Netherlands (CEDAW 24-11-2016)
The Committee considered the sixth periodic report of the Netherlands (CEDAW/C/NLD/6) at its 1457th and 1458th meetings, on 10 November 2016 (see CEDAW/C/SR.1457 and 1458). The Committee’s list of issues and questions is contained in CEDAW/C/NLD/Q/6 and the responses of the Netherlands are contained in CEDAW/C/NLD/Q/6/Add.1.
D. Principal areas of concern and recommendations
Stereotypes and harmful practices
- The Committee welcomes the State party’s efforts to combat discriminatory gender stereotypes and harmful practices such as female genital mutilation and crimes in the name of so-called honour, as well as the adoption of the Forced Marriages (Countermeasures) Act, which entered into force in December 2015. Nevertheless, the Committee notes with concern that:
(a) Discriminatory stereotypes regarding the roles and responsibilities of women and men in the family and in society persist in the State party;
(b) The media and the advertising sector continue to convey stereotyped and sexualized images of women and the self-regulation of the media, including under the Advertising Code Foundation, does not sufficiently address the issue;
(c) Discriminatory stereotypes and hate speech are targeted at Muslim women, migrant women and women asylum seekers in the State party;
(d) Women and girls continue to be at risk of female genital mutilation, forced marriage and crimes in the name of so-called honour;
(e) Medically irreversible sex reassignment surgery and other treatments are performed on intersex children.
- The Committee recommends that the State party:
(a) Adopt a comprehensive strategy to eliminate discriminatory stereotypes regarding the roles and responsibilities of women and men in the family and in society, which should include a monitoring mechanism to assess the impact of the steps taken and design remedial action;
(b) Amend the Media Act in line with articles 2 (f) and 5 (a) of the Convention in order that gender role stereotyping is considered to be discrimination;
(c) Intensify engagement with relevant actors and allocate resources to finance effective awareness-raising campaigns to promote positive and non-stereotypical portrayals of women in the media and in advertisements and conduct a study on the possible impact of sexist portrayals of women and girls in the media and the extent to which they exacerbate gender-based violence against women in the State party;
(d) Intensify efforts to combat stereotypes against Muslim women, migrant women and women asylum seekers, who are targets of hate speech and racially motivated violence in the State party;
(e) Continue to combat harmful practices, in particular forced marriage, female genital mutilation and crimes in the name of so-called honour, and systematically collect disaggregated data on those harmful practices;
(f) Develop and implement a rights-based health-care protocol for intersex children that ensures that children and their parents are properly informed of all options, that children are, to the greatest extent possible, involved in decision-making about medical interventions and that their choices are fully respected.
Gender-based violence against women
- The Committee commends the State party on its efforts to tackle gender-based violence against women, such as the adoption of the Social Support Act (2015), which broadened the concept of social support to include safety in the domestic setting, and the ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence in 2015. Nevertheless, the Committee remains concerned by:
(a) The high number of women who are victims of domestic violence, in particular partner violence;
(b) The fact that the recidivism rate for perpetrators of domestic violence who had been subjected to a domestic exclusion order amounts to 29 per cent, with 24.6 per cent of cases considered to be serious and 5.8 per cent extremely serious;
(c) The lack of data on gender-based violence, including domestic violence, in the municipalities of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba, notwithstanding the prevalence of domestic violence, which is often linked to poverty and housing problems;
(d) The lack of data on the impact of the broadening of the Social Support Act of 2015 to include safety in the domestic setting and of the merger of child abuse and domestic violence services;
(e) The lack of information on the impact of the steps taken, in the light of a change in approach, to have a gender-neutral police service that handles genderbased violence;
(f) Reports of hate crimes against lesbian, bisexual and transgender women and intersex persons.
- In line with its general recommendation No. 19 (1992) on violence against women, the Committee recommends that the State party:
(a) Intensify efforts to combat gender-based violence against women, including domestic violence, by ensuring that prosecutors and police officers are properly trained to identify, investigate and prosecute cases of genderbased violence;
(b) Ensure the effective enforcement of domestic exclusion orders and monitoring with a view to combating repeat offending, which often results in serious forms of gender-based violence;
(c) Systematically collect data on all forms of violence against women, disaggregated by age and the relationship between the perpetrator and the victim, as well as on protection measures, prosecutions and sanctions imposed on perpetrators, in particular in the municipalities of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba;
(d) Evaluate the provision of shelter services and their management by municipal authorities in the light of the merger of child abuse and domestic violence services and provide information in the next periodic report on the impact of such changes; CEDAW/C/NLD/CO/68/15 16-20855
(e) Revise the policy on domestic violence to replace the gender-neutral approach with a gender-sensitive approach that focuses on the identification of the gender aspects of domestic violence;
(f) Intensify efforts to combat hate crimes against lesbian, bisexual and transgender women and intersex persons.