Congo: Government responds to questions raised by women

News and Press Release
Originally published
NAIROBI, 30 January (IRIN) - The Republic of Congo (ROC) responded on Wednesday to questions raised by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women on traditional practices and customary laws that subject women to unfair treatment.
The committee, which met on 24 January to consider the combined initial, second, third, fourth and fifth periodic reports of the ROC on compliance with the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, had asked the government to eradicate discriminatory laws.

The committee met again on Wednesday to hear the government's response. The ROC's representative told the committee members that since the ROC ratified the Convention in 1983, it had eliminated discriminatory laws in order to ensure gender equality. Men and women in the ROC now enjoyed the freedom of consent in cases of marriage or divorce, independent employment, equivalent wages, equal access to education and other rights, Delphine Emmanuel-Adouki, the director of the cabinet of the country's Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and the Advancement of Women, told the committee.

The committee had on 24 January cited several ROC laws which contain discriminatory provisions in the fields of labour and taxation, and in the criminal and family laws.

Regarding the level of awareness of the Convention, Emmanuel-Adouki told the committee that the ROC had made the treaty available to several relevant groups, and had conducted seminars to explain it in the country's local languages.

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