The Committee considered the initial report of Andorra (CEDAW/C/AND/1)
at its 516th, 517th and 523rd meetings, on 10 and 13 July 2001
(see CEDAW/C/SR.516, 517 and 523).
(a) Introduction by the State party
In introducing the report, the representative of Andorra informed
the Committee that Andorra had signed the Optional Protocol
to the Convention on 9 July 2001. He reaffirmed his country's
commitment to the Convention, to which it had acceded in 1997.
The representative pointed out that the transformation of women's
status in Andorra over the past 50 years had constituted a peaceful
revolution. Previously, women had held only decision-making
power in the family and had been traditionally excluded from
political life. Andorra had accepted a number of international
treaties and was committed to the implementation of the Beijing
Platform for Action and the outcome document of the twenty-third
special session of the General Assembly on the five-year follow-up
to the Fourth World Conference on Women, which constituted the
framework for the empowerment of women and the integration of
a gender dimension in the administration of the Principality.
The Secretariat of State for Family Affairs had been created
to address the consequences of social, political, cultural and
economic pressures on the family and, in particular, their impact
on women. The 1993 Constitution prohibited discrimination against
women in the enjoyment of civil and political rights and there
was no discrimination against women in Andorran legislation.
Widowed and divorced women were, however, required by the marriage
law to wait 300 days before remarriage in order to protect the
succession rights of descendants. This provision was currently
being studied by the Government, with a view to its revision.
The representative indicated that since women had gained the
right to vote in 1970, and to be elected in 1973, there had
been a significant increase in the number of women in positions
of leadership in the Government, Parliament and local administration.
Three of the nine governmental ministers were women, while,
at the most recent municipal elections held in December 1999,
three women had been elected mayors and twelve commune councillors.
Women's role in economic life was also considerable; however,
although legislation provided for equality between women and
men in employment, inequalities still existed, in particular
as women were concentrated in such sectors as education, health
care, administration and tourism. Legislation had been introduced
to preclude dismissal on the grounds of pregnancy, to provide
for maternity leave and to allow women to reconcile work and
family responsibilities. Women and men in Andorra had equal
access to education and women outnumbered men in tertiary education.
However, female students predominated in the humanities and
male students in technical fields of study.
The Constitution granted comprehensive health and social security
rights. Women were well-informed with regard to contraception,
but abortion was not allowed under the Penal Code. Information
and counselling programmes on HIV/AIDS had been carried out
by the Government since 1993.
The representative indicated that the Constitution affirmed
the right of every individual to physical integrity, and accordingly
guaranteed protection from gender-based violence. Data gathered
over the past four years indicated that incidents of abuse and
aggression against women had increased annually. The Government
was considering the introduction of measures, including the
creation of women's shelters, to address that problem. It had
signed an action protocol prepared by the Ministry of Health
and Welfare, which contained guidelines to improve the response
of the social, health, law-enforcement and judicial sectors
to victims. A 24-hour hotline had been established and the Government
was implementing the actions agreed upon in the Beijing Platform
for Action to address violence against women.
(b) Concluding comments of the Committee
The Committee expresses its appreciation to the Government of
Andorra for submitting its initial report after its accession
to the Convention in 1997. It also commends the State party
for its frank and substantive oral presentation, which describes
developments that have taken place since the submission of the
report in July 2000, further clarifies the current situation
of women in Andorra and provides additional information on the
present status of implementation of the Convention.
The Committee commends the State party on the large, high-level
delegation, headed by the Secretary of State for Family Affairs,
which presented its report. The Committee appreciates the frank
and open dialogue that took place between the delegation and
the members of the Committee.
The Committee commends the State party for its political will
and the efforts made to ensure the implementation of the Convention
and other international human rights instruments. It also commends
the Government for its efforts to comply with the recommendations
of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and its expressed
intention to integrate the results of the twenty-third special
session of the General Assembly into its national policy on
34. The Committee welcomes the fact that human rights treaties
are directly applicable in the national legal system and that
the specific elements of some treaties have been reflected in
The Committee welcomes the fact that Andorra acceded to the
Convention in 1997 without reservations and signed the Optional
Protocol to the Convention in 2001.
The Committee notes with satisfaction the establishment of the
Secretariat for Family Affairs as the machinery to deal with
women's issues and to ensure the implementation of the Beijing
Platform for Action. It commends the Government for its commitment
to include the recommendations of the Committee in the next
four-year programme of the Secretariat for Family Affairs.
Factors and difficulties affecting the implementation of the
The Committee notes that there are no significant factors or
difficulties that prevent the effective implementation of the
Convention in Andorra.
Principal areas of concern and recommendations
The Committee expresses its concern at the persistence of patriarchal
patterns of behaviour in Andorra, as well as at the existence
of negative stereotypes relating to the roles of women and men
in the home, the workplace and society. The Committee expresses
its particular concern that, while women are rapidly becoming
integrated into the world of paid employment, men are not becoming
involved in parental and household tasks at a comparable rate.
The Committee recommends that high priority be given to efforts
to eradicate traditional stereotypes that perpetuate direct
and indirect discrimination against women. It encourages the
State party to strengthen educational measures, beginning at
a very early age, and to increase collaboration with civil society
organizations, the media and the private sector in order to
achieve a greater balance in the roles and responsibilities
of women and men, in particular in the sharing of family duties.
While taking into consideration the fact that Andorran society
is experiencing important economic, social, cultural and demographic
change, the Committee encourages the Government to take a gender
perspective into consideration in the design of future policies
While welcoming the commitment of the State party to collect
data disaggregated by sex, the Committee is concerned by the
absence, in both the report and in the answers to the questions
posed by the Committee, of statistical information disaggregated
by sex on the areas covered by the Convention.
The Committee urges the Government to collect data disaggregated
by sex in order to provide information on the situation of women
in all areas covered by the Convention and on the progress made
in its implementation. Such information will provide the basis
for the design of appropriate policies and programmes to accelerate
the achievement of equality.
The Committee expresses its concern about the situation of women
migrant workers, in particular those who work in the tourist
The Committee urges the State party to provide full details
on the situation of women migrant workers in its next report
and on the enjoyment by women working in the tourist industry
of the rights established by the Convention.
The Committee expresses concern about the situation of women
in employment. It also expresses concern about the highly segregated
labour market, the large percentage of women in low-paid jobs
and in unpaid family labour. It further expresses concern at
the wide gap in pay between women and men, that women may not
receive equal pay for work of equal value, and the fact that
there is no specific legislation which prohibits discrimination
in employment in general, and which guarantees equal pay for
work of equal value, in particular.
The Committee urges the State party to monitor consistently
the situation of women with respect to paid employment and unpaid
family labour. It recommends that the State party consider the
introduction of legislation on equal employment opportunities
and for positive action as provided in article 4.1 of the Convention.
It also recommends that the State party avail itself of existing
research and practice with regard to equal pay for work of equal
and comparable value in order to overcome pay inequity.
The Committee expresses concern at the existence of several
discriminatory laws, including the provision of the Marriage
Law that requires widowed or divorced women to wait 300 days
before remarriage. The Committee urges the State party to review
existing legislation, including the Marriage Law, to comply
with the Convention.
The Committee expresses concern about the punitive abortion
laws that could cause women to seek unsafe and clandestine abortion.
The Committee suggests that the State party consider the revision
of such punitive laws according to general recommendation 24
of the Committee.2
The Committee expresses concern that the State party's efforts
to eliminate de jure inequality between women and men have not
been matched by efforts to eliminate inequality de facto.
The Committee encourages the State party to monitor carefully
the impact of legislation, policies and programmes to eliminate
inequality between women and men and to take steps to ensure
that equal rights are enjoyed de facto. It requests the State
party to include in its next report detailed information on
the impact on women's lives of legislation, policies and programmes
aimed at the implementation of the Convention.
The Committee urges the State party to ratify the Optional Protocol
to the Convention as soon as possible, and to submit its instrument
of acceptance to article 20, paragraph 1, concerning the meeting
time of the Committee.
The Committee requests the State party to respond in its next
report to the outstanding issues raised by the Committee in
constructive dialogue, as well as to the specific issues raised
in the present concluding comments. It further requests the
State party to provide in its next report an assessment of the
impact of measures taken to implement the Convention.
The Committee requests the wide dissemination in Andorra of
the present concluding comments in order to make the people
of Andorra and, in particular, governmental administrators and
politicians aware of the steps that have been taken de jure
and de facto to achieve equality for women and of the further
steps that are required in this regard. It requests the Government
to continue to disseminate widely, in particular to women's
and human rights organizations, the Convention and its Optional
Protocol, the Committee's general recommendations, the Beijing
Declaration and Platform for Action3 and the outcome
document of the twenty-third special session of the General
Assembly, entitled "Women 2000: gender equality, development
and peace for the twenty-first century".4
2 Official Records of the General Assembly, Fifty-fourth
Session, Supplement No. 38 (A/54/38/Rev.1), chap.
I, sect. A.
of the Fourth World Conference on Women, Beijing,
4-15 September 1995 (United Nations publication, Sales
No. E.96.IV.13), chap. I, resolution 1, annexes I and II.
Assembly resolution S-23/3, annex.