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Ministerie van Sociale Zakenen WerkgelegenheidAan de Voorzitter van de Tweede Kamerder Staten-GeneraalBinnenhof 1a2513 AA DEN HAAGPostbus 908012509 LV Den HaagAnna van Hannoverstraat 4Telefoon (070) 333 44 44Telefax (070) 333 40 33Uw briefOnderwerpBehandeling 2 e en 3 e Nederlandse rapportagevoor CEDAWOns kenmerkDCE-01/55199Datum1 oktober 2001Tijdens de 25 e zitting op 6 juli jl. in New York van het Comité voor de Uitbanning van allevormen van discriminatie jegens vrouwen (CEDAW Comité), zijn het 2 e en 3 e Nederlandserapport in het kader van het VN-Vrouwenverdrag besproken. Op 10 september 2001 is het./. schriftelijk verslag van het CEDAW Comité ontvangen (bijlage).Mede namens de Ministers van Buitenlandse Zaken, Binnenlandse Zaken enKoninkrijksrelaties, alsmede de Minister voor Grote Steden- en Integratiebeleid, en deMinister van Justitie informeer ik u over de resultaten.AlgemeenTijdens de zitting werden naast de Nederlandse rapporten ook de rapporten van deNederlandse Antillen en Aruba besproken. De Nederlandse Antillen en Aruba werden bij debehandeling vertegenwoordigd door de permanent vertegenwoordiger van het Koninkrijk bijde Verenigde Naties.Het CEDAW Comité had naast de rapporten van de Nederlandse regering ook debeschikking over de rapporten van Equality (namens 23 vrouwenorganisaties) en hetNederlands Juristen Comité voor de Mensenrechten (NJCM).Voorafgaand aan het gesprek met de Nederlandse delegatie heeft het Comité gesproken metvertegenwoordigers van Nederlandse en Arubaanse NGO’s.De dialoog met het Comité is in een open en constructieve sfeer verlopen.Positief was het Comité over het (in het Engels vertaalde) Meerjarenbeleidsplan emancipatieen in het bijzonder over de instelling van een Nationaal Rapporteur Mensenhandel en de


2initiatieven met betrekking tot dagindeling, “levensloop” en de verankering van emancipatiein het reguliere beleid.Het Comité stelde kritische vragen over de lage arbeidsparticipatie van vrouwen en het groteaantal deeltijdbanen, de bescherming van illegale prostituees en slachtoffers vanvrouwenhandel, het geringe aantal vrouwen in topfuncties, loondiscriminatie en de positievan zwarte- migranten- en vluchtelingenvrouwen.Verslag en AanbevelingenHet verslag van het CEDAW Comité bevat 46 aanbevelingen en conclusies. Opvallenddaarbij is dat deze ook over onderwerpen gaan die tijdens de zitting niet aan de orde zijngeweest.In het hierna volgende wordt voor zover nu al mogelijk ingegaan op het verslag voor zoverhet de Nederlandse rapporten betreft.De Nederlandse Antillen en Aruba zullen zelf reageren. In dit verband zij opgemerkt dat deaanbeveling van het Comité om de Nederlandse Antillen en Aruba te ondersteunen bij deverbetering van de positie van vrouwen in Koninkrijksverband, besproken zal worden.Het Comité doet een aantal aanbevelingen over de positie van vluchtelingen- enmigrantenvrouwen. Hierover zal in de vierde internationale rapportage (2004) op basis vande nationale rapportage, die in 2002 zal verschijnen, en die deze materie tot onderwerp heeft,nader ingegaan worden.De aanbevelingen van het CEDAW Comité zullen daarbij uiteraard betrokken wordenevenals het advies van de Adviesraad Internationale Vraagstukken (AIV) “Geweld tegenVrouwen”. Ook zal het advies van de Commissie Arbeidsdeelname Vrouwen uit EtnischeMinderheidsgroepen (AVEM), dat begin 2002 wordt verwacht, hierbij betrokken kunnenworden.Tijdens de zitting is ook het prostitutiebeleid aan de orde geweest. Het Comité isgeïnteresseerd in de ontwikkelingen en de resultaten met betrekking tot de opheffing van hetbordeelverbod. Hierover zal in de vierde internationale rapportage op basis van de evaluatievan de wet nader worden gerapporteerd aan het CEDAW.De Nationaal Rapporteur Mensenhandel zal in haar jaarlijkse rapport aandacht besteden aande positie van prostituees die niet uit de Europese Unie afkomstig zijn.De zorg van het Comité over de toegankelijkheid van pensioenen en gezondheidszorg vooroudere vrouwen deel ik niet. Deze zijn voor vrouwen en mannen in ieder geval formeelgelijkelijk toegankelijk. In algemene zin zal dit onderwerp nog aan de orde komen in deverkenning “levensloop”.Het Comité zette vraagtekens bij een politieke partij (SGP) die vrouwen van hetlidmaatschap uitsluit. De vraag of artikel 7 van het VN-Vrouwenverdrag de lidstatenverplicht om aan organisaties met een publieke functie een verbod op te leggen om bij detoelating tot het lidmaatschap, bij de selectie voor bestuursfuncties of bij de keuze van


3kandidaten voor openbare verkiezingen onderscheid te maken op grond van geslacht, isuitvoerig aan de orde geweest bij de parlementaire behandeling van de goedkeuringswet voorhet VN-Vrouwenverdrag, in de Tweede Kamer zowel schriftelijk als in het plenaire TK-debatvan juni/juli 1990, in de Eerste Kamer schriftelijk. Het regeringsstandpunt komt erop neer datde Nederlandse wetgever meent dat artikel 7 van het VN-Vrouwenverdrag met zich brengtdat de overheid moet verzekeren dat individuele vrouwen toegang hebben tot (onder meer)de politieke partij van hun keuze, maar dat zij een beleidsvrijheid heeft bij het vormgeven aandeze verdragsverplichting. De regering ziet diverse redenen tot grote terughoudendheid methet geven van nieuwe wettelijke voorschriften. In de eerste plaats zijn hier uiteenlopendegrondrechten en fundamentele rechten en vrijheden in het geding, waarvan de onderlingeverhouding zeer zorgvuldige afweging behoeft. In de tweede plaats dient acht te wordengeslagen op het beleid met betrekking tot artikel 20 boek 2 BW. Op grond van dit artikel kaneen rechtspersoon, waarvan de werkzaamheden of het doel in strijd zijn met de openbareorde, op vordering van het Openbaar Ministerie verboden worden verklaard en ontbonden.Van deze mogelijkheid wordt - voor zover het gaat om politieke partijen - bij de bestrijdingvan discriminatie pas gebruik gemaakt indien de discriminatie of het aanzetten daartoezodanige vormen aannemen dat er sprake is van stelselmatige, zeer ernstige verstoring vanhet democratische proces. In de derde plaats krijgt handhaving van bestaande voorschriftentegen discriminatie reeds bijzondere aandacht. Zo wordt in artikel 16 van de Wetsubsidiëring politieke partijen voorzien in een regeling die politieke partijen, die op grond vande anti-discriminatiebepalingen in het Wetboek van Strafrecht (de artikelen 137 c, d, e, f, ofg, en artikel 429 quater) worden veroordeeld tot een onvoorwaardelijke geldboete, voor eennader bepaalde periode van rechtswege hun aanspraken op subsidie en zendtijd ontneemt.Ondanks de conclusie van het Comité meent de regering dat met de huidige Nederlandsewetgeving wordt voldaan aan de verplichtingen op grond van artikel 7 van het VN-Vrouwenverdrag.De opvatting van het Comité dat het naamrecht in strijd is met het gelijkheidsbeginsel wordtniet gedeeld. Ook gaat het CEDAW Comité er ten onrechte vanuit dat indien ouders niet totovereenstemming kunnen komen over de achternaam van hun kind, het kind altijd deachternaam van de vader krijgt. Dit is slechts het geval wanneer de ouders getrouwd zijn. Inalle andere gevallen (niet getrouwd, kind al dan niet erkend door de vader) krijgt het kind, bijgebrek aan overeenstemming tussen de ouders, de achternaam van de moeder. Dit is bepaaldomdat het onwenselijk is dat de achternaam van het kind onbepaald blijft totdat beide ouderstot overeenstemming zijn gekomen. De regeling is vervat in het Burgerlijk Wetboek en wordtondersteund door een uitspraak van het Europees Hof voor de Rechten van de Mens (zaaknr. 42973/98, Bijleveld vs. Nederland), waarin het Hof het verschil in behandeling redelijk enproportioneel achtte.In de 4 de internationale rapportage zal op verzoek van het Comité ook aandacht besteedworden aan specifieke gezondheidsproblemen bij vrouwen zoals HIV/AIDS, alcohol- entabaksverslaving.


4Tot slot was het Comité positief over het in gang zetten van de bekrachtiging van hetFacultatief Protocol bij het VN-Vrouwenverdrag. Het desbetreffend wetsvoorstel is vooradvies naar de Raad van State gestuurd.De Staatssecretaris van Sociale Zakenen Werkgelegenheid,(mr. A.E. Verstand-Bogaert)Committee on the Elimination ofDiscrimination against WomenTwenty-fifth session2-20 July 2001Consideration of reports of States partiesThe Netherlands (Advance Unedited Version)Second and third periodic reports1. The Committee considered the second and third periodic reports of the Netherlands(CEDAW/C/NET/2 and Add.1 and 2, CEDAW/C/NET/3 and Add.1 and 2) at its 512th and 513thmeetings, on 6 July 2001.(a) Introduction by the State party2. In introducing the second and third periodic reports, the representative of the Kingdom of theNetherlands indicated that the Netherlands had fully endorsed the Convention and that, during recentdecades, a genuine revolution had taken place in the labour market, whereby while in 1988 only a thirdof women had paid employment, in 2001 the level of participation had risen to 52 per cent. There was,however, still evidence of a "male breadwinner's model of society", as shown by the low numbers ofwomen in senior positions, in technical professions and the large number of women who had part-timejobs which did not provide economic independence. The representative indicated that the Governmentwould remain firm on accelerating the emancipation process.3. The representative underscored the fact that paid employment was a prerequisite for economicindependence and that women's economic independence contributed to a more equal balance of power,which had proved to be the most effective instrument for preventing and combating violence againstwomen. Participation of women in the labour force was the focus of the Government's recent Multi-yearPlan on Emancipation Policy, which involved all government ministries. Concrete targets included that65 per cent of women would have paid employment by 2010 and that 60 per cent of women whocurrently had part-time jobs would be fully economically independent.4. The representative indicated that labour participation by women could be increased only through areallocation of care tasks between women and men and that a number of measures had been taken in thatregard, including doubling the capacity of child-care facilities; the introduction of a Work and Care Bill,


5which included four weeks' leave for foster parents or parents of adopted children; flexible use of thethree-months parental leave provisions; 10 days' leave per year to take care of a sick child, partner orparent; and a law giving employees a right to work more or less hours per week. Additionally, the "DailyRoutine" project, which aimed at a better alignment of education, child care and leisure facilities, hadbeen established. The Government would be delineating a "Daily Routine" policy in the near future.5. The strategy of gender mainstreaming had been accepted by the Government and all departments hada responsibility for gender mainstreaming, with each having formulated measurable emancipation tasks.Examples in this regard included a new tax system, which promoted the economic independence ofwomen; the preparation of a tax measure aimed at facilitating women's re-entry into the labour market;and efforts to increase the number of black, ethnic minority and refugee women in local councils.6. Domestic violence was still a serious problem in the Netherlands, and the Minister of Justice hadsubmitted to the Parliament a plan of action against domestic violence, which included more severepunishments against the perpetrators of domestic violence. In accordance with European Union policy,the Netherlands had appointed a national rapporteur on trafficking in persons and was the first countryof the European Union to do so.7. The representative of the Netherlands highlighted aspects of the Multi-year Plan on EmancipationPolicy, including a life-cycle project, which examined diversity in lifestyles.8. On behalf of the Government of the Netherlands Antilles, another representative explained therestructuring programme and aggressive economic policy in place and indicated that while obstaclesexisted, developments in gender equality had taken place. Among these were the coming into force of thefirst part of a new civil code, which abolished a number of discriminatory laws and granted women equalrights in issues pertaining to marriage and the family. Irretrievable breakdown had been delineated as theonly ground for divorce and either spouse could request termination of the marriage on that ground.Differences in status between children born in and out of wedlock had been eliminated; a law had beenenacted which provided protection to domestic workers, most of whom were women; and termination oflabour contracts on the basis of marriage and pregnancy had been prohibited. In addressing increasedsexual violence against women, the penal code had been amended to increase the maximum punishmentavailable for sexual offences and special training had been given to police officers in dealing with victimsof domestic violence. Campaigns condemning violence against women had also been carried out incollaboration with local non-governmental organizations. The representative indicated that regionalcollaboration on gender issues between Aruba, Suriname and the Netherlands Antilles was beingexpanded.9. Turning to developments in Aruba on behalf of the Government of Aruba, the representative indicatedthat a National Bureau of Women's Affairs had been established in 1996, and that had had an importantrole in raising awareness of women's rights, existing discriminatory laws and traditional attitudes andpractices. Owing to limited resources, most of the Bureau's projects had been carried out within thecontext of the regional collaboration between Aruba, Suriname and the Netherlands Antilles. The threecountries had agreed to develop projects on job training for women; gender awareness training for mediapersonnel; sexuality and reproductive health of teenage mothers; and violence against women. A regionalmeeting would be held on women's participation in leadership and decision-making. The Arubanparliament had approved a new civil code which eliminated existing discriminatory laws, and a medicalinsurance scheme aimed at providing health care for all persons had been introduced. Efforts were underway to counteract violence against women, including through the establishment of a shelter for batteredwomen and the introduction of draft amendments to the criminal code, which had included marital rape.Also of importance was the establishment of a UNAIDS Theme Group for the prevention and control ofHIV/AIDS in Aruba. In closing, the representative mentioned several few remaining areas of concern,including sex-segregation in the labour force, with the employment of women concentrated in the lowerskilledand lower-paid occupations, and low levels of women's participation in politics and decisionmaking.(b) Concluding comments of the Committee


6Introduction10. The Committee commends the Government of the Netherlands on its second and third periodicreports, which are in accordance with the Committee's guidelines for the preparation of periodic reports.It commends the Government for the comprehensive written replies to the questions posed by theCommittee's pre-session working group, and the oral presentation of the delegation which sought toclarify the current situation of women in the Kingdom of the Netherlands, including in the NetherlandsAntilles and Aruba, and provided additional information on the implementation of the Convention. TheCommittee also welcomes the written responses to a number of its additional questions posed duringconstructive dialogue which were provided in the final week of the session.11. The Committee congratulates the Government for its high-level delegation, headed by the Secretaryof State for Social Affairs and Employment. The Committee appreciates the constructive and frankdialogue that took place between the delegation and the members of the Committee, but regrets that norepresentatives of the Governments of the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba were able to be part of thedelegation which presented the reports as this would have enhanced the constructive dialogue.Positive aspects12. The Committee commends the Government on its conceptual approach to the implementation of eacharticle of the Convention which incorporates, wherever applicable, three policy levels: achievement ofcomplete equality for women before the law; improvement of the position of women; and efforts toconfront the dominant gender-based ideology.13. The Committee commends the Government on its extensive programme of legislative andadministrative reforms which contribute to the implementation of the Convention.14. The Committee also commends the Government on its programme to combat trafficking, particularlyon the appointment of a National Rapporteur on Traffic in Persons, whose aim is to provide theGovernment with recommendations on how best to tackle the problem of trafficking, and for itscommitment to combat this phenomenon at the European Union level.15. The Committee commends that Government for its willingness to place objections to reservationsentered by other States parties that it considers incompatible with the object and purpose of theConvention.16. The Committee also commends the Government for having accepted the amendment to article 20,paragraph 1, of the Convention.17. The Committee welcomes the establishment in Aruba in 1996, in accordance with the Committee'srecommendations, of a National Bureau on Women's Affairs.Factors and difficulties affecting the implementation of the Convention18. The Committee notes that there are no significant factors or difficulties which prevent the effectiveimplementation of the Convention in the Kingdom of the Netherlands.Principal areas of concern and recommendations19. The Committee expresses concern that the Netherlands' policy of balanced division of paid work andunpaid care has not produced expected results, as the burden of unpaid care still falls mainly on women.The Committee is also concerned that women who work outside the home devote twice as much time asmen to unpaid work, and that there are still insufficient child-care places.20. The Committee recommends that the policy of balanced division of paid work and unpaid care bereviewed. It also recommends that greater efforts be devoted to the development of additionalprogrammes and policies to encourage men to share family and caring responsibilities. The Committee


7also recommends that the Government ensure the availability of sufficient child-care places, and anuninterrupted long school day.21. Despite efforts to combat discrimination in the Netherlands, the Committee expresses concern at thecontinuing discrimination against immigrant, refugee and minority women who suffer from multiplediscrimination, based on their sex and ethnic background in society at large as well as in their owncommunities, particularly with respect to education, employment and violence against women. TheCommittee is also concerned about manifestations of racism and xenophobia in the Netherlands.22. The Committee urges the Government to take effective measures to eliminate discrimination againstimmigrant, refugee and minority women, both within their communities and society at large. It urges theGovernment to respect and promote the human rights of women over discriminatory cultural practices,and take effective and proactive measures, including awareness-raising and community sensitizingprogrammes, to combat patriarchal attitudes, practices and stereotypical roles and to eliminatediscrimination and violence against women in immigrant and minority communities. The Committeealso urges the Government to eliminate xenophobia and racism in the Netherlands by strengthening itsefforts to combat the activities of racist and xenophobic groups based in the Kingdom of the Netherlands.23. The Committee is concerned about the lack of information in the reports on the de facto situation ofwomen of ethnic and minority communities in respect to their access to education, employment andhealth services. It is also concerned at the limited information on their freedom from violence, includingthrough female genital mutilation, domestic violence and honour crimes, as well as other discriminatorypractices such as polygamy, early marriage and forced pregnancy.24. The Committee urges the Government to provide in its next report detailed information, includingstatistics disaggregated by sex and ethnicity on the implementation of the Convention with respect todifferent ethnic and minority groups resident in the territory of the State party.25. Noting the recent legislation on the abolition of the ban on brothels, which came into effect inOctober 2000, the Committee underlines the fact that prostitution poses risks for women of exploitationand violence.26. The Committee urges the Government to begin monitoring this law immediately and provide, in itsnext report, an assessment of the intended, as well as unintended effects of the law, including withrespect to risks of violence and to health, in particular in regard to those women without residencepermits who are engaged in prostitution. The Committee also urges the Government to increase itsefforts to provide training and education for prostitutes in order to ensure that they have a full range ofoptions for earning their livelihood.27. The Committee is concerned about non-European women who have been trafficked who fearexpulsion to their countries of origin and who might lack the effective protection of their Government ontheir return.28. The Committee urges the Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to ensure that traffickedwomen are provided with full protection in their countries of origin or grant them asylum/refugee status.29. Although acknowledging the efforts undertaken by the Government in solving the problem ofdiscrimination faced by women at the work place through all the legislative measures aimed atimproving women's economic status, including, inter alia, the Work and Care Bill, the Flexibility andSecurity Act, the Working Conditions Act and the Working Hours (Adjustment) Act, the Committeeexpresses concern over continuing discrimination in employment and business enterprises. TheCommittee is also concerned with the "horizontal" and "vertical" gender segregation of the labourmarket, and the concentration of women in part-time employment. The Committee is concerned that inthe private sector women earn on average 23% less than men, although when "corrected" in light of thework they do and their personal characteristics, this differential is reduced to 7%.30. The Committee urges the Government to increase its efforts to eliminate stereotypes relating to


8traditional areas of employment and education for women. The Committee recommends efforts toimprove the conditions for working women so as to enable them to choose full-time, rather than parttimeemployment, in which they are currently overrepresented. It also urges the Government to eliminatethe discrimination part-time workers face in relation to overtime.31. The Committee is concerned that elderly women might be marginalized within, as well asinsufficiently covered by, the health insurance and pension systems and urges the Government to payspecial attention to the needs of elderly women in Daily Routine programmes.32. The Committee is concerned about the low presence of women in high-ranking posts in all areas, andparticularly in academia where, according to 1996 figures, women hold only 5 per cent of professorships.The Committee is also concerned about the low participation of women in political and public life. In thepresent Government, women hold 26.75 per cent of posts in ministries whereas, according to 1998figures, only 7.5 per cent of posts at the level of ambassadors, permanent representatives and consulsgeneralare filled by women.33. The Committee urges the Government to make efforts to facilitate an increase of the numbers ofwomen in high-ranking posts. It recommends the adoption of proactive measures to encourage morewomen to apply for these positions, as well as through the implementation of temporary special measuresin accordance with article 4, paragraph 1, of the Convention, where necessary including in decisionmakingin politics, the economy and academia.34. The Committee notes with concern that in the Netherlands there is a political party represented in theParliament which excludes women from membership which is a violation of article 7c of the Convention.35. The Committee recommends that the State party take urgent measure to address this situation,including through the adoption of legislation that brings the membership of political parties intoconformity with the obligations under article 7.36. The Committee is concerned that there is insufficient information on the issue of HIV/AIDS isincluded in the reports and requests the Government to provide such information in its next periodicreport in accordance with the Committee's general recommendation 15.37. The Committee is concerned at the absence of information in the reports of tobacco and alcoholaddiction among women. It is also concerned at the absence of information on drug addiction amongwomen, particularly in light of the decriminalization of the use of certain drugs. The Committee requeststhat information on these areas be provided in the next report, and taking account of paragraph 10 of itsgeneral recommendation 24 on women and health, on any meaures to address these issues.38. The Committee is concerned that the new Law on Names provides that where the parents cannotreach an agreement as to the name of a child, the father has the ultimate decision. The Committeeconsiders that this contravenes the basic principle of equality in the Convention and, in particular, article16 (g).39. The Committee recommends that the Government review the Law on Names and amend it to complywith the Convention.40. The Committee found it difficult to evaluate the implementation of the Convention in theNetherlands Antilles and Aruba because no representatives of the Governments of those territories werepart of the delegation which presented their reports.41. The Committee urges the Government of the Netherlands to ensure that the Governments of theNetherlands Antilles and Aruba are sufficiently supported so that they can be part of the delegation of theKingdom of the Netherlands when it presents its next periodic report to the Committee.42. Based on the information provided, the Committee expresses concern about the status of women inthe Netherlands Antilles and Aruba where, despite the strides that have been made towards


9strengthening women's legal position, gender equality is far from being achieved, and gender-basedstereotypes persist. The Committee is particularly concerned about the negative effects which theStructural Adjustment Programmes might have on women in the Netherlands Antilles as well as on thelimited resources available to the National Bureau of Women's Affairs in Aruba, which might preventthe effective implementation of projects aimed at empowering women.43. The Committee urges the Government of the Netherlands to strengthen its economic support to theNetherlands Antilles and Aruba, particularly support for programmes on capacity-building to betterachieve gender equality, including support for the implementation of the Convention.44. Noting the positive contributions of the Netherlands to the process of elaboration of the OptionalProtocol, the Committee urges the Government to ratify that instrument as soon as possible.45. The Committee requests the Government to respond to the concerns expressed in the presentconcluding comments in its next periodic report under article 18 of the Convention.46. The Committee requests the wide dissemination in the Kingdom of the Netherlands, including theNetherlands Antilles and Aruba, of the present concluding comments in order to make the people of theKingdom of the Netherlands, and particularly government administrators and politicians, aware of thesteps that have been taken to ensure de jure and de facto equality for women and the future steps requiredin that regard. It also requests the Government to continue to disseminate widely, in particular towomen's and human rights organizations, the Convention and its Optional Protocol, the Committee'sgeneral recommendations, the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, and the results of the twentythirdspecial session of the General Assembly entitled "Women 2000: gender equality, development andpeace in the twenty-first century".

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