UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women

Norway (CEDAW 22-11-2017)

The Committee considered the ninth periodic report of Norway (CEDAW/C/NOR/9) at its 1552nd and 1553rd meetings (see CEDAW/C/SR.1552 and CEDAW/C/SR.1553), held on 7 November 2017. The Committee’s list of issues and questions are contained in CEDAW/C/NOR/Q/9 and the responses of Norway are contained in CEDAW/C/NOR/Q/9/Add.1.

Concluding observations

D. Principal areas of concern and recommendations

Stereotypes and harmful practices

  1. The Committee welcomes the measures taken by the State party to combat harmful practices within its territory and abroad, including the adoption of legislation specifically criminalizing child and/or forced marriage and female genital mutilation and the comprehensive, periodically renewed action plan, which can be characterized as a good practice, to combat those harmful practices and crimes in the name of so‑called honour. It also welcomes the fact that the State party was one of the first countries to criminalize hate speech, including online sexual hate speech and online revenge porn. The Committee is nevertheless concerned that:

(a) There are currently no reliable statistics on the number of women who have been subjected to forced marriage or female genital mutilation;

(b) Section 185 of the Penal Code does not include gender hate speech;

(c) Childhood and adolescence has become increasingly commercialized, gendered and sexualized, resulting in omnipresent negative gender stereotypes and giving rise to intimate partner violence, a youth culture that is increasingly marked by the objectification and sexualization of girls and girls presenting themselves in a highly sexual manner;

(d) The prosecution and police authorities have noted the influence of pornography in abuse cases, resulting, for example, in a significant increase, by 60 per cent in 2016, in reported rape cases in which the alleged perpetrator is a child;

(e) There are no plans to systematically address various forms of stereotypes stemming from negative attitudes about women and girls belonging to certain racial, ethnic and religious groups, leading to multiple forms of discrimination.

  1. The Committee recommends that the State party:                                        

(a) Systematically collect disaggregated data on harmful practices in the State party and report them to the Committee in its next periodic report;                                        

(b) Strengthen primary and secondary education on gender stereotypes, prejudice, gender identity and gender roles, including on various forms of stereotypes affecting minority women and girls, in particular Sami women and women with a migrant background;                                        

(c) Allocate resources for research into the root causes and possible impact of oversexualized representations of girls and women in the media and the possible connections between sexualization and pornography and the root causes of gender-based violence, in particular in relation to girls;                                        

(d) Step up the implementation of the action plan against hate speech, which should provide for a monitoring mechanism to assess the impact of the measures taken and design remedial action, with a special focus on women facing intersecting forms of discrimination based on gender and racially, ethnically, religiously and nationalistically motivated hate speech, lesbian, bisexual and transgender women and intersex persons, and women with disabilities;                                        

(e) Amend section 185 of the Penal Code to add gender to the list of actions that qualify as criminal hateful expressions.

Refugee and asylum-seeking women and girls

  1. While the Committee welcomes the fact that gender-related persecution, including that of lesbian, bisexual and transgender women and intersex persons, is a relevant factor in asylum case decisions in the State party, and that rape, forced sterilization or abortion, female genital mutilation, bride burning and killings in the name of so-called honour may also constitute persecution, the Committee is nonetheless concerned that the tightening of the laws relating to refugees and asylum seekers may have a disproportionately negative impact on women and girls.
  2. In line with its general recommendations No. 32 (2014) on the gender-related dimensions of refugee status, asylum, nationality and statelessness of women and No. 30 (2013) on women in conflict prevention, conflict and post-conflict situations, the Committee calls upon the State party to continue to apply a gender-sensitive approach in receiving refugee and asylum-seeking women and in considering asylum claims, thereby ensuring that the protection needs of asylum-seeking and refugee women and girls arriving in the State party are addressed as a priority concern.


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