20 February 2013

Angola: Government Deeply Concerned About Violence

Geneva — The combat against violence, particularly against women, is one of Angolan Government's main concerns, said Wednesday in Geneva the secretary of State for Family and Women Promotion, Ana Paula Sacramento.

The official was speaking during the presentation of Angola's sixth Report on Implementation of the Convention on Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women, as part of the periodical review all member countries are subject to.

Ana Paula Sacramento indicated that aware that human rights are universal, indivisible and interdependent, the Government's actions are based on fulfillment of commitments under the Convention, as well as treaties on Rights of which the Republic of Angola is a signatory.

He said the adoption of the Constitution of the Republic of Angola in 2010, establishes in its Article 23, the principle of equality among all citizens, and that laws were approved that safeguard the protection of women in political life, against domestic violence and ensure

the protection and development of children.

However, she admitted that although the principle of equality are constitutionally enshrined, there are in Angola a few stereotypes and harmful practices, especially in rural areas, that result in discrimination against women and girls, derived from cultural practices. However, the official added, the Constitution imposes combat against these practices that violate the dignity of the human person.

Regarding information circulating according to which there had been acts of sexual violence against immigrants in Angola during the repatriation process, the secretary of State stressed that it is not a practice or a policy of the Angolan Government, which acts in

obedience to the principles of human rights and the international law.

As to the participation of women in public and political affairs in the country, Ana Paula Sacramento mentioned the fact that many are holders of leadership and decision-making position at all levels, but admitted there is still a way to go, despite huge Government effort.

On the other hand, she said that the increase in schools in rural and peri-urban areas allows the Angolan Government to implement more effectively the strategy for promotion of equal opportunities in the education system based on increasing the retention and progression of girls and elimination of stereotypes that encourage the discrimination through programmes and textbooks incorporating gender issues in the national education system.

Another aspect mentioned in the report presented by the secretary of State was the health of mother and child as the most important public health challenge in Angola, and a priority in the Government's agenda for the f 2012-2017 period.

In this regard, in addition to the revitalisation of the Health System in the Municipalities, the Government offers a package of care and health services for mother and child with the aim of increasing universal access and equity.

To this end, she added, the Government created in 2010 the Committee for Prevention of Maternal Deaths that launched a national campaign for accelerated reduction of maternal, newborn and child death.

There has also been improvements to the coverage of prenatal care, disease prevention with increased immunisation coverage, reduction or stabilisation of incidence, prevalence and mortality from endemic diseases, particularly the prevention and control of HIV / AIDS, which has contributed to the increase in life expectancy, the official said.

The process of gender equality and equity in Angola, the report indicates, is a reality, because the public, private and civil society, NGOs, human rights associations, thematic networks, and other religious institutions, are involved in decision-making for the implementation of all human rights conventions to which Angola is a party, with highlights to the Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).

The report concludes that despite efforts by the Government, several challenges still remain to be achieved, the goals to which Angola is proposed to achieve, the effective implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.

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