- July 25, 2014
The Committee on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women tackled the subject of women’s rights in Lithuania
Lithuania should take into account women’s needs while implementing women’s rights policy–that is the conclusion of the Committee on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women’s consideration of the report of Lithuania.
“The current trend in of gender neutrality in Lithuania means actually not noticing and not educating about differences in social statuses of men and women. The gender aspect is not taken into account in legislation or various programs aimed at solving problems concerning mostly women–domestic violence, human trafficking, discrimination. Those issues were included in the alternative report prepared by the Human Rights Monitoring Institute,” said Natalija Bitiukova, the deputy director of the HRMI.
After consideration of the fifth periodic report of Lithuania, the Committee pointed out lack of prominence of the Office of the Ombudsman in implementing equal opportunity for women policy. Only 14% of discrimination complaints were on grounds of gender, which means that the Office is not perceived by the Lithuanian society as an institution effectively defending men and women’s rights.
The Committee is also concerned with the lack of activity regarding fighting with deeply rooted gender stereotypes that harm and discriminate women.
It also urges Lithuania to effectively fight violence against women by ratifying the Istanbul Convention, implementing of a strategy fighting various kinds of violence against women, and not employing settlement in cases regarding domestic violence.
The Committee is especially concerned with expanding scope of trafficking of girls and women, the lack of a national program aimed at fighting human trafficking, and with no trainings for judges, prosecutors and law enforcement officers on helping victims of trafficking. It urges Lithuania to establish a comprehensive help program for victims of trafficking of women. The Committee also recommends preventing exploitation of female sex workers by providing girls and women education and job opportunities, which would diminish the risk of them being drawn into prostitution; introduction of ban on the purchase of prostitution services is advised.
The underrepresentation of women in Lithuanian politics and public life, as well as discrimination in the job market, are also the cause of the Committee’s concern.
The Committee advises against adopting laws aimed at restricting women’s right to safe and legal abortion, and to adopt bills providing right to reproductive health.
Based on info provided by the Human Rights Monitoring Institute.
Translated by Michał M. Kowalski within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.