Forum of Women Parliamentarians
Item 6 – Panel discussion Eliminating discrimination in law
Senator Silvia-Monica DINICĂ
Thank you for this opportunity.
I believe that our Forum is the most appropriate for sharing information on the legislative steps we have taken in order to ensure the full implementation of CEDAW.
This means not only to eliminate discriminatory provisions from our laws, but also to consolidate, expand and improve the existing legislative framework.
I will briefly touch upon the most recent legislative developments in Romania, and I want to underline that all of them have been initiated by members of parliament, women and men.
To begin with, we revised the law on fighting and preventing domestic violence (2003), by introducing amendments that establish the necessity to introduce gender equality education in the school curriculum, on one hand, and the responsibility of local authorities to allocate funds for activities addressing domestic violence, particularly the protection of victims, on the other hand.
In the context of the #MeToo campaign, we amended the law on equal opportunities between men and women (2002) by introducing legal sanctions for street harassment, and increased penalties for all forms of gender-based discrimination.
Just a few months ago we passed the law on the sex offenders’ registry, which establishes an electronic database of those who have committed sexual crimes against children, girls and boys. Based on this law, sexual aggressors will be closely monitored; they will have to report periodically to the police, have their photo taken, and notify any change of residence. At the same time, the candidates for jobs involving the work or interaction with children can now be verified by the potential employers, as a means to prevent future abuses.
I want to underline also that, important as it is, improving legislation is just the first step. Ensuring the follow-up of our legislative activity – in terms of awareness raising, budgeting, monitoring implementation, assessing the results and proposing adjustments, when needed – is crucial if we want to make a real change.
And because we have different tools in our parliaments to address this task, and a wide range of national and individual experiences, I suggest that we include on the agenda of a future meeting an exchange of opinions and best practices on the parliamentary follow-up of gender equality legislation.
Thank you very much.