Djibouti

Ratification:

Djibouti ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (“CEDAW”) on October 31, 1994 and the Optional Protocol on February 2, 2005.

Reservations:

Upon ratification, Djibouti made no reservations to CEDAW.

Summary of Official CEDAW Reports:

Since its ratification of CEDAW in 1994, Djibouti has yet to submit an official periodic report to the CEDAW Committee (“Committee”). In 2007, the Committee sent a reminder letter to Djibouti requesting that they submit an official report.

Summary of Shadow Reports:

To date, no shadow report has been submitted regarding the implementation of CEDAW in Djibouti.

Recent Updates:

In its June 2004 National Report on Implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action, Djibouti expressed its commitment to developing a national committee to oversee the application of CEDAW.

The United Nations Development Programme Gender and Citizenship Initiative has reported on the current status of women in Djibouti. Although women are granted equality under Djibouti’s law, extensive discrimination persists in society and few women take part in public life. Women’s personal status is ruled by customary law, which is based on traditional Islamic law, and disadvantages women in areas of travel, divorce and inheritance. When problems do arise, women do not generally feel comfortable taking their legal issues to court.

In the government and business sectors, women are rarely present. Although the President announced in 1999 the creation of a Ministry of Women’s, Family, and Social Affairs, women only make up an estimated 32.3 percent of the work force. Women face many substantial social and economic challenge – famine, poverty, and regional conflict have created difficulties for both women’s groups and the government in improving the status of women in society. Women suffer greatly in terms of education, with high drop-out rates for girls in secondary school and only 30% of girls enrolled in primary school. A weak health care system also affects women adversely, particularly in terms of maternity care services.

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