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Concluding Observations, CEDAW/C/PAN/CO/7, 5 February 2010: Panama

22. The Committee reiterates its concern about the persistence of traditional stereotypes regarding the roles and responsibilities of women and men in the family and in the society at large, which represent a significant impediment to the implementation of the Convention and constitute serious obstacles to women’s enjoyment of their human rights. Furthermore, the Committee is gravely concerned that certain groups of women, in addition to being affected by gender stereotypes, face multiple forms of discrimination as well as violence on grounds such as sexual orientation and gender identity, as recognized by the delegation. In this regard, the Committee notes that the communication media in the State party reinforces images of women as sex objects and also contributes to different ethnic prejudices.

23. The Committee urges the State party to increase its efforts to design and strengthen comprehensive awareness-raising programmes to foster a better understanding of, and support for, equality between women and men at all levels of society. Such efforts should aim at modifying stereotypical attitudes and cultural norms about the responsibilities and roles of women and men in the family, the workplace, political life and society, as required under articles 2 (f) and 5 (a) of the Convention. The Committee also urges the State party to transform its recognition of the problem of multiple discrimination into an overall strategy to eliminating gender stereotypes relating to women in general, and, in particular, discrimination against women as specified in paragraph 22. This strategy could include awareness-raising
programmes in school curricula, the training of teachers and the sensitization of the media and the public at large, including actions specifically targeting men and boys.

Link to full text of the report: Concluding Observations-CEDAW-Panama-2010-eng