United Nations

CEDAW/C/1994/3/Add.3


Committee on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women

 Distr. GENERAL
19 October 1993
ENGLISH
ORIGINAL: FRENCH


 
COMMITTEE ON THE ELIMINATION OF DISCRIMINATION

AGAINST WOMEN

Thirteenth session

New York, 17 January-4 February 1994

Item 4 of the Provisional Agenda*



      *CEDAW/C/1994/1.





    IMPLEMENTATION OF ARTICLE 21 OF THE CONVENTION ON THE ELIMINATION

             OF ALL FORMS OF DISCRIMINATION AGAINST WOMEN





       Reports provided by specialized agencies of the United Nations

             on the implementation of the Convention in areas

              falling within the scope of their activities







                       Note by the Secretary-General



                                  Addendum




       UNITED NATIONS EDUCATIONAL, SCIENTIFIC AND CULTURAL ORGANIZATION



                               Introductory note



      On behalf of the Committee, the Secretariat has invited the United

Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), on 22 June

1993, to submit to the Committee, by 1 September 1993, a report on information

provided by States to UNESCO on the implementation of article 10 and related

articles of the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women,

which would supplement the information contained in the reports of those

States parties to the Convention which will be considered at the thirteenth

session. These are the latest reports of Barbados, Colombia, Ecuador,

Guatemala, Guyana, Japan, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Madagascar, Netherlands, New

Zealand, Senegal and Zambia.



      Other information sought by the Committee refers to the activities,

programmes and policy decision undertaken by UNESCO to promote the

implementation of article 10 and related articles of the Convention on the

Elimination of Discrimination against Women.



      The report annexed hereto has been submitted in compliance with the

Committee's request.





                                   Annex



                                                           [Original: French]







                              REPORT OF UNESCO

                   TO THE COMMITTEE ON THE ELIMINATION

               OF ALL FORMS OF DISCRIMINATION AGAINST WOMEN

                         AT ITS THIRTEENTH SESSION

                 NEW YORK, 17 JANUARY - 4 FEBRUARY 1994*





                                  CONTENTS



                                                Paragraphs           Page



      GENERAL INTRODUCTION                         1-3                 4



I.    SPECIFIC ACTIVITIES WITH A VIEW               4                  4

      TO THE DISSEMINATION OF THE CONVENTIO

      ON THE ELIMINATION OF ALL FORMS OF

      DISCRIMINATION AGAINST WOMEN



II.   ANALYSIS AND RESEARCH ACTIVITIES              5                  4

      CONCERNING THE CONVENTION AND

      IN PARTICULAR CONCERNING THE ARTICLES

      RELATING TO THE FAMILY



III.  COMMENTS ON ARTICLES 7 AND 8                 6-11                5

      OF THE CONVENTION



IV.   INFORMATION CONCERNING ARTICLE 10             12                 6

      OF THE CONVENTION FOR THE COUNTRIES

      WHOSE REPORTS ARE SUBMITTED AT THE

      THIRTEENTH SESSION





*This report has been reproduced in the form in which it was received.







                             GENERAL INTRODUCTION





1.    In accordance with article 22 of Convention on the Elimination of All

Forms of Discrimination against Women, specialized agencies are encouraged to

submit a report on the implementation of the Convention in their areas of

competence. Accordingly, it the Committee has asked UNESCO to submit comments

on article 10 and its application in the countries whose report will be

presented at the thirteenth session. Moreover, the Committee has decided to

study in greater detail at each of its sessions some articles of the

Convention. The thirteenth session will be devoted to articles 7 and 8.



2.    Overall, it may be stated that all UNESCO activities have a part in the

implementation of the Convention. Accordingly, UNESCO wishes to communicate to

the members of the Committee its last activity report, which relates to the

years 1992 and 1993. That document, which bears the symbol 25 C/20 UNESCO, is

the document that will be submitted by the Director-General to the UNESCO

General Conference at its twenty-seventh session.



3.    Furthermore, UNESCO wishes to provide some information with regard to

the items of the agenda of the thirteenth session.





    I. SPECIFIC ACTIVITIES WITH A VIEW TO THE DISSEMINATION OF THE CONVENTION

    ON THE ELIMINATION OF ALL FORMS OF DISCRIMINATION AGAINST WOMEN





4.    Since the twelfth session of the Committee on the Prevention of

Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), UNESCO has strengthened its activities

at the regional level with a view to ensuring recognition of the principles

and concepts adopted by the international community with regard to the legal

equality of men and women in public and private life. Thus, special emphasis

should be placed on the work of Collectif 95 Maghreb Egalit‚, which was

established in 1991 with the support of UNESCO in order to make the public,

Non-Governmental Organizations and political decision-makers more aware of

activities aimed at the recognition and effective implementation of the

principle of the equality of men and women. Collectif 95 Maghreb Egalit‚ was

established at the conclusion of a meeting of Maghreb feminist associations,

researchers, intellectuals and creative persons. The purpose of Collectif 95

Maghreb Egalit‚ is to coordinate and promote a programme of action for the

preparation of the fourth World Conference on Women (Beijing, 1995). The

objectives of Collectif 95 Maghreb Egalit‚ are to publicize at the

international level the actions of Maghreb NGOs with a view to the attainment

of full citizenship for women; to exert pressure at the level of the

structures of the Arab Maghreb Union, national Governments, organized bodies

and civil society for the ratification and implementation of international

instruments, in particular the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of

Discrimination against Women; to prepare, in a unitary approach, reports on

the status of women; and to elaborate, through broad consultation in the

Maghreb, proposals for achieving the legal equality of men and women. The

documents which will be presented at the forum of the fourth World Conference

on Women are: a white paper on the status of international law relating to

women in the Maghreb countries, a unified egalitarian code for the Maghreb,

reports on the implementation of the Nairobi strategies and proposals for

action for the year 2000.



  II.  ANALYSIS AND RESEARCH ACTIVITIES CONCERNING THE CONVENTION

  AND IN PARTICULAR CONCERNING THE ARTICLES RELATING TO THE FAMILY



5.    As part of the preparations for the World Conference on Human Rights

held at Vienna (June 1993), studies were conducted, in collaboration with

institutions working for human rights and for the protection of women's rights

in African and Arab countries with regard to the obstacles to the ratification

or implementation of the Convention. From the studies undertaken it appears

that by the second quarter of 1993 only 22 African countries and 5 Arab

countries had ratified the Convention. In general, African countries have not

expressed any substantive reservations, but they have expressed some

procedural reservations. The Arab countries as a group expressed substantive

reservations, in particular with regard to the articles on marriage and the

family. It must be emphasized that the reservations expressed by Tunisia have

no implications that could make the convention devoid of meaning, in the light

of the advanced state of Tunisian legislation on women's rights, a

circumstance not always found in the other signatory countries. In any event,

in almost all the African and Arab countries studied, whose legislation with

respect to private law is based in large measure on Islamic law both in the

countries which have ratified the Convention and in those which have not done

so, it has been possible to observe a number of laws and common practices

which constitute obstacles to the principle of the equality of men and women

in the family. On the basis of these studies, one can enunciate a number of

recommendations aimed at reconciling the legislation of those countries with

the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against

Women:



(a)   Codifying the laws relating to the family and drafting a positive family

      code in the countries in which no such code exists;



(b)   Limiting the legal age of marriage;



(c)   Recognizing the freedom of spouses to marry on the basis of personal

      choice, of consent which is free, direct and personal;



(d)   Establishing a marriage contract between the two parties without

      recourse to a guardian for the woman when she is of age under civil law;



(e)   Recording marriages in an official register and solemnizing them before

      a civil registry officer and in the presence of witnesses;



(f)   Abolishing polygamy;



(g)   Instituting parental responsibility instead of paternal responsibility;



(h)   Substituting the rule of mutual respect for the rule of a wife's

      obedience to her husband;



(i)   Recognizing both parents as having the same rights and obligations with

      regard to: (i) name and nationality; (ii) custody and guardianship;

      (iii) decision-making with regard to upbringing, birth spacing and birth

      control;



(j)   Granting status to mothers irrespective of their marital status and to

      their children irrespective of whether they were born in wedlock or out

      of wedlock;



(k)   Establishing judicial divorce;



(l)   Ensuring equality in matters of inheritance;



(m)   Guaranteeing women the right to buy, sell and manage their property and

      resources independently.





            III. COMMENTS ON ARTICLES 7 AND 8 OF THE CONVENTION



6.    Articles 7 and 8 relate to women's participation in political life and

in decision-making. Women's participation in political life is one of the

essential conditions for the democratization of life in societies. The

conditions for this participation are complex and are linked to the broader

phenomenon of modernity in societies.



7.    UNESCO, in collaboration with Yemen, organized at San'a, Yemen, from 13

to 18 April 1993, a meeting of experts on the theme of "Arab women, modernity

and democracy" (the Interregional Meeting of Experts on Women and the

Democratization Process). Experts from Yemen and from three Maghreb countries

(Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia) conducted a discussion on women's place and on

the question of equality between men and women in social, economic and

political life and in the processes of democratization and modernization which

are going on in those countries.



8.    That meeting brought together 30 experts and about 100 male and female

Yemeni observers representing the world of associations and the intellectual

and scientific community at the very time when Yemen was engaged in the first

legislative election to campaign in the reunified country, and that very

special context no doubt contributed to the general interest aroused by our

meeting. Among the Yemeni participants, four of the 50 candidates standing for

office in the elections participated in the debate B .



9.    The discussions at that meeting, which emphasized that there was a great

diversity between the situations of the four countries concerned, also cited

some data which are more general and are no doubt universal today: first of

all, the slow pace of women's progress towards gaining their rights and

achieving equality, and, secondly, the decisive place occupied by the gaining

of those rights in the process of democratization, both in countries with

Arab-Islamic culture and civilization and in the other parts of the world

which have the same aspirations today.



10.   Moreover, that meeting of Yemeni and Maghrebi women demonstrated, both

in the case of Yemen and in the case of the Maghreb countries, that women's

participation is necessary for setting in motion the social dynamics

represented by modernity, which increasingly appears to be inseparable from

the process of democratization and is related to a collection of elements

which go beyond material and technical modernization.



11.   For that reason, while the role of States in the accomplishment of

economic and social tasks and in the guaranteeing of a State based on law, the

only kind of State that makes possible the enjoyment of recognized rights, is

important, the action of civil society, and in particular the fundamental role

played by the intellectual and scientific community in those countries has

been recognized as decisive.





    IV. INFORMATION CONCERNING ARTICLE 10 OF THE CONVENTION FOR THE

    COUNTRIES WHOSE REPORTS ARE SUBMITTED AT THE THIRTEENTH SESSION:

    BARBADOS, BOLIVIA, COLOMBIA, ECUADOR, GUATEMALA, GUYANA, HUNGARY,

    JAPAN, LIBYAN ARAB JAMAHIRIYA, MADAGASCAR, NETHERLANDS, NEW ZEALAND,

                  NORWAY, PERU, SENEGAL AND ZAMBIA



12.   The following tables show the statistics on the education of girls in

the countries mentioned. It should be borne in mind that UNESCO is the

depositary of the December 1960 Convention against Discrimination in

Education, ratified by 76 States. It should also be borne in mind that the

Convention on Technical and Vocational Education, adopted on 10 November 1989,

reaffirms in its preamble the need to make a special effort to promote the

technical and vocational education of women and girls and, in its article 3,

provides that the signatory States should endeavour to guarantee the two sexes

equality of access and opportunity throughout the educational process. With

regard to the countries whose reports will be examined at the thirteenth

session, the following tables present statistics on education, science,

technology and illiteracy.





                              Table 1



           Gross rates of enrolment in Pre-primary education*

                             (per cent)





                  Overall rate      Rate for males      Rate for females

Africa



Libyan Arab                          inconsistent data

Jamahiriya



Madagascar                           inconsistent data



Senegal     1980          2                  1                     2

(3-5)       1989          2                  2                     2



Zambia





North America



Barbados    1980         41                 40                    42

(3-4)





South America



Guatemala   1980         14                 14                    13

(4-6)       1991         16                 16                    16



Bolivia     1980         26                 26                    26

(4-5)       1990         29                 29                    29



Colombia    1980         27

(5)         1989         41                 42                    42



Ecuador     1980         10                 10                    11

(4-5)       1987         20                 19                    20



Guyana      1980         67                 67                    67

(4-5)       1988         71                 71                    71



Peru        1980         15                 14                    15

(3-5)       1990         36





Asia



Japan       1980         41                 41                    41

(3-5)       1989         47                 47                    48





Europe



Hungary     1980         96                 96                    95

(3-5)       1991        114                116                   116



Netherlands 1980        107                108                   106

(4-5)       1990         99                 98                   100





Norway      1980         44

(4-6)       1991         97





Oceania



New Zealand 1980         54                 54                    54

(3-4)       1990         44                 45                    46







      The enrolment rates for women and men are, in general, very close to

each other.



      *: The ratio of the total number of children enrolled at this

educational level, including all ages, to the population of the age

corresponding to the duration of pre-primary education, in accordance with the

regulations in force in each country.



      For each country the age corresponding to the duration of pre-primary

education is shown in parentheses.





                               Table 2



        Gross rates of enrolment in primary and secondary education*

                              (per cent)





                        Overall rate      Rate for males      Rate for females





Africa



Libyan Arab                              inconsistent data

Jamahiriya



Madagascar    1984           71                 75                   78

(6-17)**      1990           53                 54                   52



Senegal       1980           29                 36                   23

(6-18)        1989           38                 45                   31



Zambia        1980           54                 71                   57

(7-18)        1988           68                 73                   63





North America



Barbados      1980           95                 96                   95

(5-16)        1989           99                102                   97







South America



Guatemala     1980           47                 51                   43

(7-18)        1991           56



Bolivia       1980           70                 75                   64

(6-17)        1990           70                 73                   66



Colombia      1980           78                 77                   79

(6-16)        1991           82                 79                   85



Ecuador       1980           85                 85                   84

(6-17)        1987           89                 89                   89



Guyana        1980           78                 78                   78

(6-18)        1988           82                 82                   82



Peru          1980           91                 94                   87

(6-16)        1990          101





Asia



Japan         1980           97                 97                   98

(6-17)        1989           98                 98                   99





Europe



Hungary       1980           88                 89                   88

(6-17)        1991           86                 86                   86



Netherlands   1980           96                 97                   95

(6-17)        1990           99                 99                   93



Norway        1980           97                 96                   98

(7-18)        1991          102                101                  102





Oceania



New Zealand   1980           96                 95                   96

(5-17)        1990           92                 92                   93





      *Ratio of the total number of pupils, irrespective of their age, and the

population of the age group corresponding to a specific level of education.

The rates for primary and secondary education have been calculated with due

regard to the diversity of national educational systems and the duration of

primary and secondary studies.



      **Group of the age considered for calculation of the rate.



      Observation of the most recent data shows that some countries record

differences between the male and female school enrolment rates, revealing

discrimination against the female population:

      In Senegal there is a 14-point gap do the disadvantage of women;  

      In Zambia the gap amounts to 10 points;

      In Bolivia it amounts to 7 points;

      In Barbados and the Netherlands it amounts to 6 points.





                              Table 3



      Gross rates of enrolment in tertiary (20-24 years) education*

                            (per cent)





                        Overall rate      Rate for males      Rate for females





Africa



Libyan Arab   1980             8                11.6                  4.2

Jamahiriya    1991          18.0                19.1                 16.8



Madagascar    1980           2.9

              1990           3.4                 3.8                  3.1



Senegal       1980           2.8                 4.6                  1.0

              1989           2.9                 4.7                  1.2



Zambia        1980           1.6

              1985           1.5                 2.4                  0.6

              1989           2.0                 3.0                  1.1





North America



Barbados      1980          15.5                14.2                 16.7

              1989          17.3                13.7                 21.1





South America



Guatemala     1980           8.4

              1986           8.6



Bolivia       1980          17.2

              1991          22.6



Colombia      1980          10.2                11.4                  9.1

              1989          13.7                13.2                 14.1



Ecuador       1980          36.5                45.2                 27.5

              1987          29.0                34.5                 23.4

              1990          20.1



Guyana        1980           3.2                 3.7                  2.7

              1988           5.1                 5.8                  4.4



Peru          1980          19.4                24.8                 13.9

              1990          35.6





Asia



Japan         1980          30.5                40.6                 20.3

              1989          30.7                36.9                 24.2





Europe



Hungary       1980          12.9                12.7                 13.1

              1991          15.3                14.9                 15.8





Netherlands   1980          30.0                35.4                 24.3

              1990          37.6                41.0                   34



Norway        1980          25.5                25.9                 25.1

              1991          45.3                41.3                 49.6





Oceania



New Zealand   1980          28.6                33.2                 23.7

              1990          44.8                41.7                 48.0







                                 Table 4

            Statistics on science and technology according to sex





      Country        Year       Potential scientists    Potential technicians*

                                and engineers



                                men           women       men            women

      Libyan Arab    1980       42 595        1 142       8 581            439

      Jamahiriya



      Bolivia        1992       50 650       13 650       2 000          1 000



      Japan          1987    7 444 000    1 228 000   1 886 000      3 069 000



      Norway         1987       98 150       22 630          __             __



      New Zealand    1991      139 200       54 523     430 233        286 458



      Netherlands    1990      347 000      125 000     510 000        417 000



      Hungary        1990      285 350      232 300          __             __



      Peru           1981      only one figure for       72 866         92 807

                               M + W was furnished





      The statistics on science and technology, which relate to 8 countries

involved in the next session of CEDAW, enable us to identify the place of

women within two professional groups:

      (a) Potential scientists and engineers;



      (b) Potential technicians.



      Remarks: The data are not all from the same year, the most recent being

from 1992 and the oldest from 1980.



      Norway has not supplied any data on potential technicians; Peru has not

transmitted the number of women in the category of potential scientists and

engineers.



      In general, a larger place is given to women in the category of

potential technicians. With regard to this group, three trends may be

distinguished:



      (a) In Japan and Peru the number of women belonging to this category is

higher than the number of men;



      (b) In the Netherlands and New Zealand the data reveal a greater

presence of males than of females:



      (c) In Bolivia women represent only one third of potential technicians;

discrimination is even more conspicuous in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, where

women represent only 5 per cent of potential technicians.



      Discrimination against women is much more marked for the category of

potential scientists and engineers; we can distinguish:



      (a) Particularly Hungary, followed by New Zealand and the Netherlands,

the countries in which there is the least discrimination: men are 2 to 3 times

as numerous as women in this sector:



      (b) Bolivia, followed by Norway and Japan: men are 4 to 6 times as

numerous;



      (c) The Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, where men are 42 times as numerous as

women.



      *: The figure refers to the number of trained persons available in the

country concerned.





                               Table 5

     Rate of illiteracy among those 15 years of age and older (per cent)





       COUNTRY                  Women              Men              Gap        

                             1985   1990        1985  1990       M - W (90)





      Senegal                80 7    74 9       54 6   48 1       26 8 pts



      Guatemala              56 2    52 9       40 0   36 9         16 pts



      Libyan Arab Jamahiriya 59 7    49 6       29 9   24 6         25 pts



      Zambia                 41 3    34 7       23 3   19 2       15 5 pts



      Bolivia                35 5    29 3       19 1   15 3         14 pts



      Madagascar             31 6    27 1       14 2   12 3       14 8 pts



      Peru                   25 5    21 3       10 5    8 5       12 8 pts



      Ecuador                19 5    16 1       14 5    9 6        6 5 pts



      Colombia               16 3    14 1       14 2   12 5        1 6 pts



      Guyana                  5 9     4 6        3 3    2 5        2 1 pts





Source: Division of Statistics, UNESCO





      The statistics on illiteracy according to sex reveal a general decrease

in the rate of illiteracy among those 15 years of age and older over the

period 1985-1990 for the 10 countries Ln question.



      The largest decrease-during this period was recorded in the Libyan Arab

Jamahiriya for the female population.



      The most flagrant gaps between the percentages of illiterate women and

illiterate men were recorded in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya and in Senegal both

for 1985 and for 1990.



      The smallest gaps were found in the countries which showed the lowest

rates of illiteracy, that is to say, Guyana, Colombia and Ecuador.



      According to the 1990 data for the female population, we can classify

the 10 countries into four groups:



      (a)   The countries with an illiteracy rate close to 50 per cent:

            Senegal

            Guatemala

            Libyan Arab Jamahiriya



      (b)   Those with a rate less than 50 per cent and greater than 25 per

            cent:

            Zambia

            Bolivia

            Madagascar



      (c)   Those with a rate between 10 per cent and 20 per cent:

            Colombia

            Ecuador



      (d)   Those with a rate less than 5 per cent:

            Guyana.

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