CEDAW concluding comments on Latvia (excerpts on Roma), 2020

E. Principal areas of concern and recommendations

[..]

Women’s access to justice

[..]

14. In the light of its general recommendation No. 33 (2015) on women’s access to justice, the Committee recommends that the State party:

(a) Continue its efforts to ensure effective access to justice, full inclusion and accessibility for disadvantaged or marginalized women, such as women belonging to ethnic minority groups, in particular Roma women, women who are non-citizens, refugee, asylum-seeking, migrant, rural and older women, women with disabilities, lesbian, bisexual and transgender women and intersex persons; [..]

[..]

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:

[..]

(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;

[..]

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:

[..]

(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;

[..]

Employment

35. The Committee welcomes the amendments to the Labour Law to strengthen the equal treatment of women and men in employment and consider harassment as a form of discrimination. It also takes note of the inclusive employment guidelines for the period 2015–2020, which are aimed at promoting equal opportunities in the labour market for all persons, regardless of age, gender or disability, and have overcoming the gender pay gap as one of the key priorities. The Committee nevertheless remains concerned about the following:

[..] (c) The difficulties encountered by the State party in including Roma women and women belonging to other ethnic minority groups, migrant women, rural women, older women and women with disabilities in the labour market; [..]

36. The Committee recommends that the State party: [..] (c) Enhance access to the labour market for women, including disadvantaged groups of women, such as Roma women and women belonging to other ethnic minority groups, migrant women, rural women, older women and women with disabilities; [..]

Health

37. The Committee welcomes the fact that the State party’s health-care system is based on the principle of universal coverage. It also welcomes the fact that the State party promotes healthy lifestyles for women and girls and that the implementation of the maternal and child health improvement plan for the period 2018–2020 and of the public health guidelines for the period 2014–2020 has resulted in the improvement of a number of indicators in the area of maternal and child health, including the reduction of infant mortality. The Committee further welcomes the fact that the State party introduced, in 2019, additional support services for persons, including women, living with HIV to ensure early and effective access to treatment and that the services provided at HIV prevention points are free of charge and anonymous. The Committee nevertheless notes with concern the following:

[..] (b) The limited access, despite the existing universal health coverage system, of women to basic health services, including sexual and reproductive health services and modern contraceptives, in particular for girls and young women, including girls and women in rural areas, Roma girls and women, older women, girls and women with disabilities; [..]

[..]

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:

[..] (b) Roma women and women from other ethnic minorities face multiple forms of discrimination in access to basic services, education, employment and health services and in participating in public and political life, owing to deeply rooted so cial stereotypes; [..].

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:

[..] (b) Intensify its efforts to ensure that Roma women and women from other ethnic minorities enjoy equal access to basic services, education, employment and health services, as well as to participation in public and political life; [..]


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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