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UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
Poland (CEDAW 14-11-2014)
The Committee considered the combined seventh and eighth periodic reports of Poland (CEDAW/C/POL/7-8) at its 1249th and 1250th meetings, on 22 October 2014 (see CEDAW/C/SR.1249 and 1250). The Committee’s list of issues and questions is contained in CEDAW/C/POL/Q/7-8 and the responses of Poland are contained in CEDAW/C/POL/Q/7-8/Add.1.
C. Principal areas of concern and recommendations
- The Committee notes the efforts of the Government aimed at preventing stereotyping of the social roles of women and men in the media and in society in general. However, it reiterates its concern about the persistence of deep-rooted gender stereotypes concerning the roles and responsibilities of women and men in the family and society, which continue to be present in the media and education materials and are reflected by the traditional educational choices of women and their disadvantaged position in the labour market, as well as by widespread violence against women. The Committee is particularly concerned at the reported increase of stereotypical and sometimes degrading media images of women, which perpetuate sexual violence, including rape, and at the absence of a revision of textbooks. The Committee is also concerned at the absence of measures to counter the campaign by the Polish Catholic Church against “gender ideology”. The Committee points at the limited effectiveness, if any, of measures to counter negative stereotypes against Roma women, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex women and women with disabilities.
- The Committee recommends that the State party:
(a) Include the elimination of gender stereotypes, especially those that perpetuate sexual violence, including rape, as a key priority in the National Action Plan for Equal Treatment;
(b) Review, as a matter of priority, textbooks and materials, at all levels of education, to remove discriminatory gender stereotypes;
(c) Encourage the media to project positive images of women and the equal status of women and men in private and public life, and regularly monitor and evaluate such media representations through the National Broadcasting Council and the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection;
(d) Take measures to promote the equal rights of women and combat efforts made by any actors, including the Catholic Church, to downplay or degrade the pursuit of gender equality by labelling such measures as ideology;
(e) Evaluate and strengthen measures to counter negative stereotypes against Roma women, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex women and women with disabilities.