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Concluding Observations, CEDAW/C/DNK/CO/8, 6 March 2015: Denmark

C. Principal areas of concern and recommendations

Disadvantaged groups of women

35. The Committee notes the inadequacy of support services, including for ensuring non-discrimination, for lesbian, bisexual and transgender women.

36. The Committee recommends that the State party consider assessing the difficulties faced by lesbian, bisexual and transgender women with the aim of ensuring that they fully enjoy their rights.

Family relations and economic consequences of divorce

41.The Committee is concerned that, while the State party’s Act on the Legal Effects of Marriage provides for a community property regime, it does not adequately address gender-based economic disparities between spouses resulting from traditional work and family-life patterns that often lead to men benefiting from an enhancement of their human capital and greater earning potential, whereas women often experience the reverse. However, neither existing legislation nor case law addresses the questions of how personal goodwill, future earning capacity or increased human capital should be distributed in redressing possible gender-based economic disparities between spouses. The Committee is further concerned that owing to inconsistent case law the economic rights of women living in de facto relationships are only partially protected.

42. The Committee calls upon the State party to conduct research on the economic consequences of divorce on both spouses, taking into account the length of the marriage and the number of children, and to adopt such legal measures as may be necessary to redress economic disparities between men and women upon the dissolution of marriage, including, in particular, recognizing all career-related assets (i.e. earning potential, personal goodwill and enhanced human capital) to be part of the marital assets to be distributed between the spouses upon divorce or taken into account in the award of post-divorce periodic payments. The Committee further urges the State party to adopt the legal measures necessary to guarantee women living in de facto relationships economic protection by recognizing their rights to the property accumulated during the relationship, in line with the Committee’s general recommendation No. 29 on article 16 of the Convention (economic consequences of marriage, family relations and their dissolution).

Link to full text of the report: Concluding Observations-CEDAW-Denmark-2015-eng