CEDAW concluding comments on Latvia (excerpts on language and education), 2020

E. Principal areas of concern and recommendations

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Education

33. The Committee welcomes the comprehensive education reform to develop new, competency-based education content that includes respect for gender equality pursuant to the general basic education standard and general secondary education standard for 2020–2021 and the preschool education guidelines for 2019–2020. It notes the increasing number of women and girls enrolling in previously male – dominated fields of study. However, the Committee regrets the lack of information on women in leading academic positions. It also notes with concern:

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(b) The fact that, despite the efforts undertaken by the State party to increase school enrolment among girls belonging to minority groups, in particular Roma girls, their numbers are stagnating;

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(d) The education reform led to a reduction of teaching of minority languages for girls and boys in public and private secondary-level education institutions.

34. Recalling its general recommendation No. 36 (2017) on the right of girls and women to education, the Committee recommends that the State party raise awareness among girls and boys, parents, teachers and political leaders about the importance of the education of girls at all levels as a basis for their empowerment and that it:

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(d) Strengthen its measures to include Roma girls in the mainstream education system and collect data on dropout rates, and provide information, disaggregated by sex and age, among other relevant factors, in its next periodic report on school attendance and dropout rates among Roma girls;

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(f) Ensure that the amendments to the Education Law do not create undue restrictions on access to education in minority languages by girls and boys.

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Disadvantaged groups of women

41. The Committee is concerned that the State party has not introduced any specific policy or programme to address the situation of disadvantaged groups of women and lacks disaggregated statistical data regarding those populations and that the plan for the promotion of equal rights and opportunities for women and men for the period 2018–2020, which includes references to young people, older persons and disability, does not contemplate specific measures aimed at women from those groups. More specifically, the Committee is concerned that:

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(c) Older women, in particular those from linguistic minorities, face multiple barriers owing to requirements with regard to knowledge of the Latvian language.

42. The Committee recommends that the State party introduce policies and programmes to eliminate the multiple forms of discrimination faced by disadvantaged groups of women. More specifically, the Committee recommends that the State party:

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(c) Ensure that adequate support is provided to members of linguistic minorities, especially older persons, including the provision of translators and interpreters in State and municipal offices, in particular in regions that have a high concentration of minority language speakers, in line with article 10 of the Council of Europe Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, to which Latvia is a party.


Document data: CEDAW/C/LVA/CO/4-7, 10.03.2020. Link: https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CEDAW/C/LVA/CO/4-7 Also available in Russian and French

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