FIACAT’s statement – Clustered interactive dialogue with the working group on the issue of discrimination against women in law and in practice (Item 3)

41st session of the Human Rights Council – 26 June 2019

Thank you, Mr. President,

The International Federation of ACATs, a member of the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty, thanks the Working Group on the issue of discrimination against women for its report, which focuses in particular on women deprived of their liberty.

In this respect, FIACAT would like to echo some of the concerns raised in the Working Group's report on women in detention.

FIACAT and ACAT Côte d'Ivoire are currently conducting a study on the socio-economic profiling and living conditions of pre-trial detainees in 10 detention centres in Côte d'Ivoire. It appears from this study that more than 33% of the pre-trial detainees interviewed were illiterate and that nearly 40% had a monthly income of 60,000 FCFA or less, about 91 euros. This social and economic precariousness strongly affects access to justice. However, as the working group points out, women are often the first to face this precariousness.

The same finding of discriminatory treatment of women can be seen with regard to the application of the death penalty. The crimes for which they are sentenced to death are often representative of the discrimination they suffer in society. Thus, most women sentenced to death for murder have committed this crime in the context of domestic violence. Other crimes for which women are sentenced to death include sexual offences and witchcraft, which are applied to them in a discriminatory manner.

Finally, FIACAT would like to point out that once sentenced to prison time or the death penalty, women are once again subjected to discriminatory treatment in detention since most of the establishments have been designed to accommodate men and therefore do not meet women's gender-specific needs and the majority of prison officers remain male.

FIACAT therefore calls on all States to combat this discrimination by ensuring the implementation of the Bangkok rules and guaranteeing equal access to justice for all in practice.

Thank you.

1 Current interprofessional minimum wage (SMIG) in Côte d’Ivoire
2 PRI and the Cornell Centre on the Death Penalty Worldwide, Prison conditions for women facing the death penalty, 2018