the education of young mothers and their access to schooling and to monitor the effectiveness of these measures and report on results achieved in its next report.”

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China

(25 August 2006, CEDAW/C/CHN/CO/6, Concluding observations on sixth report, paras. 15, 27 and 28)

“... The Committee is also concerned at the genderspecific consequences of economic restructuring, decentralization of services, in particular as regards the employment of women, their health and education and the State party’s focus on the development of infrastructure over social spending, and the impact of those policies on women and girls, in particular in rural areas.

“... While noting with satisfaction the efforts to strengthen rural women’s and girls’ access to education, the Committee remains concerned that rural girls have disproportionate illiteracy and school dropout rates.... “The Committee recommends that the State party take all necessary measures to strengthen the active participation of rural women in the design, development, implementation and monitoring of rural development policies and programmes so as to enhance implementation of article 14 of the Convention. The measures should include efforts to ensure that all rural girls complete the nine years of compulsory education, free of all miscellaneous fees and tuition.... The Committee urges the State party to take a holistic approach to eliminating the multiple forms of discrimination that ethnic minority women face and to accelerate the achievement of their de facto equality. The Committee requests the State party to provide, in its next report, comprehensive information, including sex-disaggregated data, on the situation of rural women, including ethnic minority women, especially with regard to their educational, employment and health status and exposure to violence.”

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Colombia

(2 February 2007, CEDAW/C/COL/CO/6, Concluding observations on sixth report, paras. 12, 13, 24, 25, 30 and 31)

“While noting the State party’s efforts to support internally displaced women and children, it is concerned that these population groups, especially female heads of household, continue to be disadvantaged and vulnerable in regard to access to health, education, social services, employment and other economic opportunities, as well as at risk of all forms of violence....

“The Committee urges the State party to increase its efforts to meet the specific needs of internally displaced women and children and to ensure their equal access to health, education, social services and employment and other economic opportunities, as well as security and protection from all forms of violence, including domestic violence.

“While noting the efforts made to eliminate stereotypes in the educational system, including through the Gender and Diversity Education Programme, the Committee is concerned that the impact of such measures is not being adequately monitored. It is further concerned about the absence of studies or research and by the lack of analysis of the social impact and consequences of the persistence of gender-role stereotypes for the promotion of gender equality.

“The Committee recommends that the State party continue its efforts to address stereotypes that perpetuate direct and indirect discrimination against women. It encourages the State party to study and analyse systematically the impact of prevailing gender-role stereotypes for the promotion of gender equality. It encourages the State party to strengthen educational measures and to develop a more comprehensive and wide ranging strategy across all sectors to eliminate stereotypes, working with a broad range of stakeholders, including women’s and other civil society organizations, the media and the private sector in order to achieve progress in this area. It calls on the State party to monitor the impact of measures taken and to provide the results achieved in its next periodic report.

“While noting measures taken to improve the situation of rural women and girls, the Committee is concerned about the persistent high levels of poverty among women living in rural areas and their persistent vulnerability to armed conflict. Rural women’s disadvantaged situation is reflected in their high illiteracy rates, low school enrolment and completion rates and poor access to health care, including sexual and reproductive health. The Committee is concerned that the scope of current policies and programmes for rural areas remains limited, that the strategy for rural development is not comprehensive in nature and that it does not adequately address the structural nature of the problems rural women continue to face.

“The Committee urges the State party to ensure that all rural development policies and programmes integrate a gender perspective and explicitly address the structural nature and various dimensions of poverty faced by women. It recommends that the State party strengthen its efforts to implement comprehensive nationwide health and educational programmes, including programmes in the areas of functional literacy, enterprise development, skills training and microfinance, as a means of poverty alleviation....”

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Cook Islands

(10 August 2007, CEDAW/C/COK/CO/1, Concluding observations on initial report, paras. 23, 27, 30 and 31)

“... The Committee encourages the Cook Islands to use innovative measures that target young people and adults to strengthen understanding of the equality of women and men, and to work through the educational system, both formal and informal, as well as with the mass media so as to enhance a positive and non-stereotypical portrayal of women. It also requests the Cook Islands to put in place monitoring mechanisms and to regularly assess progress made towards the achievement of established goals in this respect.

“The Committee calls upon the Cook Islands to pursue a holistic approach in addressing the exploitation of prostitution, and to provide women and girls with educational and economic alternatives, including economic empowerment programmes for women, including women from the Outer Islands....

“While noting the achievements in the field of education and the phasing out of older educational materials, the Committee is concerned that the principle of the equality of women and men has not yet been incorporated at all levels of the education system, and that gender-based stereotypes discriminatory of women may persist in curricula and teaching methods. It is also concerned that there is no system to monitor the causes and scale of school attrition, and that there are no programmes for students who leave school prematurely, including for pregnant girls and young mothers.

“The Committee encourages the Cook Islands to incorporate the principle of the equality of women and men in its education system, and calls upon it to monitor, and where appropriate modify or introduce, educational curricula and teaching methods that promote women’s human rights and address the structural and cultural causes of discrimination against women. It encourages the Cook Islands to put in place sensitization training for teachers both pre- and in-service. It also calls upon the Cook Islands to monitor and identify the causes of attrition, and to take appropriate measures to retain girls, especially those from the Outer Islands, in school and to provide alternatives to formal education for those who have left school early.”

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Croatia

(15 February 2005, CEDAW/C/CRO/CC/2-3, Concluding observations on second/third report, paras. 29, 30, 33 and 34)

“The Committee is concerned that Roma women remain in a vulnerable and marginalized situation, especially in regard to education, employment, health, and participation in public life and decision-making....

“The Committee requests the State party to take effective measures to eliminate discrimination against Roma women, both in society at large and within their communities, and to enhance respect for their human rights through effective and proactive measures, including temporary special measures in accordance with article 4, paragraph 1, of the Convention and the Committee’s general recommendation 25, and awareness-raising programmes. It calls upon the State party to provide, in its next periodic report, a comprehensive picture of the situation of Roma women and girls, including data disaggregated by sex, in regard to their educational opportunities and achievements....

“The Committee is concerned about the persistence of sex-stereotyping in educational curricula and in textbooks. It is also concerned that girls and women in secondary schools and universities continue to choose study areas traditionally seen as ‘female areas’ and that they are underrepresented in the sciences.

“The Committee encourages the State party to intensify its efforts to eliminate gender stereotyping, and to strengthen the mainstreaming of gender perspectives in curricula and textbooks. It also requests the State party to enhance the training of teaching staff in regard to gender equality issues. It calls on the State party to further encourage diversification of the educational choices of boys and girls and at the tertiary level, including through temporary special measures in accordance with article 4, paragraph 1, to attract more women to the field of science and technology. It also urges the State party to encourage a public dialogue on the educational choices girls and women make and their subsequent opportunities and chances in the labour market.”

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Czech Republic

(25 August 2006, CEDAW/C/CZE/CO/3, Concluding observations on third report, paras. 21 and 22)

“The Committee is concerned that Roma women and girls remain in vulnerable and marginalized situations, especially in regards to health, education, employment and participation in public life and decision-making. The Committee also regrets the insufficient data provided on the situation of Roma women and girls in these areas, as requested by the Committee in its previous concluding comments.

“The Committee recommends the State party to take effective measures to eliminate the multiple forms of discrimination against Roma women and girls and to enhance respect for their human rights through effective measures, including temporary special measures in accordance with article 4, paragraph 1 of the Convention and general recommendation 25 of the Committee. It also calls on the State party to accelerate achievement of Roma women’s de facto equality by strengthening the coordination among all agencies working on Roma, non-discrimination and gender equality issues, particularly in the areas of health, education, employment and participation in public life. It urges the State party to implement targeted measures to eliminate discrimination against Roma women in all areas within specific timetables, to monitor their implementation and achievement of stated goals, including within the Decade of Roma Inclusion 2005-2015, and to take corrective action whenever necessary. It calls upon the State party to provide in its next periodic report a comprehensive picture of the situation of Roma women and girls, including data disaggregated by sex in regard to their educational opportunities and achievements, access to employment and health-care services and participation in public life and decision-making.”

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D

Dominican Republic

(2004, CEDAW/C/DOM/CO/, Concluding observations on fifth report, paras. 300 and 301)

“The Committee takes note of the draft immigration bill which has been submitted to the National Congress; however, it remains concerned about the discriminatory nature of the definition of nationality, which directly affects one of the most vulnerable groups in the country, namely Dominican women and girls of Haitian descent. The Committee fears that this definition could hamper their access to education and other basic services....

“The Committee urges the State party to promote discussion of the draft immigration bill and to ensure that it complies with article 9 of the Convention through elimination of all the provisions that discriminate against Dominican women and girls of Haitian descent, or any foreigners who find themselves in a similar situation, and against Dominican women who marry foreigners. The Committee requests the State party to include information on the implementation of these measures in its next periodic report.”

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E

Ecuador

(7 November 2008, CEDAW/C/ECU/CO/7, Concluding observations on sixth/seventh report, paras. 30, 31, 32 and 33)

“The Committee, while welcoming efforts by the Ministry of Education and Culture to eliminate illiteracy, including through programmes such as ‘Yes, I can’, notes with concern the high level of illiteracy among rural women speaking indigenous languages. Notwithstanding the State party’s efforts to achieve equality between men and women in formal education and the progress made in this direction, the Committee remains concerned about high drop-out rates among women and girls, especially indigenous girls, and discrepancies between men and women in access to higher education. The Committee also notes with concern that higher education choices continue to reflect stereotypical notions of appropriate fields of study for women.

“The Committee encourages the State party to strengthen its efforts to eradicate illiteracy, in particular among rural women speaking indigenous languages. It also urges the State party to take measures, including studies, to address the root causes of school dropouts, including poverty and factors related to gender discrimination and stereotypical gender roles, and to promote women’s access to higher education, including through scholarship funds. The Committee further encourages the State party to strengthen efforts to promote the inclusion of women in non-traditional careers. The Committee requests the State party to provide, in its next report, information on budget allocations for public education compared with other sectors. It also requests information on levels of access to school, permanence and grade disaggregated by sex and ethnic group.

“The Committee is alarmed at the high level of sexual abuse and harassment against girls in schools, as well as expulsion or rejection because of pregnancy and violence.

“The Committee calls upon the State party to strengthen its efforts to provide an educational environment free from discrimination and violence, including through awareness-raising and training of school officials and students, sensitization of children through the media, the promotion of intercultural perspectives in education services and the establishment of reporting and accountability mechanisms to ensure that perpetrators are prosecuted.”

(2003, A/58/38, Concluding observations on fourth/fifth report, paras. 319, 320, 321 and 322)

“The Committee is concerned at the persistent problem of illiteracy, especially in rural areas, and the high rate of school dropouts among the female population, in particular in rural and indigenous areas.

“The Committee recommends that efforts to address this problem should be stepped up, through the sustained implementation of programmes and plans, especially in rural and indigenous areas.

“Although there is a bilingual education plan and gender mainstreaming programmes designed to be applied at the different levels of basic education and teacher training, the Committee notes with concern that the plan is not applied systematically and in all centres responsible for applying it.

“The Committee urges the State party to implement the bilingual education plan and the gender mainstreaming programmes.”

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Egypt

(5 February 2010, CEDAW/C/EGY/CO/7 Advance Unedited Version, Concluding observations on sixth/seventh report, paras. 31, 32 and 45)

“While noting measures undertaken by the State party, the Committee is concerned that the average number of females and males enrolling in primary education has generally declined in a number of rural and remote villages with small populations and that a gender gap favouring males continues to exist in certain areas. The Committee is also concerned about the sharp decline in the enrolment of girls between the primary and secondary levels, and it remains concerned at the rate at which girls and young women drop out of secondary school and university. It is further concerned at the gender segregation in students’ choice of field of education and regrets the general lack of information about access to education for girls from minority and refugee communities and girls living in the street.

“The Committee urges the State party to enhance its compliance with article 10 of the Convention and to raise awareness of the importance of education as a human right and as the basis for the empowerment of women. It urges the State party to ensure the equal access of girls and women to all levels and fields of education, take steps to overcome traditional attitudes that in some rural areas may constitute obstacles to the education of women and girls and to keep girls in school. The Committee also calls on the State party to overcome expeditiously the de facto segregation in the educational system, to actively encourage the diversification of educational and professional choices for women and men and to offer incentives for young women to enter traditionally male-dominated fields of study. The Committee urges the State party to ensure the necessary budgetary allocation for the implementation of various projects and programmes, and it requests the State party to provide, in its next report, information on the measures taken and their gender impact, as well as information about access to education for girls from minority and refugee communities and for girls living in the street.

“The Committee is concerned at the very limited information and statistics provided about vulnerable groups of women and girls, including older women, women with disabilities, refugee women and girls living in the street. The Committee is also concerned that those women and girls often suffer from multiple forms of discrimination, especially with regard to access to education....”

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Estonia

(10 August 2007, CEDAW/C/EST/CO/4, Concluding observations on fourth report, paras. 12 and 13)

“The Committee continues to be concerned about the persistence of patriarchal attitudes and deep-rooted stereotypes regarding the roles and responsibilities of women and men in the family and in society in Estonia, which are reflected in women’s educational choices, their situation in the labour market and their underrepresentation in political and public life and decision-making positions. While noting the regulation approved by the Minister of Education in October 2005 requiring the removal of stereotypes from school textbooks and teaching materials, the Committee is concerned that such a revision of educational textbooks and materials has yet to be undertaken. The Committee is concerned about the low number of women professors among academic staff.

“The Committee encourages the State party to strengthen its efforts and take proactive measures to eliminate gender stereotyping. It recommends that awareness-raising campaigns be addressed to both women and men and that the media be encouraged to project positive images of women and the equal status and responsibilities of women and men in the private and public spheres. The Committee requests the State party to enhance the training of teaching staff in regard to gender equality issues and to speedily complete the revision of educational textbooks and materials to eliminate gender stereotypes. The Committee urges the State party to disseminate knowledge about the Convention and gender equality through the educational system with a view to changing existing stereotypical views on and attitudes towards women’s and men’s roles. The Committee calls on the State party to further encourage diversification of the educational choices of boys and girls. It also urges the State party to develop and implement programmes aimed at counselling women and girls on educational choices, bearing in mind their subsequent opportunities and chances in the labour market. The Committee urges the State party to adopt policies to increase the number of women professors among academic staff.”

(2002, A/57/38, Concluding observations on initial/second/third report, paras. 105 and 106)

“While noting with appreciation the high level of education among women, the Committee expresses its concern at the continuing gender disparities regarding the educational options of boys and girls, as well as the fact that this high level of education does not result in the elimination of the wage differential between men and women, in particular the gap between female- and male-dominated sectors of employment. It also expresses concern at the indirect discrimination in the recruitment, promotion and dismissal of women.

“The Committee encourages the State party to analyse the lack of correlation between the high level of educational attainments of women and their income levels. It recommends the introduction of measures, including through the use of temporary special measures, to accelerate the representation of women at all levels of decision-making in educational institutions and economic life. It urges the State party to continue to review and reform the curricula and textbooks in order to combat the traditional attitudes towards women and to help to create an enabling environment for promoting women’s presence in high-level and well-paid positions.”

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El Salvador

(7 November 2008, CEDAW/C/SLV/CO/7, Concluding observations on seventh report, paras. 29, 30, 33 and 34)

“The Committee notes with appreciation the non-discriminatory provisions in the education law, the various proactive measures and programmes aimed at increasing the participation of girls in the school system, the literacy programmes targeting mainly women, as well as the flexible arrangements to allow girls who drop out of school to continue their studies. The Committee remains concerned, however, at the significant level of illiteracy of women, in particular in rural areas, and at the persistent high dropout and repetition rates at different levels of schooling which affect more girls than boys.

“The Committee urges the State party to continue to take proactive measures to reduce the illiteracy rate of women and to continue to provide education, both formal and informal, to all women and girls, especially in rural areas. The Committee also urges the Government to design programmes to prevent dropouts by girls in primary education and to reduce the dropout rate of girls and young women, including pregnant students and young mothers, at secondary schools and universities, including through the use of incentives for parents, so as to provide young women with the necessary skills and knowledge to participate in the labour market on the basis of equality with men.

“In spite of the existing legislation on child labour and the efforts and programmes undertaken to eradicate this practice, the Committee is seriously concerned that child labour persists in the State party, in particular among girls, and at its implications for their personal development and enjoyment of their right to education and health care.

“The Committee urges the State party to strengthen its efforts to eradicate child labour and support education as a means of empowering girls and boys, so as to ensure that there is a clear understanding of and effective compliance with the minimum working age throughout the State party. The Committee urges the State party to take proactive steps to ensure that all children, especially girls, have access to basic education, health care and the protection of the minimum labour standards elaborated by the International Labour Organization.”

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Equatorial Guinea

(2004, CEDAW/C/GNQ/CO/, Concluding observations on second/third report, paras. 193 and 194)

“The Committee is concerned at the low rate of female literacy, the low rate of enrolment of girls in schools and the high dropout rate of girls due to pregnancy, early marriages and the low priority given to girls’ education by families. The Committee notes that education is a key to the advancement of women and that the low level of education of women and girls remains one of the most serious impediments to their full enjoyment of human rights.

“The Committee urges the State party to raise awareness of the importance of education as a fundamental human right and as a basis for the empowerment of women and to take steps to overcome traditional attitudes that constitute obstacles to girls’ education. It also recommends that the State party prioritize efforts to improve the literacy level of girls and women, ensure equal access of girls and young women to all levels of education, retain girls in school and strengthen the implementation of re-entry policies providing for girls to return to school after pregnancy. The Committee further urges the State party to take measures to increase the enrolment of girls at all levels and recommends the introduction of further special measures, including incentives for parents to send girls to schools.

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Ethiopia

(2004, CEDAW/C/ETH/CO/1, Concluding observations on fourth/fifth report, paras. 240, 249 and 250)

“The Committee commends the State party for the temporary special measures introduced in the civil service and in education, in particular the allocation of at least 30 per cent of the total number of university seats to female students. It also commends the State party for the introduction of the girl’s scholarship programme, covering 28 schools in 7 regions, and the incorporation of gender mainstreaming in the school curriculum.

“The Committee, while welcoming the State party’s efforts in the area of education, is concerned at the low rate of female literacy, the continuing gap between boys and girls in the school enrolment rate and at the high drop-out and repetition rates among girls.

“The Committee urges the State party to strengthen its efforts to improve the literacy rate of girls and women in rural and urban areas, to ensure equal access of girls and young women to all levels of education and to take measures to reduce and eliminate the high drop-out and repetition rates of girls. It encourages the State party to introduce temporary special measures in accordance with article 4, paragraph 1, of the Convention and general recommendation 25 at primary and secondary levels of education, including incentives for parents to send girls to school. It also recommends that the State party take steps to ensure that rural women and girls have full access to education and vocational training."

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F

Finland

(18 July 2008, CEDAW/C/FIN/CO/6 Advanced Unedited Version, Concluding observations on fifth/sixth report, paras. 23 and 24)

“The Committee notes with concern the lack of a gender perspective in early childhood education and the overall gender neutrality of the educational curriculum and teaching materials... “The Committee requests the State party to undertake a comprehensive curricula review and to introduce gender-sensitive curricula and teaching methods that address the structural and cultural causes of discrimination against women. It also requests that gender issues and sensitivity training be made an integral and substantive component of all teachers’ training.”

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France

(8 April 2008, CEDAW/C/FRA/CO/6, Concluding observations on sixth report, paras. 18, 19, 20, 21 and 22)

“The Committee welcomes the steps taken to eliminate gender-role stereotypes, including ... the undertaking of a study on stereotypes in school textbooks. However, the Committee remains concerned about the fact that academic orientation remains strongly influenced by stereotypes as a result of which women continue to be concentrated in a narrow range of employment....

“The Committee recommends that the State party continue to encourage the mass media to promote changes with regard to the roles and tasks considered suitable for women and men, as required by article 5 of the Convention, and to provide the Committee in its next periodic report with information on the outcome of the study on stereotypes in school textbooks. The Committee further recommends that the State party continue its work of finding the most appropriate way to pursue measures to encourage girls to study non-traditional subjects and companies to recruit women for non-stereotypical posts....

“While noting the evaluation by the State party of the implementation of the Act of 15 March 2004 banning the wearing of ‘signs or dress through which pupils ostensibly indicate which religion they profess in public primary, middle and secondary schools’, the Committee nevertheless remains concerned that the ban should not lead to a denial of the right to education of any girl and their inclusion into all facets of French society. “The Committee recommends that the State party continue to monitor closely the implementation of the Act so that there is no negative impact on the education of girls and their inclusion into all facets of French society. The Committee further recommends that the State party provide data in its next report on the educational achievements of migrant and immigrant girls at all levels.”

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G

Gabon

(15 February 2005, CEDAW/C/GAB/CC/2-5, Concluding observations on second/third/fourth/fifth report, paras. 32 and 33)

“The Committee expresses concern that although education is compulsory for all children aged 6 to 16 under Act No. 16/66 of 10 August 1966, the attendance rates for girls drop precipitously at higher levels of education, with 39.94 per cent in junior high school and 7.20 per cent in upper high school. The Committee is also concerned that the attendance rates for girls drop to 2.63 per cent in higher education.

“The Committee urges the State party to raise awareness of the importance of education as a fundamental human right and as a basis for the empowerment of women. It recommends that the State party prioritize efforts to ensure equal access of girls and young women to all levels of education and to increase their rates of enrolment and retention, including through the use of temporary special measures in accordance with article 4, paragraph 1, of the Convention and the Committee’s general recommendation 25 on temporary special measures by giving incentives to parents and scholarships to girl students. The Committee encourages the State party to use its educational and training systems systematically for enhancing knowledge about the Convention and women’s right to equality and non-discrimination.”

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Gambia

(22 July 2005, CEDAW/C/GMB/CO/1-3, Concluding observations on initial/second/third report, paras. 37, 38, 39 and 40)

“While noting the efforts made by the State party to revise its policy on education in order to address the needs of the girl child, the Committee expresses its concern about the low enrolment of girls in schools, especially at secondary and higher levels, and their high dropout rates. The Committee is particularly concerned that, according to the 1993 census, only 27 per cent of women in the Gambia are literate and that in the rural areas, the proportion is only 18.3 per cent.

“The Committee urges the State party to take measures on the importance of realizing women’s and girls’ right to education as a fundamental human right, including for the empowerment of women. It also calls upon the State party to strengthen measures to create an environment that increases the enrolment and retention rates of girls in schools at all levels, including through the development of gender-sensitive educational material. The Committee calls upon the State party to step up its efforts to eradicate female illiteracy, particularly in rural areas, including through comprehensive education programmes at the formal and non-formal levels, as well as programmes specifically targeting adult women. The Committee encourages the State party to use temporary special measures in accordance with article 4, paragraph 1, of the Convention and the Committee’s general recommendation 25, in order to accelerate the improvement of women’s and girls’ education.

“While welcoming the adoption of the Children’s Act, which includes provisions against child marriage and child betrothal, the Committee expresses concern about the high incidence of early marriages in the country. “The Committee urges the State party to ensure the implementation of the Children’s Act, and to undertake awareness-raising measures throughout the country on the negative effects of early marriage on women’s enjoyment of their human rights, especially the rights to health and education.”

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Georgia

(25 August 2006, CEDAW/C/GEO/CO/3, Concluding observations on third report, paras. 17 and 18)

“While noting the efforts of the State party to eliminate gender stereotypes from school textbooks at the primary school level, the Committee continues to be concerned about the persistence of patriarchal attitudes and deep-rooted stereotypes regarding the roles and responsibilities of women and men in the family and in society in Georgia, which are reflected in women’s educational choices, their situation in the labour market and their low level of participation in political and public life. It is concerned that girls and women in secondary schools and universities continue to choose study areas traditionally seen as ‘female areas’.

“The Committee encourages the State party to continue its efforts to eliminate gender stereotyping, and to strengthen the mainstreaming of gender perspectives in curricula and textbooks. It also requests the State party to enhance the training of teaching staff in regard to gender equality issues. The Committee urges the State party to disseminate information on the Convention in programmes in the educational system, including human rights education and gender training, with a view to changing existing stereotypical views on and attitudes towards women’s and men’s roles. It recommends that awarenessraising campaigns be addressed to both women and men and that the media be encouraged to project positive images of women and of the equal status and responsibilities of women and men in the private and public spheres. The Committee calls on the State party to further encourage diversification of the educational choices of boys and girls. It also urges the State party to encourage a public dialogue on the educational choices girls and women make and their subsequent opportunities and chances in the labour market.”

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Germany

(12 February 2009, CEDAW/C/DEU/CO/6, Concluding observations on sixth report paras. 33, 34, 57 and 58)

“While noting the State party’s efforts to address stereotyping in the choice of academic and vocational fields, the Committee expresses concern about the prevailing existence of such stereotyped choices, despite the numerous initiatives undertaken by the State party in that regard.

“The Committee encourages the State party to strengthen its programme aimed at diversifying academic and vocational choices for girls and boys and to take further measures to encourage girls to choose non-traditional fields of education. In addition, the Committee calls upon the State party to closely monitor the situation of refugee and asylum-seeking girls, especially undocumented ones, at all educational levels and to continue to address the difficulties they experience in the school system.

“... The Committee notes that the detention of juveniles in adult prisons, often located in remote areas, may impair their right to education....

“The Committee recommends that the State party ensure full implementation of juvenile justice standards, in particular the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice (the ‘Beijing Rules’), the United Nations Guidelines for the Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency (the ‘Riyadh Guidelines’), the United Nations Rules for the Protection of Juveniles Deprived of their Liberty (the ‘Havana Rules’) and the Vienna Guidelines for Action on Children in the Criminal Justice System. The Committee urges the State party to take all necessary measures to ensure that persons, including girls below 18, are deprived of liberty only as a last resort and, when in custody, are in any case separated from adults. It further calls upon the State party to ensure that girls in prison are provided with a full programme of educational activities, including physical education....”

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Ghana

(25 August 2006, CEDAW/C/GHA/CO/5, Concluding observations on fifth report, paras. 6, 27, 28 and 31)

“The Committee congratulates the State party for the achievements in implementing the Convention, including the establishment, in 2001, of the Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs, headed by a Cabinet Minister. The Committee notes with appreciation the establishment of the Girl Child Education Directorate in the Ministry of Education....

“While welcoming the State party’s important achievements in the field of education, especially at the primary level, the Committee is concerned about the gender gap between boys and girls in secondary and tertiary education where girls constitute, respectively, 33 per cent and 22 per cent of enrolled students, as well as about the high drop-out rates of girls from schools.

“The Committee urges the State party to continue its efforts to raise awareness of the importance of education as a human right and as a basis for empowerment of women. It encourages the State party to take steps to overcome traditional attitudes that constitute obstacles to girls’ education. It recommends that the State party implement measures to ensure equal rights of girls and young women to all levels of education, to retain girls in school, and to put in place monitoring mechanisms to track girls’ access to, and achievement levels in education, including the adoption of temporary special measures in accordance with article 4, paragraph 1 of the Convention and general recommendation No. 25 on temporary special measures. It requests the State party to report on the measures taken and their impact in its next periodic report.

“... The Committee is also concerned about the high rate of teenage pregnancy, which presents a significant obstacle to girls’ educational opportunities and economic empowerment....”

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Guatemala

(10 February 2009, CEDAW/C/GUA/CO/7 Advance Unedited Version, Concluding observations on seventh report, paras. 27, 28, 31 and 32)

“While welcoming the introduction of free education and the efforts made to encourage bilingual and multicultural education, the Committee is concerned at the significant level of illiteracy among indigenous and rural women, the difficulties of accessibility of schools, and the poor quality of education, in particular in rural areas. The Committee is also concerned at the lack of information provided by the State party on vocational education and training for girls and women in professions traditionally occupied by men.

“The Committee calls on the State party to continue to take proactive measures to reduce the illiteracy rate among indigenous women and to continue to provide education, both formal and informal, to all women and girls, especially in rural areas. The Committee recommends that the State party accelerate the process of training bilingual teachers and the extension of bilingual education to all indigenous communities.

“The Committee is seriously concerned that child labour persists in the State party, the lack of detailed information provided by the State party on the extent of this phenomenon and at its implications for children’s individual development and enjoyment of their right to education and health care, especially for girls.

“The Committee urges the State party to strengthen its efforts to eradicate child labour and support education as a means of empowering girls and boys. The Committee urges the State party to take proactive steps to ensure that all children, especially girls, have access to basic education, health care and the protection of the minimum labour standards elaborated by the International Labour Organization.”

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Guinea-Bissau

(7 August 2009, CEDAW/C/GNB/CO/6, Concluding observations on initial to sixth report, paras. 33 and 34)

“The Committee welcomes steps taken by the State party in the area of education with the assistance of the international community, donor organizations and non-governmental organizations, such as school feeding programmes and the provision of microloans to parents who send their girls to schools, as well as literacy programmes for women and girls and the 2006 resolution of the Council of Ministers, which established a 50 per cent quota in granting scholarships. However, the Committee is extremely concerned about the alarmingly high rates of illiteracy in Guinea-Bissau, about the very low rates of girls’ school enrolment and completion of schooling at all levels, and about the persistence of structural and other barriers to quality education, which constitute particular obstacles to the education of girls and young women. These barriers include extreme poverty, a lack of physical infrastructure and a lack of trained and qualified teachers, especially female teachers, which may increase girls’ vulnerability to violence and abuse in schools. In particular, the Committee is concerned about cultural barriers to education and the negative impact of harmful traditional practices, such as early and forced marriage, on girls’ education.

“The Committee stresses that education is a key to the empowerment of women and that the low level of education of girls and women is one of the most serious impediments to their full enjoyment of human rights. It recommends that the State party take immediate steps to implement measures to ensure equal access for girls and women to all levels of education and retention of girls in school, including through temporary special measures in accordance with article 4, paragraph 1, of the Convention and the Committee’s general recommendation No. 25. It urges the State party to increase its investment in education, especially in rural areas, and to raise awareness of the importance of education as a human right and as a basis for the empowerment of women. It encourages the State party to take steps to overcome traditional attitudes that constitute obstacles to girls’ and women’s education, to develop non-stereotyped educational curricula that address structural causes of discrimination against women, to provide adequate and gender-sensitive training for teachers and school personnel, and to ensure that women and girls have access to safe educational settings that are free from violence and abuse. The Committee calls on the State party to make a concerted effort to improve the literacy level of girls and women through the adoption of comprehensive programmes at the formal and non-formal levels, and through adult education and training.”

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H

Haiti

(10 February 2009, CEDAW/C/HTI/CO/7, Concluding observations on initial to seventh report, paras. 20, 21, 30 and 31)

“While noting with appreciation some measures taken by the State party to eliminate gender stereotypes, such as the revision of school textbooks and the provision of training for teachers, the Committee is concerned at the deep-rooted patriarchal attitudes and stereotypes regarding the roles and responsibilities of women and men in the family, in the workplace and in society, which constitute an obstacle to the achievement of de facto equality between women and men and impede the full implementation of the Convention.

“The Committee encourages the State party to adopt a comprehensive strategy to promote cultural change and eliminate discriminatory stereotypes with respect to the roles of women and men in all levels of society, in line with its obligations under articles 2(f) and 5(a) of the Convention. The Committee recommends that such a strategy include awareness-raising campaigns directed at women and men, sensitization of teachers, the media and the public at large, as well as further revision of the school textbooks and curricula.

“While noting the right to free and compulsory primary education and welcoming the measures in the plan of action for 2008-2009 aimed at facilitating the retention of girls in the education system, including the cooperation agreement signed between the Ministry for the Status of Women and Women’s Rights and the Ministry of National Education and Professional Training, the Committee is concerned at the significantly high level of illiteracy among women, in particular in rural areas, the wide disparity in access to education between urban and rural areas and the high dropout rate of girls at different levels of schooling.

“The Committee urges the State party to continue to pursue its efforts to reduce the illiteracy rate of women and to continue to provide education, both formal and informal, to all women and girls, especially in rural areas. The Committee also urges the State party to develop programmes specifically designed to reduce the dropout rate of girls and young women, including through the use of incentives for parents. The Committee recommends the development of measures to encourage girls and young women to continue their education beyond compulsory level so as to provide them with the necessary skills and knowledge to participate in the labour market on a basis of equality with men.”

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Honduras

(10 August 2007, CEDAW/C/HON/CO/6, Concluding observations on sixth report, paras. 24, 26 and 27)

“The Committee is concerned about the high rate of teenage pregnancy and its implications for the health and education of girls....

“While appreciating the efforts of the State party to incorporate a gender-equality approach in the Basic National Curriculum and to work with a range of educational institutions to remove stereotyped images of women and men from curricula, the Committee is concerned about the persistence of patriarchal attitudes and deep-rooted stereotypes regarding the roles and responsibilities of women and men in the family and society. Such stereotypes present a significant impediment to the implementation of the Convention and are a root cause of the disadvantaged position of women in all areas, including in the labour market and in political and public life.

“The Committee urges the State party to address stereotypical attitudes towards the roles and responsibilities of women and men, including cultural patterns and norms that perpetuate direct and indirect discrimination against women and girls in all areas of their lives. It calls upon the State party to implement and monitor comprehensive measures to bring about change in the widely accepted stereotypical roles of men and women. Such measures should include awareness-raising and educational campaigns addressing women and men and girls and boys, of all religious affiliations, with a view to eliminating stereotypes associated with traditional gender roles in the family and in society, in accordance with articles 2 (f) and 5 (a) of the Convention.”

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Hungary

(10 August 2007, CEDAW/C/HUN/CO/6, Concluding observations on sixth report, paras. 16, 17, 30 and 31)

“The Committee continues to be concerned about the persistence of patriarchal attitudes and deep-rooted stereotypes regarding the roles and responsibilities of women and men in the family and in society in Hungary, which are reflected in women’s educational choices, their situation in the labour market and their underrepresentation in political and public life and decision-making positions....

“The Committee encourages the State party to strengthen its efforts and take proactive measures to eliminate gender stereotyping. It recommends that awareness-raising campaigns be addressed to both women and men and that the media be encouraged to project positive images of women and the equal status and responsibilities of women and men in the private and public spheres. The Committee requests the State party to enhance the training of teaching staff in regard to gender equality issues. The Committee urges the State party to disseminate knowledge about the Convention and its concept of substantive gender equality through the educational system, with a view to changing existing stereotypical views on and attitudes towards women’s and men’s roles. The Committee calls on the State party to further encourage diversification of the educational choices of boys and girls. It urges the State party to develop and implement programmes aimed at counselling women and girls and men and boys on educational choices, bearing in mind their subsequent equal opportunities and chances in the labour market. “While noting the Programme for the Decade of Roma Inclusion 2005-2015, the Committee is concerned about the situation of Roma women and girls, who face multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination based on sex, ethnic or cultural background and socio-economic status. The Committee is also concerned that Roma women and girls remain in a vulnerable and marginalized situation and subject to discrimination, including with regard to education, health, housing, employment and participation in political, public and economic life. It is further concerned about the prevalence of violence against Roma women and girls, including harassment and abuse at school, as well as about the gaps in Roma women’s formal education and the high rates of school dropout among Roma girls.

“The Committee urges the State party to take a holistic approach to eliminating the multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination that Roma women face and to accelerate their achievement of de facto equality through the effective coordination of all entities working on Roma, non-discrimination and gender equality issues. It urges the State party to implement targeted measures, within specific time frames, in all areas and to monitor their implementation. The Committee calls on the State party to ensure that a gender perspective is integrated into all aspects of the Programme for the Decade of Roma Inclusion 2005-2015. The Committee urges the State party to take concrete measures to overcome stereotypical attitudes towards Roma people, in particular Roma women and girls. It encourages the State party to organize training programmes for the police on Roma culture.... The Committee recommends that the State party collect and make available statistical information pertaining to the education, health, employment and social, economic and political status of Roma women and girls, with a view to developing further specific policies to respond to their needs. The Committee requests the State party to report on the results achieved in its next periodic report.”

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I

India

(2 February 2007, CEDAW/C/IND/CO/3, Concluding observations on third report, paras. 32, 33, 34, 35 and 49)

“While appreciating the additional data provided by the State party during its dialogue with the Committee, which indicates improvements in enrolment rates of women in primary education, and while commending the State party’s future plans of focusing efforts on education of marginalized sections of the population, the Committee is concerned about the continuing disparities in the educational status of scheduled caste, scheduled tribe and Muslim women and the limited access of these groups of women to higher education. It is also concerned about the educational performance disparities among regions and states, the continuing gap in literacy rates between men and women and the lack of information on the budgetary allocation to adult literacy programmes.

“The Committee recommends that the State party provide, in its next periodic report, comparable data disaggregated by sex, caste, minority status and ethnicity, on the enrolment and retention rates of girls and women at all levels of education, and trends over time. Given the particularly disadvantaged situation of Muslim women and girls, the Committee requests the State party to provide information in its next periodic report about the action taken on the recommendations of the Sachar Committee with regard to the education of Muslim women and girls. It urges the State party to increase efforts to enable scheduled caste, scheduled tribe and Muslim women to access higher education. The Committee calls upon the State party to strengthen its efforts, at the national, state and union territory levels, to close the gap in literacy rates between men and women, establish benchmarks in this regard and create mechanisms to monitor the achievement of such benchmarks. It also urges the State party to provide, in its next periodic report, information on the budgetary allocation to adult education programmes and the impact, and trends over time, of such programmes. Moreover, it calls upon the State party to meet its commitment of allocating 6 per cent of its gross domestic product to education in its eleventh five-year plan.

“While welcoming the State party’s efforts to eliminate gender-based stereotypes through the review and revision of textbooks at the national level, the Committee is concerned that such review and revision has not taken place at the state level in most states. The Committee is also concerned that teachers in schools are not gender-sensitized, to the detriment of female students.

“The Committee calls upon the State party to initiate and monitor the reform of textbooks at the state level to eliminate all gender-based stereotypes and to strengthen its efforts, at the national, state and union territory levels, to combat the widespread acceptance of stereotypical roles of men and women. It recommends that gender issues and sensitivity training be made an integral and substantive component of all teacher training.

“The Committee recommends the establishment of mechanisms to monitor child labour and the elimination of child labour in compliance with international obligations. It calls upon the State party to study the abuse of children, particularly girl children, employed as domestic help, enforce the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986, for their benefit, and devise strategies for their rehabilitation, including their inclusion in the formal educational system

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Israel

(22 July 2005, CEDAW/C/ISR/CO/3, Concluding observations on third report, paras. 35, 36, 39 and 40)

“While appreciating the progress made in the fields of women’s education and health, the Committee is concerned that Israeli Arab women remain in a vulnerable and marginalized situation, especially in regard to education and health. While efforts have been made to eliminate gender stereotypes from textbooks, the Committee is concerned that these persist in the Arab education system.

“The Committee recommends that the State party take urgent measures to reduce the drop-out rates of Israeli Arab girls and increase the number of Israeli Arab women at institutions of higher education, including temporary special measures in accordance with article 4, paragraph 1, of the Convention and the Committee’s general recommendation 25. The Committee also urges the State party to review and revise textbooks in the Arab education system in order to eradicate gender stereotypes. The Committee recommends that the State party allocate adequate resources to improve the status of Israeli Arab women’s health, in particular with regard to infant mortality, and to provide in its next periodic report a comprehensive picture of the situation of Israeli Arab women.

“The Committee is concerned that Bedouin women living in the Negev desert remain in a vulnerable and marginalized situation, especially in regard to education, employment and health....

“The Committee requests the State party to take effective measures to eliminate discrimination against Bedouin women and to enhance respect for their human rights through effective and proactive measures, including temporary special measures in accordance with article 4, paragraph 1, of the Convention and the Committee’s general recommendation 25 in the fields of education, employment and health. The Committee calls upon the State party to provide, in its next periodic report, a comprehensive picture of the situation of Bedouin women and girls in regard to their educational opportunities and achievements....”

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J

Jamaica

(25 August 2006, CEDAW/C/JAM/CO/5, Concluding observations on fifth report, paras. 8, 31, 32 and 40)

“The Committee commends the State party for its achievements in the field of girls’ education.

“While the Committee commends the State party on its achievements in the field of girls’ and women’s education, it is concerned with the persistence of structural barriers such as de facto gender-based segregation in the field of education, including the practice of cross-timetabling, or conflicting class schedules that effectively prevent girls from pursuing courses of study traditionally offered to boys, and its consequences for women’s opportunities in the labour market. It is also concerned with the persistence of gender-based stereotypes in textbooks, school curricula and teaching methods that reinforce discriminatory attitudes against women in society. “The Committee calls on the State party to strengthen implementation of its efforts to tackle, through the education system, the structural causes of the persistent discriminatory attitudes against women. It calls on the State party to overcome expeditiously the de facto segregation in the education system, and to actively encourage the diversification of educational and professional choices for women and men and offer incentives for young women to enter traditionally male dominated fields of study. The Committee calls on the State party to set a clear time frame for the introduction of gender-sensitive educational curricula and teaching methods that address the structural and cultural causes of discrimination against women, and to incorporate sensitization training for teachers both pre- and in-service. It also invites the State party to monitor systematically the impact of measures taken in relation to stated goals and to take corrective measures whenever necessary.

“The Committee calls upon the State party to raise without delay the minimum age of marriage to 18 years, in accordance with its general recommendation 21 and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. It also requests that the trends in teen pregnancies be monitored and that programmes for the prevention of teen pregnancy be implemented, as well as programmes that provide social services to pregnant teens, and ensuring their continued education.”

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Japan

(7 August 2009, CEDAW/C/JPN/CO/6, Concluding observations on sixth report, paras. 43 and 44)

“While noting the many initiatives undertaken to ensure women’s equal rights with men in the field of education, the Committee is concerned that, despite strong opposition, the Basic Act on Education has been amended and article 5, which refers to the promotion of gender equality, has been removed. The Committee also notes with concern that women continue to be concentrated in traditional fields of study and are underrepresented in academia as students and as faculty members, particularly at the professorial level.

“The Committee recommends that the State party give serious consideration to reintegrating the promotion of gender equality in the Basic Act on Education so that the State party’s commitment under the Convention to protect women’s full rights in the field of education is integrated into domestic law. The Committee also urges the State party to ensure that education policy includes measures to encourage girls and women to pursue education and training in non-traditional fields and so broaden their opportunities for employment and careers in better paying sectors of the economy. The Committee recommends that in the Third Basic Plan for Gender Equality the quota set for the ratio of female faculty in university and colleges be increased from 20 per cent to ultimately facilitate movement towards parity in the sex ratio in these institutions.”

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Jordan

(10 August 2007, CEDAW/C/JOR/CO/4, Concluding observations on fourth report, paras. 7, 19, 20, 29, 30, 35 and 36)

“The Committee congratulates the State party on the achievement of parity between girls and boys in primary and secondary education.

“While noting that the Ministry of Education is gradually revising school textbooks to eliminate gender stereotypes and incorporate principles of human rights and women’s rights and that the Ministry of Religious Affairs is developing a guide for preachers and imams emphasizing women’s rights in Islam, the Committee continues to be deeply concerned about the persistence of patriarchal attitudes and deep-rooted cultural stereotypes regarding the roles and responsibilities of women and men in the family and society in Jordan, as already expressed in the previous concluding comments (A/55/38, part one, para. 165)....

“The Committee ... calls upon the State party to implement comprehensive measures to bring about change in the widely accepted stereotypical roles of men and women in order to create an enabling and supportive environment conducive to changing discriminatory laws, customs and practices and strengthening women’s ability to enjoy all their human rights. Such measures should include awareness-raising and programmes in the formal and non-formal educational sector, addressing women and men, girls and boys, community and religious leaders and, in particular, members of Parliament, with a view to eliminating stereotypes associated with traditional gender roles in the family and in society, in accordance with articles 2 (f) and 5 (a) of the Convention. The Committee recommends that the State party closely monitor the impact of, and results achieved from, its efforts to promote change concerning the stereotypical expectations of women’s roles in the family and society.

“While welcoming the achievement of parity in education for girls and boys in primary and secondary schools, the Committee is concerned about the low numbers of women university professors. It is also concerned about the limited extent of human rights education at all levels and lack of attention to the human rights of women and achievement of gender equality in such education.

“The Committee encourages the State party to strengthen its efforts to increase the number of women university professors in all fields, including through the use of temporary special measures in accordance with article 4, paragraph 1, of the Convention and the Committee’s general recommendation 25. It also invites the State party to enhance its human rights education in curricula at all educational levels and to ensure that such education places priority on the promotion of gender equality and women’s human rights.

“The Committee is concerned that despite an amendment to the Personal StatusAct that increases the minimum age of marriage for both boys and girls to 18 years, marriage of a girl over 15 years can be conducted if a judge finds such marriage to be in her interest. The Committee is further concerned that a very high percentage (approximately 15 per cent) of all marriages continue to be of girls under the age of 18 years with adverse impact on their health, education and employment.

“The Committee urges the State party to eliminate the provision in article 5 of the Personal Status Act that allows marriage of a person under 18 years and to enforce the 18-years minimum age of marriage for both women and men, in line with article 16, paragraph 2, of the Convention, the Committee’s general recommendation 21 and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.”

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K

Kenya

(10 August 2007, CEDAW/C/KEN/CO/6, Concluding observations on sixth report, paras. 33 and 34)

“While welcoming the significant progress made in the area of education through the provision of free and compulsory primary education, the Committee expresses concern about the marked difference in the quality of and access to education between urban and rural or remote areas, the disparity in enrolment rates between young women and young men in public universities and the lower transition rate for girls from primary to secondary school as compared to that of boys. The Committee is also concerned about traditional attitudes that constitute obstacles to girls’ education, as well as girls’ drop-out rates due to pregnancy and early and forced marriage. The Committee notes that education is a key to the advancement of women and that the low level of education of women and girls remains one of the most serious obstacles to their full enjoyment of their human rights.

“The Committee urges the State party to enhance its compliance with article 10 of the Convention and to raise awareness in society of the importance of education as a human right and basis for the empowerment of women. It encourages the State party to take steps to overcome traditional attitudes that in some areas constitute obstacles to girls’ and women’s education. The Committee commends the State party on its plans to introduce free secondary education in 2008 and recommends that the State party implement measures to ensure equal access of girls and women to all levels of education, retain girls in school and strengthen the implementation of re-entry policies so that girls return to school after giving birth. The Committee requests the State party to provide information on the measures taken and on their impact in its next report.”

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Kuwait

(2004, CEDAW/C/KWT/CO/2, Concluding observations on initial/second report, para. 59)

“The Committee commends the progress made in reducing the rate of female illiteracy in Kuwait. The Committee also commends the high level of education attained by girls and women in Kuwait and the high enrolment rates of girls and women at all levels of education.”

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L

Lao People’s Democratic Republic

(14 August 2009, CEDAW/C/LAO/CO/7, Concluding observations on sixth/seventh report, paras. 21, 22, 33 and 34)

“While noting that the Ministry of Education is developing an educational curriculum that incorporates the teaching of gender roles and gender equality, the Committee is concerned at the persistence of adverse norms, practices and traditions as well as patriarchal attitudes and deep-rooted stereotypes regarding the roles, responsibilities and identities of women and men in all spheres of life, especially within some ethnic groups. The Committee is also concerned that such customs and practices perpetuate discrimination against women and girls, and that they are reflected in the disadvantageous and unequal status in many areas, including in education, public life, decision-making and the persistence of violence against women and that, thus far, the State party has not taken sustained and systematic action to modify or eliminate stereotypes and negative traditional values and practices....

“The Committee is of the view that cultures should be regarded as dynamic aspects of a country’s life and social fabric and are subject, therefore, to change. It urges the State party to put in place without delay a comprehensive strategy, including review and formulation of legislation, to modify or eliminate traditional practices and stereotypes that discriminate against women, in conformity with articles 2 (f) and 5 (a) of the Convention. Such measures should include efforts to raise awareness of this subject, targeting women and men at all levels of society, which should be undertaken in collaboration with civil society. The Committee encourages the State party effectively to use innovative measures to strengthen understanding of the equality of women and men and to work with the media to enhance a positive, non-stereotypical and non-discriminatory portrayal of women. The Committee urges the State party to use all forms of education — formal, non-formal and informal — including the socialization process through parenting and community social interaction, to eradicate negative stereotypes, attitudes and practices....

“While noting the adoption of the Educational Sector Development Framework 2009-2015, the amended Law on Education of July 2007 and a variety of measures and projects in the realm of education, the Committee remains seriously concerned at the very high illiteracy rates among women (37 per cent) and the large discrepancies between male and female literacy rates and between urban and rural women’s levels of education, respectively. The Committee is especially concerned about the extremely low literacy rate among women belonging to certain ethnic groups. It also expresses its concern at the inadequate educational infrastructure, including the high number of incomplete schools, the limited number of qualified teachers, and the marked difference in the quality of, and access to, education between urban and rural or remote areas. The Committee is further concerned about traditional attitudes that constitute obstacles to girls’ education as well as drop-out rates owing to involvement in domestic chores. The Committee notes that education is a key to the advancement of women and that the low level of education of women and girls remains one of the most serious obstacles to the full enjoyment of their human rights.

“The Committee urges the State party to enhance its compliance with article 10 of the Convention, including in the context of the Educational Sector Development Framework. It urges the State party to ensure equal access of girls and women to all levels of education, take steps to overcome traditional attitudes that in some rural areas constitute obstacles to girls’ and women’s education and retain girls in school. The State party should accelerate efforts to enable each primary school to offer the full five grades of primary education, including expansion of classroom construction; training of teachers in multigrade methodology; and taking special measures to bring more women from ethnic communities into the teaching profession. The Committee also recommends that the State party explore the possibility of multilingual education, particularly for the learning of Lao for speakers of other languages with due attention to their mother tongue, as well as the possibility of setting up a sustained project of sending university student volunteers to rural ethnic villages to teach Lao. The Committee urges the State party to ensure the necessary budgetary allocation for the implementation of various projects and programmes and it requests the State party to provide information on the measures taken and on their gender impact in its next report.”

(15 February 2005, CEDAW/C/LAO/CC/1-5, Concluding observations on initial/second/third/fourth/fifth report, paras. 23 and 24)

“Despite some progress, the Committee is alarmed at the still very high illiteracy rate of women, 40 per cent, and the large discrepancy between male and female literacy rates and between urban and rural women’s education. The Committee is especially concerned at the extremely low literacy rate among ethnic minority women. The Committee is concerned that the initial plan to make primary education compulsory was postponed from 2000 to 2010. “The Committee urges that the State party immediately take all appropriate measures including temporary special measures in accordance with article 4, paragraph 1, of the Convention and the Committee’s general recommendation 25 on temporary special measures to reduce the illiteracy rate of women and to provide education to women, both formal and informal, especially in rural areas and including ethnic minority women. The Committee also recommends that free and compulsory primary education at the national level be implemented as soon as possible. It further recommends that the State party consider seeking international assistance for these purposes.”

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Lebanon

(8 April 2008, CEDAW/C/LBN/CO/3, Concluding observations on third report, paras. 24, 25, 40 and 41)

“The Committee continues to be concerned about the persistence of patriarchal attitudes and deep-rooted stereotypes regarding the roles and responsibilities of women and men in the family and in society in Lebanon, which are reflected in women’s educational choices, their situation in the labour market and their low level of participation in political and public life. The Committee is concerned about persistent stereotypes reflected in school textbooks and curricula.

“The Committee requests that the State party enhance the training of teaching staff on gender equality issues and revise educational textbooks and curricula to eliminate gender-role stereotypes. The Committee urges the State party to disseminate information on the Convention through all levels of the educational system, including through human rights education and gender-sensitivity training, so as to change existing stereotypical views and attitudes about women’s and men’s roles. The Committee calls upon the State party to further encourage diversification of the educational choices of boys and girls. It also urges the State party to encourage a public dialogue on the educational choices girls and women make and their subsequent opportunities and chances in the labour market. It recommends that awareness-raising campaigns be addressed to both women and men and that the media be encouraged to project positive images of women and of the equal status and responsibilities of women and men in the private and public spheres.”

“... The Committee further notes with concern that refugee women and girls and internally displaced women and girls remain in a vulnerable and marginalized situation, in particular with regard to access to education, employment, health and housing and protection from all forms of violence.

“The Committee ... urges the State party to implement targeted measures for refugee women and girls and internally displaced women and girls, within specific timetables, to improve access to education, employment, health and housing and to protect them from all forms of violence and to monitor their implementation. The Committee requests the State party to report on the results achieved in improving the situation of these groups of women and girls in its next periodic report.”

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Libyan Arab Jamhiriya

(6 February 2009, CEDAW/C/LBY/CO/5, Concluding observations on second to fifth reports, paras. 31 and 32)

“While commending the State party on the high percentage of female graduates, the Committee regrets that the State party’s reports do not provide sufficient information with respect to the access of women to education, both in rural and urban areas, concerning all areas addressed by article 10 of the Convention.

“The Committee requests the State party to include, in its next periodic report, data disaggregated by sex and urban and rural areas on all issues addressed by article 10 of the Convention, including women’s and girls’ access to vocational training, access to studies in the primary, secondary, technical and tertiary education, access to scholarships and other study grants and access to programmes of continuing education, as well as statistics on student dropout rates.”

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Liberia

(7 August 2009, CEDAW/C/LBR/CO/6, Concluding observations on initial to sixth report, paras. 8, 32 and 33)

“The Committee ... appreciates the State party’s efforts to put in place plans, policies and programmes aimed at promoting gender equality, including ... the National Policy on Girls’ Education (2006)....

“The Committee notes that education is key to the advancement of women and that the low level of education of girls and women remains among the most serious impediments to their full enjoyment of human rights and the achievement of women’s empowerment. While recognizing ongoing efforts aimed at increasing enrolment and retention of girls in schools, as well as progress made in reducing the gender gap in primary school enrolment, the Committee is concerned at the persistence of structural and other barriers to quality education which constitute particular obstacles to the education of girls and young women. These barriers include lack of physical infrastructure, the persistence of gender-based stereotypes in text-books and school curricula that reinforce discriminatory attitudes against women in society, and lack of trained and qualified teachers. The Committee is also concerned about the persistence of sexual abuse and harassment of girls in schools, the negative impact of harmful traditional practices, such as early and forced marriage, on girls’ education, and barriers to pregnant girls’ access to schools.

“The Committee recommends that the State party take steps to improve the educational infrastructure, especially in rural areas, and to raise awareness of the importance of education as a human right and a basis for the empowerment of women. It recommends that the State party implement measures to ensure equal access for girls and women to all levels of education and retention of girls in school, including through temporary special measures in accordance with article 4, paragraph 1, of the Convention and the Committee’s general recommendation No. 25. It also calls on the State party to ensure that sexual abuse and harassment in schools are addressed and punished appropriately, and to remove all barriers to school attendance for pregnant girls and young mothers. It encourages the State party to take steps to overcome traditional attitudes that constitute obstacles to girls’ and women’s education, and to develop non-stereotyped educational curricula that address structural causes of discrimination against women. The Committee calls on the State party to make strong efforts to improve the literacy level of girls and women through the adoption of comprehensive programmes at the formal and non-formal levels, and through adult education and training.”

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Lithuania

(18 July 2008, CEDAW/C/LTU/CO/4 Advanced Unedited Version, Concluding observations on third/fourth report, paras. 14 and 15)

“The Committee continues to be concerned about the persistence of patriarchal attitudes and deep-rooted stereotypes regarding the roles and responsibilities of women and men in the family and in society in Lithuania, which threaten to undermine women’s exercise and enjoyment of their human rights and are reflected, inter alia, in the recently adopted Conceptual Framework for a National Family Policy, the media, and in educational textbooks and materials, all of which influence women’s traditional educational choices, their disadvantaged situation in the labour market and their under-representation in political and public life and decision-making positions, especially at the local level.

“The Committee calls upon the State party to strengthen its efforts and take comprehensive and ongoing measures to eliminate gender stereotyping. It recommends that awareness-raising and educational campaigns be directed at both women and men to promote cultural change with respect to their roles and tasks in line with article 5 of the Convention, and that the media be encouraged to project positive and non-sexualized images of women. The Committee also requests the State party to enhance the education and in-service training of the teaching and counselling staff of all educational establishments and at all levels with regard to gender equality issues, to speedily complete a revision of all educational textbooks and materials to eliminate gender stereotypes, and to apply temporary special measures according to article 4, paragraph 1 of the Convention to encourage women to move into decision-making positions in educational institutions and to increase the number of women professors among academic staff. It also urges the State party to develop and implement programmes aimed at counselling girls and women on non-traditional educational and vocational choices.”

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Luxembourg

(8 April 2008, CEDAW/C/LUX/CO/5, Concluding observations on fifth report, paras. 15, 16, 25 and 26)

“The Committee notes with concern that, despite the initiatives undertaken by the State party to eliminate gender-role stereotypes, including awareness-raising campaigns, education of boys and girls on equality between men and women, and incentives to diversify the roles of men and women, stereotypes related to traditional roles of men as breadwinners and women as mothers and caregivers persist and affect the educational and professional choices of women.

“The Committee calls on the State party to consider strengthened measures aimed at changing attitudes concerning women’s traditional roles and responsibilities in child and family care. Such measures should include curbing the portrayal, including in school and in the media, of discriminatory images, attitudes and perceptions about the roles and responsibilities of women and girls and men and boys in the family and in society, and further awareness-raising and education initiatives for both women and men with respect to sharing tasks within the family. The Committee recognizes that changing mentality is a long-term endeavour and calls upon the State party to continue, in a comprehensive manner, its efforts until these gender-role stereotypes are eliminated.

“While noting Luxembourg’s outstanding education system, the Committee draws the State party’s attention to the prevailing stereotyped choices of academic and vocational fields. The Committee also expresses concern at the unequal access to quality education at all levels for girls of foreign origin and at the indication of the high level drop-out rate from school at various levels among these girls.

“The Committee encourages the State party to strengthen its programme aimed at diversifying academic and vocational choices for girls and boys and take further measures to encourage girls to pursue untraditional education fields. The Committee also calls upon the State party to closely monitor the situation of girls of foreign origin in all educational levels and to continue to address the difficulties they experience in the school system.”

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Madagascar

(7 November 2008, CEDAW/C/MDG/CO/5, Concluding observations on second/third/fourth/fifth report, paras. 26 and 27)

“While the Committee recognizes the efforts of the State party to expand girls’ access to education and to reduce drop-out rates, in particular through the construction of additional classrooms, the abolition of registration fees and the provision of school kits and school supplies, the Committee expresses concern at current conditions that impede girls’ access to education at all levels, including poverty, living in rural and remote areas, emancipation at puberty, early marriage and early pregnancy. The Committee notes that education is a key to the advancement of women and that the low level of education of women and girls remains one of the most serious obstacles to their full enjoyment of their human rights.

“The Committee urges the State party to raise awareness about the importance of education as a fundamental human right and as a basis for the empowerment of women and to take steps to overcome traditional attitudes that constitute obstacles to women and girls in the full enjoyment of their human rights to education. It recommends that the State party take steps to ensure equal access of girls and young women to all levels of education, to retain girls in school and to implement re-entry policies so that girls and young women return to school after pregnancy. The Committee further urges the State party to take measures to increase the enrolment of girls at all levels and recommends the introduction of further temporary special measures, in accordance with its general recommendation No. 25, including incentives for parents to send girls to school.”

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Malawi

(5 February 2010, CEDAW/C/MWI/CO/6 Advance Unedited Version, Concluding observations on sixth report, paras. 30 and 31)

“While recognizing the ongoing efforts aimed at increasing the enrolment and retention of girls in schools, as well as the progress made in reducing the gender gap in primary and secondary school enrolment, the Committee is concerned at the persistence of structural and other barriers to quality education, which constitute particular obstacles to the education of girls and young women. Such barriers include, among others, the lack of physical infrastructure and the limited number of trained and qualified teachers. The Committee is also concerned about the persistence of sexual abuse and harassment of girls in schools; the negative impact of harmful traditional practices, such as early and forced marriage, on girls’ education; and the persistent barriers to the ability of pregnant girls to realize their right to education.

“The Committee recommends that the State party take steps to improve the educational infrastructure, especially in rural areas, and to raise awareness of the importance of education as a human right and a basis for the empowerment of women. It recommends that the State party implement measures to ensure equal access for girls and women to all levels of education and the retention of girls in school, including through temporary special measures in accordance with article 4, paragraph 1, of the Convention and the Committee’s general recommendation No. 25. It urges the State party to ensure zero tolerance with respect to sexual abuse and harassment in schools and that perpetrators are punished appropriately, and to strengthen its policy on the readmission to school of pregnant girls and young mothers. It encourages the State party to take steps to overcome traditional attitudes that constitute obstacles to girls’ and women’s education, and to remove from educational curricula stereotypes that discriminate against women. The Committee calls on the State party to make strong efforts to improve the literacy level of girls and women through the adoption of comprehensive programmes at the formal and non-formal levels, and through adult education and training.”

(3 February 2006, CEDAW/C/MWI/CO/5, Concluding observations on fifth report, paras. 24, 27, 28 and 31)

“The Committee urges the State party to pursue a holistic approach that aims at providing women and girls with educational and economic alternatives to prostitution, to facilitate the reintegration of prostitutes into society and to provide rehabilitation and economic empowerment programmes to women and girls exploited in prostitution....

“While acknowledging some progress in the area of education, such as the equal representation of female teachers, as orally indicated to the Committee, and the adoption of a 30 per cent-recruitment policy for female students, the Committee is concerned that there is still a gap between males and females in the educational system. The Committee is especially concerned about the extremely high rate of illiteracy among women, in particular rural and elderly women, the high drop-out rate of girls owing to early and forced marriage, pregnancy and girls’ low enrolment rates in higher education.

“The Committee urges the State party to raise awareness of the importance of education as a human right and as a basis for the empowerment of women. It also encourages the State party to take steps to overcome traditional attitudes that constitute obstacles to girls’ education. It recommends that the State party take steps to ensure equal access of girls and young women to all levels of education, to retain girls in school and to strengthen the implementation of re-entry policies so that girls return to school after pregnancy. The Committee recommends that the State party make every effort to improve the literacy level of girls and women, particularly rural and elderly women, through the adoption of comprehensive programmes, in collaboration with civil society, at the formal and non-formal levels and through adult education and training.

“... The Committee is also concerned about the alarming rate of teenage pregnancy and multiple pregnancies, which presents a significant obstacle to girls’ educational opportunities and economic empowerment.”

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Malaysia

(31 May 2006, CEDAW/C/MYS/CO/2, Concluding observations on second report, para. 15 and 16)

“While noting the work of the Ministry of Education in providing guidelines to writers and publishers of school textbooks to eliminate gender stereotypes from school books, the Committee is concerned about the persistence of patriarchal attitudes and deep-rooted stereotypes regarding the roles and responsibilities of women and men in the family and society. These stereotypes present a significant impediment to the implementation of the Convention and are a root cause of the disadvantaged position of women in a number of areas, including in the labour market and in political and public life.

“The Committee calls upon the State party to implement comprehensive measures to bring about change in the widely accepted stereotypical roles of men and women. Such measures should include awareness-raising and educational campaigns addressing women and men, girls and boys, and religious leaders with a view to eliminating stereotypes associated with traditional gender roles in the family and in society, in accordance with articles 2 (f) and 5 (a) of the Convention.”

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Maldives

(2 February 2007, CEDAW/C/MDV/CO/3, Concluding observations on third report, paras. 17, 18, 22, 27 and 28)

“While the Committee welcomes the efforts made to change stereotypes, including awareness-raising and sensitization activities, and other noteworthy developments, such as the inclusion of a gender equality provision in the national media policy, the Committee is concerned about the subordinate and subservient role women and girls continue to play within the family and the deep-rooted, traditional stereotypical attitudes that persist, and which are reflected particularly in women’s professional and educational opportunities and choices and their participation in public and political life.

“The Committee urges the State party to strengthen measures to eradicate negative stereotypes and to carry out training for parliamentarians and decision-makers on the importance of equality of women and men in a democratic society. It also recommends that information on the content of the Convention be disseminated in the educational system, including in the rural (atoll) areas, that school textbooks and teaching materials be reviewed and revised and that human rights education have a gender perspective, with a view to changing existing stereotypical views on and attitudes towards women’s and men’s roles in the family and society and creating an environment that is supportive of the practical realization of the principle of equality of women and men. It recommends that the media continue to be encouraged to project positive images of women and of the equal status and responsibilities of women and men in the private and public spheres.

“The Committee urges the State party to: pursue a holistic approach in order to provide women and girls with educational and economic alternatives to prostitution....

“The Committee is concerned at the gap between males and females in the educational system at the tertiary level. While recognizing that there has been an increase in the number of girls enrolling in traditionally male-dominated fields of study and in tourism and hospitality courses, the Committee is concerned at the persistence of gender segregation in educational fields and its consequences for women’s professional opportunities. It is also concerned by the marked difference in the quality of education in urban and rural (atolls) areas and the greater negative impact of the disparity on girls due to a lack of appropriate boarding facilities on islands other than their home island. The Committee is further concerned that pregnant girls are suspended from school and may not resume their studies after giving birth.

“The Committee urges the State party to strengthen proactive measures for women’s access to tertiary levels of education, particularly for rural women, including temporary special measures in accordance with article 4, paragraph 1, of the Convention and the Committee’s general recommendation 25 and to actively encourage the diversification of educational and professional choices for women and men. It further urges the State party to implement measures to support pregnant girls and raise awareness in secondary schools about teenage pregnancy prevention. The Committee encourages the State party to monitor and regularly assess the impact of such policies and programmes in relation to the full implementation of article 10 of the Convention.”

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Mali

(3 February 2006, CEDAW/C/MLI/CO/5, Concluding observations on fifth report, paras. 7, 27 and 28)

“The Committee commends the State party for the significant increase in the enrolment of girls in primary schools, from 19 per cent in 1990 to 59.9 per cent in 2004.

“While acknowledging the significant progress in the area of education, the Committee is concerned that there is still a gap between males and females in the educational system and by the low rate of female literacy. The Committee is also concerned that the success rate for girls is lower than it is for boys, that girls are more likely to drop out due to early pregnancies and that only a small proportion of teachers are women. The Committee notes that education is a key to the advancement of women and that the low level of education of women and girls remains one of the most serious obstacles to their full enjoyment of their human rights.

“The Committee urges the State party to raise awareness about the importance of education as a fundamental human right and as a basis for the empowerment of women and to take steps to overcome traditional attitudes that constitute obstacles in this area. It also recommends that the State party prioritize efforts to improve the literacy level of girls and women and ensure equal access of girls and young women to all levels of education. The Committee further urges the State party to take measures to increase the enrolment of girls at all levels and recommends the introduction of further temporary special measures, in accordance with general recommendation 25, including incentives for parents to send girls to school.”

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Mauritania

(11 June 2007, CEDAW/C/MRT/CO/1, Concluding observations on initial report, paras. 32, 35, 36 and 39)

“The Committee ... requests the State party to place priority on enhancing practical measures for the protection of girls employed as domestic servants from all forms of exploitation and abuse and to ensure that they can exercise their right to education....

“While acknowledging some progress in the area of education, the Committee is especially concerned about the high rate of illiteracy among women, which clearly demonstrates patterns of indirect discrimination under article 10. It is also concerned about the high dropout rate of girls from schools, including for such reasons as pregnancy and early and forced marriage.

“The Committee urges the State party to raise awareness of the importance of education as a human right and as a basis for the empowerment of women, and to take steps to overcome traditional attitudes that perpetuate discrimination and lack of compliance with the provisions of article 10 of the Convention. It recommends that the State party implement measures to ensure equal access for girls and women to all levels of education and to ensure the retention of girls in school, including through temporary special measures in accordance with article 4, paragraph 1, of the Convention and the Committee’s general recommendation 25. The Committee calls on the State party to make every effort to improve the literacy level of girls and women through the adoption of comprehensive programmes of formal and non-formal education, and through adult education and training. It requests the State party to implement specific measures to enable girls to complete their schooling after childbirth and to combat early and forced marriage as obstacles to their education. It encourages the State party to strengthen collaboration with civil society and to seek enhanced support from the international community and donor organizations to accelerate compliance with article 10 of the Convention.

“... The Committee is also concerned about the alarming rate of teenage pregnancy, which presents a significant obstacle to girls’ educational opportunities and economic empowerment....”

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Mauritius

(25 August 2006, CEDAW/C/MAR/CO/5, Concluding observations on fifth report, paras. 17, 21, 24, 25 and 30)

“The Committee calls upon the State party to intensify its efforts to bring about change in the widely accepted stereotypical roles of men and women. Such efforts should include comprehensive awareness-raising and educational campaigns that address women and men and girls and boys, with a view to eliminating the stereotypes associated with traditional gender roles in the family and in society, in accordance with articles 2 (f) and 5 (a) of the Convention. The Committee recommends that the State party strengthen its work on non-sexist advertising, gender-neutral job classifications, sensitization of educators and removal of stereotypes in textbooks. The Committee urges the State party to monitor carefully the impact of these measures and to report on the results achieved in its next periodic report.

“... The Committee urges the State party to pursue a comprehensive approach in addressing the question of prostitution, including legislation to sanction the demand side of prostitution, and in particular to provide women and girls with educational and economic alternatives to prostitution, including economic empowerment programmes for women....

“... The Committee is also concerned about the inherent discrimination in the traditional choice of subjects offered to girls and boys in schools that are not co-educational schools and its consequences for women’s professional opportunities.

“... The Committee urges the State party to ensure that schools for girls are provided with the same facilities and resources as schools for boys. It encourages the State party to study the impact of measures taken so as to ensure achievement of identified targets.

“The Committee is concerned about the rising incidence of teenage pregnancy and its implications for the health and education of girls....”

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Morocco

(8 April 2008, CEDAW/C/MAW/CO/4, Concluding observations on fourth report, paras. 26, 27, 44 and 45)

“While noting the State party’s national strategy on education and the progress made in that field, the Committee notes with concern the continuing high level of illiteracy of women and girls, in particular in rural areas, which demonstrates patterns of indirect discrimination under article 10 of the Convention. It is also concerned about the high dropout rate of girls from schools and the difficulty faced by girls who are domestic workers to attend school.

“The Committee recommends that the State party implement measures to ensure access to girls and women to all levels of education. Such measures could include canteens, boarding facilities, proper sanitation, water and electricity, which have a direct impact on the realization of their right to education, especially in rural areas. The Committee also recommends the State party to adopt temporary special measures in accordance with article 4, paragraph 1, of the Convention and the Committee’s general recommendation 25, to ensure the retention of girls in school. The Committee calls on the State party to continue to strengthen its efforts to improve the literacy level of girls and women through the adoption of comprehensive programmes of formal and non-formal education, adult education and training and increase training and employment of teachers, the development of gender-sensitive educational materials and the monitoring and evaluation of progress achieved towards time-bound targets. The Committee recommends that special attention be given to girls who are domestic workers, in order to ensure that they are not employed below the age of 15, allowing them to continue their education, at least until that age. The Committee urges the State party to raise general awareness of the importance of education as a human right and as a basis for the empowerment of women, and to take steps to overcome traditional attitudes that perpetuate discrimination.

“The Committee is concerned at the situation of migrants, refugees and asylum-seekers in the State party, as this phenomenon has increased with Morocco becoming also a country of destination and not only of origin and transit of migrants. The Committee is particularly concerned of their access to the labour market, health, education and social services, especially in the case of women and girls, as well as with their exposure to violence, including sexual violence.

“The Committee calls upon the State party to continue to strengthen its cooperation with UNHCR and adopt a national refugee legislation, in compliance with the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and its Protocol. The Committee recommends that the State party allow refugees and asylum-seekers to access public services, provide work permits for those refugees and asylum-seekers who are documented, and ensure their right to security, especially for women and children.”

(2003, A/58/38, Concluding observations on second report, paras. 170, 171, 176 and 177)

“While noting the efforts made by the State party to set concrete targets and develop a national strategy on education, the Committee notes with concern the continuing high levels of illiteracy of women and girls, in particular in rural areas.

“The Committee calls upon the State party to develop gender-sensitive measures to eradicate female illiteracy, in particular in rural areas, and to strengthen measures to create an environment that increases the enrolment and retention rates of girls in schools at all levels, through increased training and employment of teachers, the development of gender-sensitive educational materials and the monitoring and evaluation of progress achieved towards time-bound targets.

“The Committee notes that, although they constitute a large proportion of the population, rural women and girls continue to be marginalized in their access to government services.

“The Committee urges the State party to take special measures to ensure that the needs and concerns of rural women are fully integrated in the formulation and implementation of all sectoral policies and programmes and to ensure that rural women and girls have full access to education and health-care facilities.”

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Mozambique

(11 June 2007, CEDAW/C/MOZ/CO/2, Concluding observations on second report, paras. 20, 21, 30 and 31)

“The Committee expresses a general concern about the persistence of discriminatory stereotypes and cultural practices and traditions of a patriarchal nature relating to the roles and responsibilities of women and men in the family and in society, as they constitute serious obstacles to women’s educational and professional prospects and the enjoyment of their human rights and contribute to the persistence of violence against women.

“The Committee urges the State party to view culture as a dynamic aspect of the country’s social fabric and life, which is therefore subject to change, and encourages the State party to adopt a comprehensive strategy to promote cultural change and eliminate discriminatory stereotypes with respect to the roles of women and men, in line with its obligations under articles 2 (f) and 5 (a) of the Convention. The Committee recommends that such a strategy include educational and awareness-raising programmes targeting women and men at all levels of society, that it be undertaken in collaboration with civil society and women’s organizations and that it aim for the creation of a favourable environment for positive cultural change.

“While the Committee recognizes the State party’s efforts to expand girls’ access to education, in particular the measures taken and results achieved at the primary level, the Committee is concerned about their low levels of participation at the secondary and tertiary levels and in technical streams, as well as about their high failure and drop-out rates. The Committee also expresses concern at the current conditions that impede girls’ access to education at all levels, including poverty, a dispersed network of schools, domestic responsibilities of girls, early marriage and early pregnancy. The Committee is further concerned about information received indicating that pregnant girls are transferred to night schools, thus creating further difficulties with respect to attendance, owing to security reasons.

“The Committee urges the State party to reinforce and invest further resources in programmes addressing obstacles to girls’ and young women’s equal educational participation at the secondary and tertiary levels. The Committee also encourages the State party to actively encourage diversification of educational and professional choices and opportunities for women. The Committee recommends that measures be taken to identify and address the causes leading to the high failure and drop-out rates for girls; it further recommends that pregnant girls be supported and encouraged to continue their education.”

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Myanmar

(7 November 2008, CEDAW/C/MMR/CO/3, Concluding observations on second/third report, paras. 34, 35, 42 and 43)

“While noting the adoption of the 30-Year Long-Term Education Plan (2001-2031), the Committee is concerned at the lack of information on the specific budgetary allocations for the education sector, including the implementation of the Plan. The Committee is concerned at the lack of a comparative analysis of education enrolment rates, dropout rates and literacy rates by sex, ethnic group and/or religion as well as at the state/division level. It also expresses its concern at the inadequate educational infrastructure and teaching materials, the limited number of qualified teachers and the marked difference in the quality of and access to education between urban and rural or remote areas, including conflict-affected areas. The Committee is further concerned about traditional attitudes that constitute obstacles to girls’ education, as well as about girls’ dropout rates due to their involvement in domestic chores. The Committee notes that education is a key to the advancement of women and that the low level of education of women and girls remains one of the most serious obstacles to their full enjoyment of their human rights. The Committee notes with concern that, while a curriculum for human rights education does exist, it reportedly refers to ‘human opportunities’ rather than ‘human rights’ and that the curriculum is not implemented in all schools.

“The Committee urges the State party to enhance its compliance with article 10 of the Convention and ensure that ‘education for all’ is realized. It encourages the State party to take steps to overcome traditional attitudes that in some rural areas constitute obstacles to girls’ and women’s education. The Committee recommends that the State party implement measures to ensure equal access of girls and women to all levels of education and retain girls in school. The State party should take the necessary steps to increase the number of qualified teachers, including through providing appropriate and continuous training, and to ensure the provision of an adequate educational infrastructure, especially in rural and remote areas, and sufficient supplies of teaching materials and textbooks that are not sex-discriminatory. The Committee urges the State party to allocate the necessary budget for the implementation of various projects and programmes. It also requests the State party to provide information in its next report on the measures taken and on their gender impact. It also calls upon the State party to review and improve its statistics in the area of education and to carry out human rights education in all schools.

“The Committee expresses its deep concern at reports that Muslim women and girls in northern Rakhine State endure multiple restrictions and forms of discrimination which have an impact on all aspects of their lives.... The Committee is also concerned that the population in northern Rakhine State, in addition to being subject to policies imposed by the authorities, maintains highly conservative traditions and a restrictive interpretation of religious norms, which contribute to the suppression of women’s and girls’ rights.

“The Committee urges the State party to urgently eliminate all forms of violence and discrimination against women in northern Rakhine State.... The State party should also take effective measures to improve their access to primary health care and basic education....”

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Namibia

(2 February 2007, CEDAW/C/NAM/CO/3, Concluding observations on third report, paras. 22 and 23)

“ The Committee expresses concern about the high dropout rates of girls from formal education. The Committee is also concerned that the provision contained in the Policy on Pregnancy among Learners requiring that girls who become pregnant should be allowed to return to normal schooling only after spending at least one year with the baby could act as a deterrent for girls to resume their studies after childbirth. The Committee regrets that insufficient statistical data and information were provided on girls’ education.

“The Committee recommends that the State party implement measures to retain girls in school and monitor the impact of the Policy on Pregnancy among Learners on the rate at which girls return to school after childbirth. The Committee requests that the State party give high priority to the implementation of its programme on population and family life education. The Committee calls on the State party to include, in its next report, statistical data disaggregated by sex, ethnicity and region, as well as information on girls’ education, providing analysis of trends over time and progress towards the achievement of goals.”

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Nepal

(2004, CEDAW/C/NPL/CO/3, Concluding observations on second/third report, paras. 204 and 205)

“While recognizing that education is a national priority of the State party and that substantial progress has been made, including a decline in the overall illiteracy rate, the Committee is concerned about the continuing significant gap between the literacy rates of women and men. It is concerned about the low female enrolment in primary and secondary schools, high dropout rates and the very limited access for women to tertiary education. The Committee is also concerned that educational opportunities are fewer for women in rural areas and for women of different castes and ethnic groups.

“The Committee urges the State party to intensify its efforts to address the literacy gap between men and women so that the goals established in the National Plan on Education in regard to equality in education can be achieved, particularly in rural areas and among disadvantaged castes and ethnic groups. The Committee also recommends that the State party strengthen its efforts to ensure equal access of girls and women to all levels of education and to take all appropriate measures to prevent girls from dropping out of school. The Committee calls on the State party to allocate more financial and human resources to the education sector, to recruit more women teachers and to ensure that school textbooks do not carry stereotyped images of women.”

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Netherlands

“Despite the measures taken by the Netherlands, the Committee notes the persistence of segregation in the field of education, particularly in vocational training and higher education, as well as stereotyped educational choices....

“The Committee encourages the State party to develop comprehensive measures aimed at the diversification of women’s academic and professional choices.... The Committee further urges the Netherlands to expand gender mainstreaming in all levels of the school system, including in the lifelong learning policy, and to ensure full access for all women throughout their lives.”

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New Zealand

(10 August 2007, CEDAW/C/NZL/CO/6, Concluding observations on sixth report, paras. 32 and 33)

“While the Committee commends the State party for its efforts to increase access to free education, the Committee is concerned about the access to education of low-income children and children living in rural areas. In particular, the Committee is concerned about information received that indicates that many schools are pressuring parents to make ‘donations’ to the schools, often without adequately informing parents that such payments are voluntary. The Committee is concerned about the burden this places on low-income and single-parent families, and the disparate impact of these practices on women, who as a whole earn less than men and are more likely to be single parents.

“The Committee urges the State party to fund schools adequately and take measures to ensure that children from low-income families and families living in rural areas are not discriminated against in the provision of education. The Committee recommends that the State party undertake efforts to clarify and publicize the voluntary nature of payments requested by schools and monitor schools’ practices regarding the collection of fees from parents. The Committee also encourages the State party to raise awareness of the importance of education as a fundamental human right and as a basis for the empowerment of women.”

(2003, A/58/38, Concluding observations on fifth report, paras. 425 and 426)

“Taking note of the efforts made by the State party to combat discrimination against refugee and migrant women in New Zealand, the Committee expresses concern at the continuing discrimination suffered by immigrant, refugee and minority women and girls, based on their ethnic background, particularly with respect to education, health, employment, violence against women, and in regard to permanent residence status.

“The Committee urges the State party to take effective measures to eliminate discrimination against refugee, migrant and minority women and girls, and to strengthen its efforts to combat xenophobia and racism in New Zealand. It also encourages the State party to be more proactive in its measures to prevent discrimination against these women and girls within their communities and in society at large, to combat violence against them and to increase their awareness of the availability of social services and legal remedies, and to provide for their needs with respect to education, employment and health care. It also recommends that the State party provide in its next report more specific and analytical information and disaggregated data on these issues.”

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Nicaragua

(2 February 2007, CEDAW/C/NIC/CO/6, Concluding observations on sixth report, paras. 25 and 26)

“The Committee regrets the lack of information about results achieved in the implementation of the first part of the national education plan, 2001-2015, and of data disaggregated by sex in the area of education, which makes it difficult to assess progress made over time towards the full implementation of article 10 of the Convention.

“The Committee encourages the State party to strengthen its monitoring of progress, for women and girls, in the implementation of its educational policies and programmes. It recommends that the State party take steps to ensure equal access for girls and young women to all levels of education, and to retain girls in school. The Committee recommends that the State party make every effort to improve the literacy level of girls and women, particularly poor, rural, indigenous and Afro-descendent women, including through adequate resourcing of comprehensive programmes at the formal and non-formal levels and through adult education and training, and invites the State party, as necessary, to seek international assistance for the development and monitoring of such efforts. It requests the State to include in its next periodic report information, including data disaggregated by sex and trends over time, on girls’ and women’s education and on the impact of measures taken in this field.”

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Niger

(11 June 2007, CEDAW/C/NER/CO/2, Concluding observations on second report, paras. 29 and 30)

“While acknowledging the efforts by the State party aimed at increasing the enrolment of girls in school, the Committee is concerned about the continuing low school enrolment rates for girls and the even lower enrolment rates for girls in higher education. It is concerned about the high illiteracy rates among women. It is also concerned about persistent stereotypes found in school curricula and textbooks.

“The Committee urges the State party to raise awareness about the importance of education as a human right and as a basis for the empowerment of women, and to take steps to overcome traditional attitudes and stereotypes that perpetuate lack of compliance with the provisions of article 10 of the Convention. It recommends that the State party implement measures to ensure equal access for girls and women to all levels of education and retention of girls in school, including through temporary special measures in accordance with article 4, paragraph 1, of the Convention and the Committee’s general recommendation No. 25. The Committee calls on the State party to make every effort to improve the literacy level of girls and women, including those from rural areas, through the adoption of comprehensive programmes of formal and non-formal education and through adult education and training. It urges the State party to address effectively the obstacles that prevent girls from enrolling in and completing their education, such as early and forced marriage. It requests the State party to revise educational curricula and textbooks to eliminate gender stereotypes. It encourages the State party to strengthen collaboration with civil society and seek enhanced support from the international community and donor organizations to accelerate compliance with article 10 of the Convention.”

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Nigeria

(2004, CEDAW/C/NGA/CO/5, Concluding observations on fourth/fifth report, paras. 303 and 304)

“The Committee expresses concern at the low enrolment rates and educational achievement of girls and women, the continuing high rates of illiteracy of women and girls, in particular in rural areas, and the decline in the quality of education.

“The Committee urges the State party to ensure full implementation of its Universal Basic Education Policy, launched in 1999, and the educational objectives contained in the National Policy on Women, including with the support of the international community. It calls on the State party to further prioritize action in the field of girls’ and women’s education and to raise awareness about the importance of education as a fundamental human right and the basis for the empowerment of women. It urges that targeted measures with a concrete time frame be taken, in accordance with general recommendation 25, to increase the literacy level of girls and women, in particular in rural areas, to ensure equal access of girls and young women to all levels of education, to prevent girls from dropping out of school, in particular because of early pregnancy, and to overcome traditional attitudes that constitute obstacles to girls’ education. It also encourages the State party to ensure the accessibility of schools to all children, particularly girls, to create further incentives for parents to send girls to school and to step up the recruitment of qualified women teachers at all levels of education.”

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Norway

(10 August 2007, CEDAW/C/NOR/CO/7, Concluding observations on seventh report, paras. 17 and 18)

“While welcoming the State party’s innovative activities to address the social conduct of women and men and related stereotypes, such as the design and use of programmes for teaching and discussion and a joint research project of the Nordic countries to promote an understanding among youth of gender equality issues, the Committee is concerned that stereotypical cultural attitudes persist. These stereotypes are reflected in particular in women’s position in the labour market, where they predominate in part-time work, and in their educational choices, particularly in higher education.

“The Committee recommends that the State party take additional measures to eliminate traditional stereotypical attitudes, including through sensitization and training of educators and school counsellors and sustained awareness-raising campaigns directed at both women and men, and at young people. Considering the important role of the media in regard to cultural change, the Committee recommends again that the State party encourage the media to project a positive image of women and of the equal status and responsibilities of women and men in the private and public spheres.”

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Pakistan

(11 June 2007, CEDAW/C/PAK/CO/3, Concluding observations on third report, paras. 36 and 37)

“The Committee is concerned about the high illiteracy rate of women, the low enrolment of girls in schools and their high dropout rate, especially in rural areas. The Committee is further concerned at the persistence of gender-based segregation in educational fields and its consequences for women’s professional opportunities. The Committee is also concerned about the persistence of stereotypes in school curricula and textbooks.

“The Committee calls upon the State party to place high priority on the reduction of the illiteracy rate of women, in particular those who are from rural areas. The Committee urges the State party to enhance its compliance with article 10 of the Convention and to raise awareness of the importance of education as a human right and a basis for the empowerment of women. It encourages the State party to take steps to overcome traditional attitudes that constitute obstacles to girls’ and women’s education and recommends that the State party implement measures to ensure equal access of girls and women to all levels of education and the retaining of girls in school. It further recommends that women be actively encouraged to diversify educational and professional choices. It requests the State party to undertake a comprehensive review of educational curricula and textbooks to eliminate gender stereotypes and to introduce gender sensitization training for teachers.”

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Panama

(5 February 2010, CEDAW/C/PAN/CO/7 Advance Unedited Version, Concluding observations on fourth to seventh report, paras. 36 and 37)

“The Committee is concerned at the large number of girls who drop out of school due to early pregnancies and at the lack of surveys or studies assessing the main causes of these phenomena. It also regrets that although there is legal provision (Law No. 29) mandating continuation of education for girls during and after pregnancy, there is no effective mechanism in place to ensure compliance.

“The Committee recommends that the State party carry out studies or surveys to analyze the main causes of early pregnancies in the country. It also recommends the implementation of programs or plans which promote the continuation of studies for girls who become pregnant. It also recommends that a strategy for monitoring compliance with Law No. 29 be implemented in the short-term and thereby facilitate the completion of schooling by pregnant girls.”

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Paraguay

(15 February 2005, CEDAW/C/PAR/CC/3-5, Concluding observations on third/fourth/fifth report, paras. 26, 27, 36 and 37)

“The Committee expresses concern that the minimum legal age of marriage is 16 years for both girls and boys and that such a low legal age of marriage may prevent girls from continuing their education and lead them to drop out of school early.

“The Committee encourages the State party to take measures towards raising the minimum legal age of marriage for girls and boys with a view to bringing it into line with article 1 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which defines a child as anyone under the age of 18 years, and with article 16, paragraph 2, of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.

“The Committee is concerned about the poor conditions of indigenous women, including monolingual Guaraní women, reflected in their high illiteracy rates, which surpass the national average, low school enrolment rates, poor access to health care and significant levels of poverty that lead them to migrate to urban centres where they are even more vulnerable to suffer from multiple forms of discrimination.

“The Committee urges the State party to ensure that all policies and programmes explicitly address the high illiteracy rates and the needs of indigenous women, including monolingual Guaraní women, and to actively seek their participation in the formulation and implementation of sectoral policies and programmes. It recommends that the State party strengthen its efforts to implement bilingual educational programmes at all levels of education and to ensure indigenous women’s access to education and health care. The Committee also encourages the State party to adopt temporary special measures in accordance with article 4, paragraph 1, of the convention and the Committee’s general recommendation 25, on temporary special measures, to accelerate such access for indigenous women. The Committee recommends that the State party strengthen its programmes of dissemination, education and training on the Convention and its Optional Protocol for indigenous women, including monolingual Guaraní women.”

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Peru

(2 February 2007, CEDAW/C/PER/CO/6, Concluding observations on sixth report, paras. 24, 26, 27, 34 and 35)

“The Committee expresses its concern about the inadequate recognition and protection of the reproductive health and rights of women in the State party. It is particularly concerned about the high rate of teenage pregnancies, which presents a significant obstacle to girls’ educational opportunities and economic empowerment, and about the limited availability of emergency contraceptives, particularly in the rural areas....

“The Committee is concerned about the low education level of girls, particularly their levels of illiteracy, truancy and school drop-out rates. It is particularly concerned about the education of rural girls who continue to face significant disadvantages in access to and quality of education, as well as in years of formal schooling, a situation that results in rural women’s increased functional illiteracy.

“The Committee urges the State party to immediately take all appropriate measures, including temporary special measures in accordance with article 4, paragraph 1, of the Convention and the Committee’s general recommendation 25 on temporary special measures, to reduce the illiteracy rate of women and to provide education, both formal and informal, to women, especially in rural areas. The Committee also recommends that efforts to ensure implementation of free and compulsory primary education at the national level be strengthened.

“The Committee expresses concern that the minimum legal age of marriage is 16 years for both girls and boys and that such a low legal age of marriage may prevent girls from continuing their education, lead them to drop out of school early and may result in difficulties in their achievement of economic autonomy and empowerment.

“The Committee urges the State party to take measures towards raising the minimum legal age of marriage for girls and boys to 18 years with a view to bringing it into line with article 1 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and with article 16, paragraph 2, of the Convention and the Committee’s general recommendation 21 on equality in marriage and family relations.”

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Philippines

(25 August 2006, CEDAW/C/PHI/CO/6, Concluding observations on sixth report, paras. 20, 27 and 30)

“The Committee ... urges the State party to pursue a holistic approach aimed at addressing the root causes of trafficking and improving prevention. Such efforts should include measures to improve the economic situation of women and girls and to provide them with educational and economic opportunities, thereby reducing and eliminating their vulnerability to exploitation and traffickers....

“The Committee ... is concerned at the high rate of teenage pregnancies, which present a significant obstacle to girls’ educational opportunities and economic empowerment.

“The Committee ... encourages the State party to provide increased educational opportunities to Muslim girls to discourage early marriages....”

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Poland

(2 February 2007, CEDAW/C/POL/CO/6, Concluding observations on sixth report, para. 29)

“The Committee requests the State party to collect quantitative and qualitative information on the situation of disadvantaged groups of women and girls in Poland. It calls upon the State party to ensure that their special needs in areas such as education, health care and protection from violence are met, and to support their integration into Polish society.”

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Portugal

(7 November 2008, CEDAW/C/PRT/CO/7, Draft concluding observations on sixth/seventh report, paras. 48 and 49)

“The Committee is concerned at the high rate of illiteracy and the low level of formal education among rural women. It is particularly concerned that only 0.2 per cent of women farmers have formal vocational training in agriculture and only 0.3 per cent a polytechnic or university degree in this field.

“The Committee calls upon the State party to continue its efforts to strengthen rural women’s and girls’ access to education and formal vocational training and to encourage them to pursue their education after primary school....”

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Republic of Congo

(2003, A/58/38, Concluding observations on initial/second/third/fourth/fifth report, paras. 170 and 171)

“The Committee is concerned at the low rate of female literacy, the low number of girls who complete primary education in both the urban and rural areas, and the high drop-out rate of girls due to, inter alia, pregnancies and early marriage.

“The Committee urges the State party to strengthen its efforts to improve the literacy level of girls and women to ensure equal access of girls and women to all levels of education and to take all appropriate measures to prevent girls from dropping out of school. The Committee further urges the State party to encourage an increase in the enrolment of girls at all levels and recommends that such efforts include further use of temporary special measures, in accordance with article 4, paragraph 1, of the Convention.”

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Republic of Korea

(10 August 2007, CEDAW/C/KOR/CO/6, Concluding observations on sixth report, para. 26)

“The Committee calls upon the State party to take sustained and systematic measures to overcome persistent and deep-rooted stereotypes that are discriminatory to women... The Committee calls on the State party to further encourage diversification of the educational choices of boys and girls, bearing in mind their subsequent opportunities and chances in the labour market....”

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Republic of Moldova

(25 August 2006, CEDAW/C/MDA/CO/3, Concluding observations on third report, para. 19)

“The Committee urges the State party to disseminate information on the content of the Convention through its educational system by mainstreaming a gender perspective into textbooks and curricula at all levels and by ensuring gender training for teachers, with a view to changing existing stereotypical views and attitudes regarding women’s and men’s roles in the family and society. It also recommends that awareness-raising campaigns be addressed to both women and men and that the media be encouraged to project positive images of women and of the equal status and responsibilities of women and men in the private and public spheres.”

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Romania

(2 June 2006, CEDAW/C/ROM/CO/6, Concluding observations on sixth report, paras. 26 and 27)

“The Committee is concerned at the situation of Roma women and girls who face multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination based on sex, ethnic or cultural background and socio-economic status. The Committee notes with concern that Roma women and girls remain in a vulnerable and marginalized situation, in particular with regard to access to education, health, housing, employment, official identity documents and participation in political and public life. While noting efforts such as ‘The Second Chance’ Programme and the school mediator and the health mediator schemes, the Committee is particularly concerned about the gaps in Roma women’s formal education, their high rates of illiteracy, and the high rate of school dropouts among Roma girls.

“... The Committee urges the State party to take concrete measures to overcome stereotypical attitudes towards Roma people, and in particular Roma women and girls. It also recommends the expansion of ‘The Second Chance’ Programme to all counties of Romania, and to increase the number and role of school and health mediators. ... The Committee recommends that the State party collect and make available statistical information pertaining to education, health, employment and the social, economic and political status of Roma women and girls with a view to further developing specific policies to respond to their needs. The Committee requests the State party to report on the results achieved in its next periodic report.”

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Rwanda

(8 September 2009, CEDAW/C/RWA/CO/6, Concluding observations on fourth to sixth report, paras. 31 and 32)

“While appreciating the State party’s efforts in reducing female illiteracy, achieving parity in primary education, and introducing free and compulsory nine year public school education, the Committee is concerned at the low enrolment rate of girls in secondary and higher education and at the high dropout rate of girls. The Committee is further concerned that traditional attitudes and early pregnancies are among the causes of girls dropping out of education and that pregnant girls who leave school as a result of the measure of suspension encounter difficulties in resuming their studies. It is also concerned about the low number of female teachers, especially in secondary and higher education and in leadership positions.

“The Committee recommends that the State party take steps to ensure de facto equal access of girls and young women to all levels of education, overcome traditional attitudes hampering women and girls from fully enjoying their right to education, retain girls in schools and implement re-entry policies enabling young women to return to school after pregnancy. The Committee further urges the State party to take measures to increase the enrolment of girls at all levels, and recommends the introduction of temporary special measures, in accordance with its general recommendation No. 25. It also encourages the State party to take measures to increase the number of female teachers, especially at secondary and university levels and in leadership positions.”

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S

Samoa

(15 February 2005, CEDAW/C/WSM/CC/1-3, Concluding observations on initial/second/third report, para. 17)

“The Committee commends the State party on making primary education compulsory and on the progress made in implementing article 10 of the Convention, in regard to the education of girls and women at all levels. The Committee also commends the State party for the very high rate of female literacy.”

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Saudi Arabia

(8 April 2008, CEDAW/C/SAU/CO/2, Concluding observations on second report, paras. 23, 24, 29 and 30)

“The Committee ... expresses concern with regard to the rights of the children of [domestic migrant workers], in particular in relation to residency and access to health services and education....

“The Committee urges the State party to provide full details on the situation of non-Saudi women, in particular domestic workers, in its next report and on their enjoyment of the rights established by the Convention. It calls upon the State party to grant in law and practice female domestic migrant workers, including their children, the rights provided for in the Convention and to implement measures aimed at informing them about these rights....

“While acknowledging the significant progress made in the area of women’s education and appreciating the efforts of the State party to revise school curricula to remove stereotyped images of women and men, the Committee is concerned about the high rate of illiteracy among women, which demonstrates a pattern of direct and indirect discrimination under article 10. It is also concerned about the discrimination against women in relation to their access to certain fields of studies. The Committee also expresses concern that the number of women in higher studies is still low compared to their male counterparts. It regrets that the State was not able to provide sufficient information and statistical data regarding the levels of education and access to education by women and girls from rural areas, and non-Saudi nationals.

“The Committee encourages the State party to raise awareness of the importance of education as a human right and as the basis for the empowerment of women. It recommends that the State party implement measures to ensure equal access for girls and women to all levels and fields of education and ensure the retention of girls in school. The Committee calls on the State party to make every effort to improve the literacy level of girls and women through the adoption of comprehensive programmes of formal and non-formal education, and through adult education and training. The Committee requests the State party to provide detailed information and statistics in its next report on the education of women and girls, including those from rural areas, and non-Saudi nationals.”

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Serbia

(11 June 2007, CEDAW/C/SCG/CO/1, Concluding observations on initial report, paras. 19, 20, 29, 30 and 36)

“The Committee is concerned about the persistence of deep-rooted, traditional patriarchal stereotypes regarding the role and responsibilities of women and men in the family and in the wider community, which are major causal factors for violence against women and are reflected in women’s educational choices, their disadvantaged situation in the labour market and their low level of participation in political and public life.

“The Committee calls upon the State party to implement comprehensive measures to initiate change in the widely accepted attitudes and practices subordinating women and the stereotypical roles applied to both sexes. Such measures should include awareness-raising and educational campaigns addressing women and men, girls and boys, religious and community leaders, parents, teachers and officials, in accordance with the obligations under articles 2 (f) and 5 (a) of the Convention. The Committee also recommends that the State party encourage the media to discuss and promote non-stereotypical and positive images of women and promote the value of gender equality to society as a whole.

“The Committee is concerned about the lack of current sex-disaggregated data and information in regard to education, in particular of such information divided by rural and urban areas and ethnicity. It is concerned about the access of women and girls to education, particularly Roma women and girls and other marginalized groups. It is also concerned about illiteracy and the significantly high rates at which women and girls drop out of the educational system.

“The Committee requests the State party to undertake the data collection necessary to establish a clear baseline from which to monitor the de facto realization of women’s and girls’ right to education without discrimination. The Committee recommends that urgent efforts be undertaken to ensure equal access to education for both sexes, at all levels of education. It requests that special attention be paid to achieving equal access for marginalized groups of women and girls, in particular of the Roma minority, with special urgency at the elementary school level. The Committee also recommends that literacy and vocational programmes be provided to Roma women, in particular those who are elderly and illiterate, as well as to other marginalized groups of women in similar situations.

“The Committee urges the State party to enforce the legal minimum age of marriage, which is set at 18, and to undertake awareness-raising measures throughout the country on the negative effects of early marriage on women’s enjoyment of their human rights, especially their rights to health and education.”

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Sierra Leone

(11 June 2007, CEDAW/C/SLE/CO/5, Concluding observations on fifth report, paras. 18, 19, 30 and 31)

“The Committee expresses concern that temporary special measures are neither provided for in law nor used by the State party to accelerate the achievement of de facto equality between women and men in all areas of the Convention, including participation of women in political and public life (articles 7 and 8 of the Convention), education (article 10 of the Convention) and employment in the formal economy (article 11 of the Convention), where the number of women and girls remains unacceptably low.

“The Committee encourages the State party to establish a legislative basis for the use of temporary special measures, either in the Constitution or other appropriate legislation, in accordance with article 4, paragraph 1 of the Convention and the Committee’s general recommendation 25. It draws the State party’s attention to the fact that such measures are part of a necessary strategy towards the accelerated achievement of substantive equality for women in all areas covered by the Convention. It urges the State party to establish concrete goals, such as quotas and timetables to accelerate achievement of substantive equality between women and men for each area.

“The Committee is concerned about the highly negative impact of the war on the educational infrastructure, which constitutes particular obstacles for the education of girls and young women. The Committee is especially concerned about the high rate of illiteracy, which in 2004 stood at 71 per cent for girls and women in Sierra Leone, and which clearly demonstrates patterns of discrimination under article 10. The Committee notes that education is a key to the advancement of women and that the low level of education of girls and women remains among the most serious impediments to their full enjoyment of human rights and the achievement of women’s empowerment. It is also concerned about the high school dropout rate of girls, including for such reasons as pregnancy and early and forced marriage.

“The Committee recommends that the State party take steps to improve the educational infrastructure, especially in the rural areas, and to raise awareness of the importance of education as a human right and a basis for the empowerment of women. It recommends that the State party implement measures to ensure equal access for girls and women to all levels of education and retention of girls in school, including through temporary special measures in accordance with article 4, paragraph 1, of the Convention and the Committee’s general recommendation 25. It encourages the State party to take steps to overcome traditional attitudes that constitute obstacles to girls’ and women’s education. The Committee calls on the State party to make every effort to improve the literacy level of girls and women through the adoption of comprehensive programmes at the formal and non-formal levels, and through adult education and training. It encourages the State party to strengthen collaboration with civil society and to seek enhanced support from the international community and donor organizations to accelerate compliance with article 10 of the Convention.”

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Slovakia

(18 July 2008, CEDAW/C/SVK/CO/4 Advanced Unedited Version, Concluding observations on third/fourth report, paras. 18, 19, 22 and 23)

“... The Committee also expresses concern at the persistence of gender stereotypes prevailing in school text books, which is a root cause of the traditional academic choices of boys and girls....

“The Committee urges the State party to design and implement comprehensive programmes in the educational system and to encourage the mass media to promote cultural changes with regard to the roles and responsibilities attributed to women and men, as required by article 5 of the Convention. It recommends that policies be developed and programmes implemented to ensure the eradication of traditional sex role stereotypes in the family, labour market, the health sector, academia, politics and society at large. The Committee also calls on the State party to complete the review of school text books in order to remove gender stereotypes and promote egalitarian views of women’s and men’s roles in the family and in society....

“While acknowledging the measures taken by the State party under the Decade of Roma inclusion 2005–2015, the Committee is concerned that Roma women and girls remain in vulnerable and marginalized situations, especially with regard to health, education, employment and participation in public life, and are victims of multiple discrimination.

“The Committee urges the State party take effective measures, including temporary special measures in accordance with article 4, paragraph 1, of the Convention and General Recommendation 25 of the Committee, to eliminate the multiple forms of discrimination against Roma women and girls and enhance respect for their human rights. It also calls on the State party to accelerate achievement of Roma women’s de facto equality by strengthening the coordination among all agencies working on Roma, non-discrimination and gender equality issues, particularly in the areas of health, education, employment and participation in public life. The Committee urges the State party to implement targeted measures to eliminate discrimination against Roma women in all areas within specific timetables, to monitor their implementation and achievement of stated goals, including within the Decade of Roma Inclusion 2005-2015, and to take corrective action whenever necessary. The Committee urges the State party to undertake concrete steps to change the traditional perception of Roma by the majority population, including through awareness and sensitization programmes targeting, in particular, those sectors of society where such attitudes are noticeable. It calls upon the State party to provide in its next periodic report a comprehensive picture of the situation of Roma women and girls, including data disaggregated by sex in regard to their educational opportunities and achievements, access to employment and health-care services and participation in public life and decision-making.”

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Slovenia

(7 November 2008, CEDAW/C/SVN/CO/4, Concluding observations on fourth report, paras. 35 and 36)

“While noting the adoption of the Roma Community Act and welcoming achievements made in combating stereotyping of Roma, the Committee is concerned that Roma women and girls remain in a vulnerable situation and subject to discrimination, including with regard to education, health, housing and employment. It is further concerned about the low level of Roma women’s formal education and the school dropout rates among Roma girls.

“The Committee urges the State party to take urgent and concrete measures to address stereotypic attitudes towards Roma women and girls, and accelerate their achievement of de facto equality. The Committee recommends that the State party intensify efforts to promote the access of Roma girls to education and their retention in all levels of education, and to address the high rate of unemployment among Roma women. The Committee recommends that the State party collect and make available statistical information pertaining to the education, health, employment and social, economic and political status of Roma women and girls, with a view to developing further specific policies to respond to their needs. It also requests the State party to include that information in its next periodic report.”

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Spain

(7 August 2009, CEDAW/C/ESP/CO/6, Concluding observations on sixth report, paras. 17, 18, 29 and 30)

“... The Committee notes the lack of information provided by the State party on measures to eliminate such stereotypes that are specifically targeted towards the education system, particularly in curricula and textbooks....

“The Committee calls upon the State party to strengthen its efforts to eliminate stereotypical images and attitudes regarding the roles of women and men in the family and in society, in accordance with articles 2 (f) and 5 (a) of the Convention. This should include ... targeted programmes in the education system, including human rights education and the dissemination of the Convention, the revision of school textbooks and curricula, and the training of teachers....

“... The Committee notes with concern that unofficial data indicate the high illiteracy and school dropout rates of Roma girls, as well as low attendance rates in university....

“... The Committee requests the State party to include in its next report comprehensive information on the situation of Roma women and girls, including data on their education opportunities and achievements....”

(2004, CEDAW/C/ESP/CO/, Concluding observations on fifth report, paras. 346 and 347)

“Despite the progress made by women in education in recent years, the Committee remains concerned about discrimination in this area, in particular about early drop out rates from school of Roma girls.

“The Committee recommends that the State party intensify its efforts to promote the access of Roma girls to education and their retention in the system. It recommends that the State party conduct research into the subject and, on the basis of its findings, provide incentives to Roma parents to encourage them to ensure that their daughters attend school.”

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Sri-Lanka

(2002, A/57/38, Concluding observations on third/fourth report, para. 271)

“The Committee commends the educational achievements and improved literacy rate of women, as well as the curriculum reforms and teacher training programmes to eliminate gender role stereotypes....”

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St Kitts and Nevis

(2002, A/57/38, Concluding observations on initial/second/third/fourth report, para. 89)

“The Committee commends the State party on the progress achieved in the educational sphere, with a larger number of females enrolled, except in the primary schools.”

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St Lucia

(2 June 2006, CEDAW/C/LCA/CO/6, Concluding observations on sixth report, paras. 20, 27 and 28)

“... The Committee urges the State party to pursue a holistic approach in addressing the question of prostitution, and in particular to provide women and girls with educational and economic alternatives to prostitution....

“While the Committee welcomes the State party’s commitment to guarantee universal secondary education as of the academic year 2006/07, it is concerned about girls and women without such education, and the impact of this lack of education on their opportunities in other fields, including the labour market. The Committee is also concerned about the high rate of teenage pregnancy, the impact on girls’ educational opportunities and economic empowerment, and the lack of proactive measures to ensure that teenage mothers stay in, or return to school. It is also concerned that insufficient efforts are made to encourage girls and young women to enter traditionally male-dominated fields of study.

“The Committee calls on the State party to implement measures to ensure equal access of girls and women to all levels of education, in accordance with article 10 of the Convention. It calls on the State party to put in place measures, including monitoring mechanisms and sanctions, to ensure that pregnant students stay in and return to school during and after pregnancy. The Committee calls on the State party to provide incentives for young women to enter traditionally male-dominated fields of study, and encourages the State party to develop non-stereotyped educational curricula that address structural causes of discrimination against women and enhance educational opportunities and achievement for girls and boys at all levels.”

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Suriname

(2 February 2007, CEDAW/C/SUR/CO/3, Concluding observations on third report, paras. 17, 18 and 22)

“The Committee continues to be concerned about the persistence of patriarchal attitudes and deep-rooted stereotypes regarding the roles and responsibilities of women and men in the family and in society in Suriname, which are reflected in women’s educational choices, their situation in the labour market and their low level of participation in political and public life. The Committee is concerned about persistent stereotypes found in school textbooks and curricula.

“The Committee requests the State party to enhance the training of teaching staff in regard to gender equality issues and to revise educational textbooks and curricula to eliminate gender-role stereotypes. The Committee urges the State party to disseminate information on the Convention through the educational system, including human rights education and gender-sensitivity training, so as to change existing stereotypical views and attitudes about women’s and men’s roles. The Committee calls upon the State party to further encourage diversification of the educational choices of boys and girls. It also urges the State party to encourage a public dialogue on the educational choices girls and women make and their subsequent opportunities and chances in the labour market. It recommends that awareness-raising campaigns be addressed to both women and men and that the media be encouraged to project positive images of women and of the equal status and responsibilities of women and men in the private and public spheres.

“... The Committee urges the State party to pursue a holistic approach in addressing the question of prostitution and, in particular, to provide women and girls with education and economic alternatives to prostitution....”

(2002, A/57/38, Concluding observations on initial/second report, paras. 57 and 58)

“The Committee is concerned that, in some educational institutions, teenage mothers are not always readmitted to junior secondary schools because of the perception that ‘the young mothers would have a negative influence on other girls’, while teenage fathers are not prevented from attending schools.

“The Committee requests the State party to include age-appropriate sex education in school curricula and to conduct awareness campaigns so as to prevent teenage pregnancies. The Committee requests the State party to include information on the impact of programmes to prevent teenage pregnancy in its next periodic report. The Committee also urges the State party to adopt the necessary legal or administrative measures to prohibit schools from barring young mothers and pregnant teenagers.”

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Switzerland

(7 August 2009, CEDAW/CHE/CO/3, Concluding observations on third report, paras. 25, 26, 35 and 36)

“The Committee welcomes the steps taken by the State party to eliminate stereotypical attitudes and portrayals of women and of women’s roles in the family and in society, including ... the revision of educational curricula in a number of cantons. The Committee is concerned, however, about the persistence of entrenched traditional attitudes and stereotypes, including as portrayed in the media and in advertising, which undermine women’s social status and are linked to the disadvantaged position of women in a number of areas, including in education....

“The Committee calls upon the State party to strengthen its efforts to eliminate stereotypical images and attitudes regarding the roles of women and men in the family and in society, in accordance with articles 2 (f) and 5 (a) of the Convention. This should include legal, policy and awareness-raising measures, taken in a coordinated fashion and directed at women and men generally, as well as different forms of media and targeted programmes in the educational system, to encourage further diversification of the educational choices of boys and girls and enhanced sharing of family responsibilities. The Committee also recommends targeted measures for the media and the educational system to promote positive images of ethnic and minority women and migrant women. It calls upon the State party to review periodically the measures taken in order to assess their impact, to take appropriate action and to report thereon to the Committee in its next periodic report.

“Despite the measures taken by the State party, the Committee notes the persistence of segregation in the field of education, particularly in vocational training and higher education, as well as stereotyped educational choices, with men and boys still predominant in the fields of technology and science. The Committee also notes the low representation of women in decision-making and senior management positions.

“The Committee encourages the State party to develop measures aimed at the diversification of women’s academic and professional choices, including through awareness-raising, training and counselling programmes. The Committee also encourages the State party to monitor the career development of women in the education system to ensure equal access and prevent hidden or indirect discrimination faced by women.”

(2003, A/58/38, Concluding observations on initial/second report, paras. 128 and 129)

“The Committee is concerned that, despite the constitutional mandate to ensure gender equality in the field of education, gender inequality prevails in the stereotyped choices both sexes make regarding vocational training and higher education, particularly technical education. The Committee is also concerned that similar patterns can be found among teaching staff, both as regards their professional level and the traditional subjects they teach.

“The Committee recommends that the State party intensify its efforts to encourage diversification of the educational choices of boys and girls, mainly through counselling, to help them to fully develop their personal potential.”

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T

Tajikistan

(2 February 2007, CEDAW/C/TJK/CO/3, Concluding observations on third report, paras. 19, 20, 27, 28, 33 and 34)

“The Committee is concerned about the resurgence of patriarchal attitudes subordinating women and of strong stereotypes regarding their roles and responsibilities in the family and society in the context of the breakdown of the previous political system, the civil war (1992-1997) and rampant poverty. These attitudes and stereotypes present a significant impediment to the implementation of the Convention and are a root cause of women’s disadvantaged position in the labour market, their difficulties in accessing their land rights, the continuing existence of polygamy, domestic violence and the high dropout rates of girls from school.

“The Committee calls upon the State party to implement comprehensive measures, in particular in rural areas, to initiate change in the widely accepted subordination of women and the stereotypical roles applied to both sexes. Such measures should include awareness-raising and educational campaigns addressing religious and community leaders, parents, teachers, officials and young girls and boys themselves, in accordance with the obligations under articles 2 (f) and 5 (a) of the Convention. The Committee also recommends that the State party encourage the media to discuss and promote non-stereotypical and positive images of women and promote the value of gender equality for society as a whole. In this context, the Committee reminds the State party of its obligation under paragraph 2 of article 19 of the Law on State Guarantees, according to which the organs of the State must publish annual reports on their implementation of the Law in the mass media of Tajikistan. Such annual reports could include discussions on the elimination of gender-role stereotypes.

“While noting that some efforts have been made in the area of education, including salary increases for teachers and scholarship programmes, the Committee is concerned that, owing to a number of factors, including dire poverty and social stereotypes concerning women’s roles and responsibilities, there is a noted rate of non-attendance by girl children at the primary school level, there is a sharp decline in the enrolment of girls at the secondary school level and there is a low enrolment rate of female students in institutes of higher education. The Committee is also concerned about the high dropout rates of girls.

“The Committee urges the State party to place high priority on educating women and girls and to immediately take all appropriate measures, including temporary special measures, in accordance with article 4, paragraph 1, of the Convention and in the Committee’s general recommendation 25, to eliminate the disparity in school enrolment rates and to achieve universal primary education for girls in accordance with its international obligations under the Convention and other commitments. It urges the State party to address the obstacles effectively which prevent girls from attending school or continuing their education. The Committee recommends that the image of teachers be improved through further salary increases, the media and other public forums. The Committee also recommends that additional training be provided to teachers to update their knowledge and teaching methods in the current context of gender equality, democracy and market opportunities. The Committee further recommends that: communities be mobilized, with the help of community leaders and local authorities, in favour of the education of girls; seminars be held and awareness-raising activities undertaken with a focus on helping parents to understand the important role of education for girls; and education for girls be made affordable and special measures be implemented to allow girls and women who have dropped out of school to re-enter the education system in an age-appropriate classroom environment. It also requests the State party to continue to review all school textbooks to eliminate gender-role stereotypes.

“The Committee is concerned about the situation of girls and women in rural areas in terms of their access to adequate health care, education and employment....

“The Committee ... encourages the State party to modify existing gender-role stereotypes through awareness-raising campaigns targeted at community and religious leaders, teachers, parents, girls and boys. The State party is also encouraged to enable the participation of rural women in decision-making at the local, regional and national levels through training. The Committee requests the State party to include in its next report sex-disaggregated data and information on the de facto situation of rural women of all ages in the areas of land ownership, income generating activities, health and education, as well as the concrete measures taken by the State party in that respect, including results achieved.”

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Thailand

(3 February 2006, CEDAW/C/THA/CO/5, Concluding observations on fifth report, para. 36)

“... the Committee ... encourages the State party to provide increased educational opportunities to girls to discourage early marriages.”

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The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

(3 February 2006, CEDAW/C/MKD/CO/3, Concluding observations on third report, paras. 27 and 28)

“... The Committee is particularly concerned about the high school dropout rates among Roma girls and girls living in rural areas.

“The Committee ... calls on the State party to implement measures to decrease dropout rates among Roma girls and girls living in rural areas and to reintegrate them into the educational system....”

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Timor-Leste

(7 August 2009, CEDAW/C/TLS/CO/1, Concluding observations on initial report, paras. 35 and 36)

“While appreciating the State party’s efforts to reduce female illiteracy, in particular among young girls, and achieve parity between boys and girls in primary education, the Committee is concerned at the low enrolment rate of girls in secondary and higher education, as well as at girls’ high dropout rates. The Committee is further concerned that traditional attitudes, early pregnancies and early marriages are among the causes of girls dropping out and that pregnant girls who leave school as a result of the measure of suspension encounter difficulties in resuming their studies. The Committee is alarmed at the high number of girls who suffer sexual abuse and harassment by teachers, as well as the high number of girls who suffer sexual harassment and violence while on their way to school. It is also concerned that corporal punishment is accepted in both school and home settings and constitutes a form of violence against children, including the girl child.

“The Committee recommends that the State party take steps to ensure de facto equal access of girls and young women to all levels of education, overcome traditional attitudes hampering women and girls in their full enjoyment of their right to education, retain girls in schools and implement re-entry policies enabling young women to return to school after pregnancy. The Committee further urges the State party to take measures to increase the enrolment of girls at all levels and recommends the introduction of temporary special measures, in accordance with article 4, paragraph 1, of the Convention and its general recommendation No. 25. The Committee recommends that the State party encourage the collaboration of parents in the implementation of such measures. The Committee encourages the State party to strengthen its efforts to eradicate illiteracy, particularly among rural women, by conducting literacy programmes in local languages as well as Portuguese, involving parents in these measures. The Committee calls upon the State party to provide safe transportation to and from schools, as well as safe educational environments free from discrimination and violence. It calls on the State party to strengthen awareness-raising and training of school officials and students, sensitization of children through the media and the establishment of reporting and accountability mechanisms to ensure that perpetrators of sexual abuse and harassment are prosecuted. The Committee urges the State party to ensure that those responsible for the harassment or abuse of girls are prosecuted and punished in accordance with the severity of these crimes, that such abuse is viewed as a human rights violation and that girls are provided with support so that they can report such incidents. The Committee also urges the State party to take measures to promote the creation of a positive environment that will prevent such abuse from arising, including by encouraging families not to accept the settlement of such cases through the marriage of the girl to the perpetrator. The Committee recommends that the State party explicitly prohibit corporal punishment in all settings, including through awarenessraising campaigns aimed at families, the school system and other educational settings.”

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Togo

(3 February 2006, CEDAW/C/TGO/CO/5, Concluding observations on fifth report, paras. 5, 24, 25 and 28)

“The Committee notes with appreciation the adoption, in the fields of education and employment, of some temporary special measures in accordance with article 4, paragraph 1, of the Convention and with its general recommendation 25 on temporary special measures, such as the lowering of school fees for girls and the establishment of entry quotas for women in sectors traditionally reserved for men, such as the police, the water and forestry service, and the army.

“The Committee is concerned at the poor educational infrastructure and the insufficient number of schools and qualified teachers, which constitute particular obstacles for the education of girls and young women. The Committee is especially concerned about the extremely high rate of illiteracy among women, which in 1998 stood at 60.5 per cent in rural areas and 27.6 per cent in urban areas. It is very concerned at the high dropout rate of girls owing to pregnancy and early and forced marriage and their low enrolment rates in higher education.

“The Committee urges the State party to enhance its compliance with article 10 of the Convention and raise awareness of the importance of education as a human right and basis for the empowerment of women. It encourages the State party to take steps to overcome traditional attitudes that constitute obstacles to girls’ and women’s education. It recommends that the State party implement measures to ensure equal access of girls and women to all levels of education, retain girls in school and strengthen the implementation of re-entry policies so that girls return to school after pregnancy. It also recommends that the State party design and implement literacy programmes for women in rural areas. In that regard, the Committee urges the State party to abolish circular No. 8478/MEN-RS which prohibits pregnant schoolgirls or students from attending school. The Committee calls on the State party to make every effort to improve the literacy level of girls and women through the adoption of comprehensive programmes, in collaboration with civil society and the support of international organizations, at the formal and non-formal levels and through adult education and training.

“... The Committee is also concerned about the alarming rate of teenage pregnancy and multiple pregnancies, which presents a significant obstacle to girls’ educational opportunities and economic empowerment....”

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Tunisia

(2002, A/57/38, Concluding observations on third/fourth report, para. 187)

“The Committee notes with appreciation the progress made in increasing the enrolment and retention of girls in schools at all levels, including in higher education, the diversification in their areas of study, and reduction of female illiteracy....”

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Turkey

(15 February 2005, CEDAW/C/TUR/CC/4-5, Concluding observations on fourth/fifth report, paras. 20, 33 and 34)

“The Committee notes with appreciation that the State party has increased compulsory basic education from five to eight years with a focus on increasing the enrolment rate of girls.

“The Committee is concerned at the high rate of female illiteracy and the lower enrolment and completion rates of girls and women at all levels of education, and that these discrepancies are further aggravated by urban-rural, regional and ethnic differences. The Committee is further concerned that girls and women continue to predominate in traditionally female areas of education and are particularly underrepresented in technical and vocational schools. The Committee is concerned about the disadvantages that result from these educational choices for women’s professional and employment opportunities. It is also concerned that women and girls whose mother tongue is not Turkish may face multiple forms of discrimination in access to and achievement in education. The Committee is also concerned about the impact on girls and women of the ban on wearing headscarves in schools and universities. The Committee is further concerned that stereotypical attitudes continue to create disadvantages for girls in education.

“The Committee recommends that the State party take proactive measures to decrease the high rate of female illiteracy and to strengthen girls’ and women’s access to all levels of education and teaching and to actively encourage diversification of educational and professional choices for women and men. The Committee recommends that such measures include the use of temporary special measures, in accordance with article 4, paragraph 1, of the Convention and the Committee’s general recommendation 25. The Committee calls on the State party to implement further targeted policies and programmes to overcome educational disadvantages faced by girls and women belonging to diverse ethnic groups and those whose mother tongue is not Turkish, particularly in rural areas, as well as to address regional disparities. The Committee requests the State party to monitor and assess the impact of the ban on wearing headscarves and to compile information on the number of women who have been excluded from schools and universities because of the ban. It also calls on the State party to undertake further awareness-raising on the importance of education for women’s equality and economic opportunities, and to overcome stereotypical attitudes.”

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Turkmenistan

(2 June 2006, CEDAW/C/TKM/CO/2, Concluding observations on second report, paras. 14, 15, 28, 29, 30 and 31)

“... The Committee expresses its particular concern about the stereotyping of women primarily as mothers, caregivers and homemakers and that they are steered to educational and employment choices that are considered suitable for women.

“The Committee urges the State party to address directly stereotypical attitudes about the roles and responsibilities of women and men, including the hidden patterns that perpetuate direct and indirect discrimination against women and girls in all areas of their lives, embracing the areas of education and employment, in accordance with articles 2 (f) and 5 (a) of the Convention. This effort should include educational measures at all levels, beginning at an early age, the revision of school textbooks and curricula to promote equality of women and men and awareness-raising campaigns directed at both women and men.

“The Committee is concerned about the lack of policies and programmes for ethnic and national minority women and girls who remain in a vulnerable and marginalized situation, in particular with regard to access to education, health, employment and participation in political and public life. In this respect, it notes with concern the closure of Russian schools.

“The Committee urges the State party to implement effective measures to eliminate discrimination against ethnic and national minority women who, in fact, may suffer from multiple forms of discrimination and to enhance their enjoyment of human rights through targeted policies and programmes. It requests the State party to provide, in the next periodic report, a comprehensive picture of the de facto situation of ethnic and national minority women in the areas of education, health, employment and participation in political and public life, and of the efforts of the Government to eliminate discrimination against such women.

“The Committee welcomes the fact that general secondary education is compulsory and free, but expresses concern that compulsory education has been reduced from 11 to 9 years and that the implications of that reduction for girls and women have not been assessed, nor has the impact this may have had on the employment of teachers, who are mainly women. It also notes with concern the low percentage of women in higher education and the persistent stereotyping that results in women pursuing careers in areas traditionally seen as suitable to them. It notes further with concern that reproductive health education is not a compulsory subject in schools.

“The Committee urges the State party to raise awareness of the importance of education as a fundamental human right and as a basis for the empowerment of women. It invites the State party to reconsider the reduction of years of compulsory education, in particular in light of its impact on women’s educational and professional opportunities. It calls upon the State party to take temporary special measures to increase the number of women in higher education and to provide incentives for young women to enter male-dominated fields of study. It recommends that the State party include age appropriate reproductive health education in school curricula at all levels and channels of formal and non-formal education, taking into account the rights and the needs of adolescents. The Committee also recommends that teachers receive adequate training in this area.”

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Tuvalu

(7 August 2009, CEDAW/C/TUV/CO/2, Concluding observations on initial/second report, paras. 39 and 40)

“The Committee ... is concerned by the marked difference in access to education between urban and rural or remote areas and by the fact that the principle of equality of women and men has not yet been incorporated into the higher levels of the education system, especially in respect of tertiary education. It is also concerned by the gender-specific fields of studies. While noting that there are no school dropouts, it is concerned at the lack of data on school ‘push outs’ (students who did not pass the secondary entrance exam) owing to the absence of an appropriate monitoring system. It is further concerned that corporal punishment continues to be lawful in schools under article 29 of the Education Act (1976) and article 226 of the Penal Code, although it is not regularly used.

“The Committee recommends that the State party continue to strengthen its efforts under article 10 of the Convention through implementation of its Education for Life programme in order to achieve the equal access of all girls to all levels of education, including the higher levels. The Committee recommends that the State party take effective steps to encourage women to pursue tertiary education and choose non-traditional fields of study. It also recommends that it set up and implement an appropriate system to monitor school push outs and provide them with alternatives outside formal education, including vocational training. The Committee further recommends that the State party prohibit the use of corporal punishment in schools.”

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U

United Arab Emirates

(5 February 2010, CEDAW/C/ARE/CO/1 Advance Unedited Version, Concluding observations on initial report, paras. 24, 25, 34, 35 and 36)

“... the Committee expresses its concern ... about girls and women as portrayed in school curricula and in the media.

“... The Committee recommends to the State party that it enhance the training of teaching staff in regard to gender equality issues and its revision of school curricula to eliminate gender-role stereotypes....

“While commending the State party for the high levels of education attained by its citizens and noting the information provided that public education is free and available to all who live in the State party, the Committee regrets the lack of sufficient information and statistical data regarding the levels of education and access to education services by women and girls from rural areas, as well as by non-nationals of the United Arab Emirates. While welcoming the fact that private schools for non-nationals are allowed and supported by the State party, it is concerned that access to the public education system by most children of foreigners is limited, owing to practical impediments. The Committee is also concerned by the lack of information on girls’ dropout ages during the first and secondary stages of education.

“The Committee recommends that the State party continue to raise awareness of the importance of universal and equitable access to education for the empowerment of women in the State party. It requests the State party to provide detailed information in its next report, and in particular, sex and age disaggregated statistics on education of women and girls, including those from rural areas, minorities, and non-citizens, as well as providing net enrolment rates in different stages of education.

“... The Committee also expresses concern with regard to the rights of the children of women migrant workers, especially in relation to residency and access to health services and education, and regrets the insufficient information and statistical data provided by the State party on their status and access to justice and basic services.”

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United Republic of Tanzania

(18 July 2008, CEDAW/C/TZA/CO/6 Advanced Unedited Version, Concluding observations on fourth-sixth report, paras. 8, 34 and 35)

“The Committee welcomes a number of efforts undertaken by the State party in the area of education, including the adoption of the Education Sector Development Programme (2000-2015) which incorporates the objective of providing education to all women and men by 2015 as well as a number of other special programmes to promote the education of girls, in collaboration with the development partners and NGOs. Such programmes include the Training Fund for Tanzania Women, the Community Based Education for Girls (the building of hostels and boarding schools and setting up of Education Trust Funds), the Primary Education and Special Programmes for Secondary Education which introduces capitation grants, the Complementary Basic Education in the Tanzania mainland and the Zanzibar Education Programme as well as the Higher Education Programmes.

“While welcoming the progress made in the area of education, including a significant number of educational programmes as noted in paragraph 8 above as well as the recent achievement of gender parity in primary school enrollment, the Committee is concerned at the lack of information about the specific budgetary allocations for the implementation of such programmes. The Committee is also concerned about ... the marked difference in the quality of and access to education between urban and rural or remote areas, the lack of disaggregated information on literacy rates, the lower transition rate for girls from primary to secondary school as compared to that of boys and the disparity in enrollment rates between young women and young men in public universities as well as vocational and technical education. The Committee is further concerned about traditional attitudes that constitute obstacles to girls’ education, as well as girls’ drop-out rates due to early marriages, pregnancies, truancy and involvement in domestic chores and taking care of the sick and children. The Committee is, in particular, concerned at information that girls falling victims of early pregnancies are expelled from Tanzanian schools. The Committee notes that education is a key to the advancement of women and that the low level of education of women and girls remains one of the most serious obstacles to their full enjoyment of their human rights.

“The Committee urges the State party to enhance its compliance with article 10 of the Convention and to raise awareness in society of the importance of education as a human right and basis for the empowerment of women. It encourages the State party to take steps to overcome traditional attitudes that in some areas constitute obstacles to girls’ and women’s education. The Committee recommends that the State party implement measures to ensure equal access of girls and women to all levels of education, retain girls in school and strengthen the implementation of re-entry policies so that girls return to Tanzanian schools after giving birth....”

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Uruguay

(14 November 2008, CEDAW/C/URY/CO/7, Concluding observations on fourth/fifth/sixth/seventh report, paras. 32 and 33)

“While noting that attendance at primary school is universal in the State party, the Committee is concerned about the current high repetition rate of girls in primary school and high drop-out rates in secondary school, especially among rural and Afro-descendant women.

“The Committee encourages the State party to introduce temporary special measures, in accordance with article 4, paragraph 1, of the Convention and the Committee’s general recommendation 25, to reduce and eliminate high dropout and repetition rates of girls at primary and secondary levels of education and include incentives for parents to send girls to school.”

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Uzbekistan

(5 February 2010, CEDAW/C/UZB/CO/4 Advance Unedited Version, Concluding observations on fourth report, paras. )

30. The Committee notes with satisfaction the very high literacy rate in the country (99.34 per cent) and that public education is free and compulsory until the completion of secondary education. The Committee also notes the efforts of the State party to improve the quality of education, including through the elaboration of the national personnel training programme. The Committee is concerned, however, at the hidden unofficial costs of education; the lack of reliable information, disaggregated by gender, on dropout, repetition and absenteeism rates in primary and secondary school; and the educational consequences of girls and boys working during the cotton harvest season. The Committee is further concerned at the gender segregation in students’ choice of field of education, including in the context of vocational training.

31. The Committee calls on the State party to further enhance its compliance with article 10 of the Convention, to ensure the equal access of girls and women to all levels of education and to take steps to overcome traditional attitudes that, in some rural areas, may constitute obstacles to the education of girls and women. The Committee recommends that the State party ensure that primary education is free and accessible to all children and that it take necessary measures to eliminate all hidden costs of school attendance. The Committee also calls on the State party to overcome expeditiously the de facto segregation in the educational system, to actively encourage the diversification of educational and professional choices for women and men and to offer incentives for young women to enter traditionally male-dominated fields of study. The Committee requests that the State party guarantee that the cotton harvest season does not compromise the rights of both girls and boys to education. The Committee also requests the State party to provide, in its next report, information on the measures taken in the field of education and on their gender impact.

(25 August 2006, CEDAW/C/UZB/CO/3, Concluding observations on third report, para. 5)

“The Committee commends the State party for reaching gender parity in primary, basic secondary and vocational education and meeting one of its national targets under goal 3 (promoting gender equality and empowering women) of the Millennium Development Goals.”

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V

Vanuatu

(11 June 2007, CEDAW/C/VUT/CO/3, Concluding observations on third report, paras. 6, 23, 30 and 31)

“The Committee commends the State party for achieving parity in primary education and meeting one of its targets under goal 3 (eliminating gender disparity in primary education) of the Millennium Development Goals, which corresponds to article 10 of the Convention.

“... The Committee encourages the State party to effectively use innovative measures in targeting young people and adults through the educational system to strengthen understanding of the equality of women and men, and to work with the media so as to enhance a positive and non-stereotypical portrayal of women. It also requests the State party to put in place monitoring mechanisms and to regularly assess progress made towards the achievement of established goals in this respect.

“While appreciating the State party’s achievement of parity in primary education, and its commitment to achieve, by 2015, access for all children to free and compulsory primary education of good quality, and also the State party’s geographical constraints, the Committee is concerned at the high levels of adult women’s illiteracy, low enrolment of girls in secondary and higher levels of education, and girls’ high drop-out rates. It is also concerned by the marked difference in the quality of and access to education in urban and rural/remote areas, including the lack of sufficient boarding facilities for girls. It is also concerned about the lack of curricula reform and the low number of female teachers, especially in secondary and higher levels of education.

“The Committee requests the State party to raise awareness of the importance of education as a fundamental human right and as a basis for the empowerment of girls and women. It recommends that the State party enhance attention to its obligations under article 10 of the Convention in the implementation of its national action plan for education for all so as to achieve equal access of all girls to all levels of education, and increase girls’ retention rates. The Committee recommends the expansion of the use of temporary special measures, including incentives to parents, especially in rural or remote areas, and scholarships to girl students. The Committee requests the State party to undertake a comprehensive curricula review and to introduce gender-sensitive curricula and teaching methods that address the structural and cultural causes of discrimination against women, and to introduce gender sensitization training for teachers. It also encourages the State party to increase the number of female teachers, especially in rural/remote areas, at the secondary level and in leadership positions. It also encourages the State party to take further measures to improve adult literacy. It invites the State party to work in collaboration with civil society and seek the support of the international community to accelerate compliance with all provisions of article 10 of the Convention.”

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Vietnam

(2 February 2007, CEDAW/C/VNM/CO/6, Concluding observations on sixth report, paras. 19, 20 and 21)

“The Committee ... urges the State party to pursue a holistic approach aimed at addressing the root causes of trafficking and improving prevention. Such efforts should include measures to improve the economic situation of women and girls and to provide them with educational and economic opportunities, thereby reducing and eliminating their vulnerability to exploitation and traffickers....

“While noting progress towards reaching high levels of literacy in the country, the Committee notes with concern that a high proportion of girls still drop out of school and that girls in rural and remote areas do not have full access to education.

“The Committee urges the State party to take all appropriate measures to eliminate the disparity in school enrolment rates and to achieve universal primary education for girls in accordance with article 10 of the Convention, the strategic objectives and actions of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and Millennium Development Goals 2 and 3. It urges the State party to address effectively the obstacles that prevent girls from continuing their education, such as family responsibilities and the cost of education. It also recommends that teacher training programmes at all levels integrate the principles of gender equality and non-discrimination on the grounds of sex. The Committee also calls on the State party to support education programmes on the culture of ethnic minority groups.”

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Y

Yemen

(18 July 2008, CEDAW/C/YEM/CO/6 Advanced Unedited Version, Concluding observations on sixth report, paras. 24, 25, 30 and 31)

“While noting the State party’s several strategy plans on education, the Committee notes with concern the continuing high level of illiteracy of women and girls, in particular in rural areas, which manifests the patterns of indirect discrimination under article 10 of the Convention. It is also concerned about the high dropout rate of girls from schools.

“The Committee reiterates its recommendation that the State party implement measures to ensure access to girls and women to all levels of education, including access to proper and dedicated toilet facilities, which have a direct impact on the realization of their right to education, especially in rural areas. The Committee also recommends that the State party adopt temporary special measures in accordance with article 4, paragraph 1, of the Convention and the Committee’s general recommendation 25, to ensure girls’ access and retention of girls in school. The Committee calls on the State party to strengthen its efforts to improve the literacy level of girls and women through the adoption of comprehensive programmes of formal and non-formal education and training, and increase training and employment of female teachers, the development of gender-sensitive educational materials and the monitoring and evaluation of progress achieved towards time-bound targets. The Committee urges the State party to raise general awareness of the importance of education as a human right and as a basis for the empowerment of women, and to take steps to overcome traditional attitudes that perpetuate discrimination.

“The Committee is extremely concerned at the negative consequences of amendment to the Personal Status Law No. 20 of 1992 by Law No. 24 of 1999 and its negative consequences, which legalized the marriage of girl children below 15 years of age, with the consent of their guardian, which is a clear setback for the women’s rights and the implementation of the provisions of the Convention in the State party and a serious violation of the State party’s obligations under the Convention. The Committee remains deeply concerned at the ‘legality’ of such early marriages of girl children, some as young as eight years of age, which amounts to violence against them, and creates a serious health risk for those girls and also prevents them from completing their education.

“The Committee urges the State party, reiterating its previous recommendations, to take urgent legislative measures to raise the minimum age of marriage for girls, in line with article 1 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which defines a child as being below the age of 18, and the provision on child marriage in article 16, paragraph 2, of the Convention, and stipulate that child marriages have no legal effects. The Committee also urges the State party to enforce the requirement to register all marriages in order to monitor their legality and the strict prohibition of early marriages as well as to prosecute the perpetrators violating such provisions. The Committee recommends that the State party develop awareness-raising campaigns, with the support of civil society organizations and religious authorities, on the negative effects of early marriage on the wellbeing, health and education of girls....”

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Z

Zambia

(2002, A/57/38, Concluding observations on third/fourth report, paras. 229, 246 and 247)

“The Committee commends the introduction of the Programme for the Advancement of Girl Child Education, the reservation of 25 per cent of government scholarships exclusively for women who qualify for entry into universities and the lowering of cut-off points for girls to qualify for entry to grades 8 and 10 in schools in order to redress inequality in the education sector.

“Despite the State party’s effort in the area of education, the Committee is concerned at the low rate of female literacy, the low enrolment of girls in school in rural and urban areas and the high dropout rate of girls due to pregnancies. These negative factors are reinforced by stereotyping in textbooks. It notes that education is a key to the advancement of women and that the low level of education of women and girls remains one of the most serious impediments to their full enjoyment of human rights.

“The Committee urges the State party to strengthen its efforts to improve the literacy level of girls and women in rural and urban areas, to ensure equal access of girls and young women to all levels of education and to prevent girls dropping out of school. It encourages the State party to introduce further special measures in the area of education, including incentives for parents to send girls to school and to encourage the recruitment of more qualified women teachers.”

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Page last updated: Monday 05 August 2013

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