Togo Equality Agenda

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Togo Equality Agenda

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Presentation Document of the Ministry of Social Action and Promotion of Women (MASPFA)

Theme: Situation of women and girls in Togo

One of the greatest challenges facing all humanity in general and developing countries in particular is the reduction of inequalities and equal participation of men and women in political and economic affairs.

The Year 2021: prospect of holding the 65th session of the Commission on the Status of Women under the theme "full and effective participation of women in decision-making in the public sphere, elimination of violence, achievement of gender equality and empowerment of all women and girls". 

The objective of this report is to present the situation of women's and girls' rights, the progress made and the challenges that remain

 

  1. THE LEGAL FRAMEWORK

A- The international legal framework

Togo has adhered to and ratified most of the international instruments relating to the protection of women and girls. These include, among others

  • Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 (Art 1)

  • Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, to which Togo joined on 26 September 1983

  • Convention on the Rights of the Child, ratified on September 26, 1983.

  • ILO Convention 100 on equal remuneration for men and women workers for work of equal value in 1983

  • ILO Convention 111 on discrimination in employment and occupation in 1983;

  • Beijing Declaration 1995

 

At the continental level,

  • Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights on the Rights of Women in 2005;

  • Solemn Declaration of the AU Heads of State and Government on Gender Equality in Africa.

B- ECOWAS strategic instruments

  • Three very strategic instruments have been approved by the ECOWAS Heads of State and Government, including TOGO. These are

  • The roadmap for the prevention of and response to child marriage in the ECOWAS region, which has an implementation period of 10 years (2030 deadline)

  • The ECOWAS Political Declaration and Common Position against Child Marriage in the ECOWAS region, which presents the commitments of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government to end child marriage,

  • The Declaration on Zero Tolerance for Sexual and Gender-Based Violence and the Elimination of all Forms of Violence against Women and Girls in the ECOWAS Region.

  • ECOWAS Gender Policy which is a reference framework for gender equality in the sub-region;

 

C- National legal framework

To promote the effective implementation of these instruments to which it is a party, Togo has found it necessary to bring itself into line with the said instruments. With this in mind, it has undertaken a vast project of legal reforms

 

  • The Togolese Constitution of October 14, 1992 in its articles 2 and 11 advocates gender equality;

  • the revision of the penal code in 2015. This code prohibits and punishes any discrimination based on gender (access to land, production factors, freedom of movement, etc.).

  • The revision of the code of persons and family (CPF) in 2012 and amended in 2014 and which allows to:

  1. ensure collegial management of the household by the husband and wife ;

  2. promote a better protection of children and the surviving spouse in case of death of the partner (in case of death of one of the father and mother, the exercise of parental authority is devolved in full to the other; the rights of children and the surviving spouse to succeed the predeceased father or mother);

  3. to ensure fiscal equity (the husband is no longer the sole head of the family, the household expenses are no longer his main responsibility in order to benefit from tax deductions at the expense of his wife);

  4. guaranteeing equality between all children, without gender discrimination, in matters of inheritance;

  5. to guarantee the right of the surviving spouse to refuse to undergo degrading mourning rites or those that are likely to harm his or her dignity;

  6. to ensure the protection of the woman at the time of the dissolution of the marriage: the strict regulation of the effects of the dissolution of the marriage, especially by death, now protects the woman from the harmful consequences of the in-laws;

  7. prohibit marital rape.

-The adoption of the Children's Code in 2007;

-The adoption of the law on Reproductive Health in 2007;

-The adoption of the law on people living with HIV (PLHIV) in 2005;

-The revision of the labor code in 2020

 

Adopted in December 2020, Articles 4, 39, 40, 155. of this code deal respectively with the prohibition of any direct or indirect discrimination in employment and occupation; equality in recruitment; protection of women against sexual harassment in the workplace, and equal remuneration between workers for the same work ;

 

  • The revision of the General Statute of the Civil Service in 201

 

This new statute ensures equal opportunities in recruitment, career, and retirement for civil servants;

 

  • Electoral Code revised in 2013 and amended in 2019, including

 

Article 220 of which establishes parity between men and women on electoral lists;

 

and Article 225 reduces by half the amount of the election deposit for female candidates;

 

  • The adoption of the land and property code in 2018

 

This code ensures equal rights for men and women in land matters (art 8 point 8; 12; 13 point 2; 14, points 3 and 5; 628).

 

  • The adoption of the law prohibiting FGM in Togo in 1998 and an arsenal of legal texts giving the State and associations a weapon to fight against it.

  • The tax law adopted November 9, 2018;

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This law is very favorable to businesses especially Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), removes certain taxes allowing women to undertake more in view of their economic empowerment ;

 

  1. INSTITUTIONAL ASPECT

 

With regard to the institutional framework, it is important to note:

 

  • the creation of the MASPFA, within which an entire department is responsible for gender and the advancement of women

  • the creation and implementation of gender focal points in all ministerial departments to ensure that the gender dimension is taken into account in sectoral policies, programs and projects

  • the institutionalization of the national forum of Togolese women, which is an arena for consultation, exchange and sharing of experiences to reposition women's rights issues in national policies

  • the construction of women's centers and listening and counseling centers for victims of gender-based violence

  • the establishment of frameworks for consultation and collaboration between actors in the gender and women's promotion sector with the aim of promoting better synergy of actions and capitalization of the interventions of all actors in the field.

 

  1. PROGRAMMATIC ASPECT

 

  • The National Development Plan (NDP 2018-2022): whose effect 5 of axis 3 is related to the pursuit of the promotion of gender equity and equality, the empowerment of women and their effective participation in decision-making at all levels of the development process;

  • the PNEEG aims to make Togo an emerging country without discrimination, where men and women have equal opportunities to participate in its development and enjoy the benefits of its growth.

  • The improvement of financial inclusion and women's access to credit;

  • Strengthening land rights and guaranteeing property rights;

  • The promotion of decent work for paid domestic workers, including migrant women workers;

  • Establishing or strengthening social protection programs for women and girls (e.g., cash transfers for women with children, public employment guarantee schemes for working-age women, pensions for elderly women);

  • Reforming contributory social protection schemes to increase women's access and benefit levels;

  • Promoting women's access to health services through the extension of universal health coverage or public health services
     

  1. SOCIAL STATUS AND WOMEN'S LEADERSHIP

 

Several efforts have been made in this area, including

 

  • Development of specific health services for women and girls, including sexual and reproductive health services, mental health services, maternal health services and HIV services;

  • Strengthening comprehensive sexuality education in schools or through community programs;

  • Measures taken to increase girls' access to education, technical and vocational education and training (TVET) and skills development programs.

 

 Also to retain them in these programs and complete them

 

  • The project of academic excellence and leadership the girl child, which aims to promote the education of the girl child in all series and her leadership;

  • The project to support the promotion of girls in  specialized technical and vocational training sector by providing scholarships for excellence to encourage girls to enter industrial, technical and scientific fields

  • Improved access to safe drinking water and sanitation services and facilitation of menstrual hygiene management, especially in schools and other educational or training settings

 

With regard to the participation of women in decision-making positions, it is important to note

 

  1. Improvement of women's political representation: One woman elected president of the National Assembly; one woman appointed Prime Minister,

  2. 12 women out of 22 men in the government of Mrs. DOGBE, i.e. 35.30%, against 6 women out of 20 men in the government of Mr. K. S. KLASSOU;

  3. National Assembly: 17 women out of 91 deputies, i.e. a percentage of 18.68%;

  4. Local governance: 192 women municipal councillors out of 1527, i.e. 12.60% of women; 12 women mayors, i.e. 10.25% and 20 deputy mayors.

 

IV- CHALLENGES

 

  1. Despite all these measures and actions taken, there are still challenges  

  2. On the economic level

 

These are social norms and beliefs which constitute enormous obstacles in the power relationships between women and men, girls and boys, access to and control of resources by women/girls, access to means of subsistence by women, access to decision-making bodies.

 

B- In the field of education

 

  • Inequalities in access to education for girls:

According to the Unesco report on the situation of adult education in Togo (EdFoA), the net enrollment rate is estimated at 55% for girls compared to 78% for boys. 

 

The 2010 "Education for All" (EFA) report from the UNESCO office in Dakar ranks Togo 17th out of 28 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).

 

C- IN TERMS OF SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH

 

  • Early and forced marriages persist:

  • The MICS 6 survey (2017) reveals that 6.4% of women aged 20-24 were forced into marriage before reaching the age of 15 and 24% of women aged 20-24 were married before their eighteenth birthday,

  • 17.3% of women aged 20-24 have already given birth before the age of 18,

 

D- GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE

 

According to the national study conducted in 2010 by the Ministry in charge of the promotion of women, the prevalence of gender-based violence is as follows  

 

  • Psycho-moral violence: 91%

  • Economic violence: 34%. 

  • Physical violence: 41%

  • Sexual violence: 33%.

  • FGM in 2008: 6.9%

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Reflections are underway for a new study to assess the current prevalence.

 

CONCLUSION / PERSPECTIVES

 

In conclusion, the government will continue to pursue the following

 

the implementation of the updated National Gender Equity and Equality Policy (PNEEG) through its strategy adopted in July 2019;

increasing women's productive capacity and their income level

strengthening the equitable access of women and men to basic social services

promoting the equitable participation of men and women in the management of power, respect for the law and the elimination of violence in all its forms;

strengthening the legal and institutional framework for the promotion of gender equity and equality.