Cyprus

The Constitution of Cyprus establishes that every person shall enjoy all the rights and liberties provided for in the Constitution without any direct or indirect discrimination on the ground of his or her sex.[1]

In 2006, the Committee on Equal Opportunities for Men and Women was created within the Parliament in order to monitor the policies and actions on the issue of equal opportunities between men and women and to support the efforts of governmental and non-governmental organizations which promote gender equality.[2]

The National Machinery for Women’s Rights (NMWR), under the Ministry of Justice and Public Order, deals with women’s issues and gender equality[3], including the introduction of gender mainstreaming in all national policies and programmes, awareness-raising programmes, development and funding of research, supporting women’s groups, etc.[4]For instance, the NMWR financed a series of seminars, organized by the Cyprus Gender Equality Observatory, for members of the ministries, union representatives, women’s organisations and NGOs.[5]Moreover, the NMWR finances research on gender issues, focusing on the promotion of data collection and gender-disaggregated statistics.[6]

Following the parliamentary elections of 2011, the number of women elected fell from 14% to 10% and the dissolution of the Committee on Equal Opportunities between Men and Women was advised. However, following advocacy efforts of a number of women MPs, the Committee was not dissolved but merged with the one on Human Rights. As a consequence, there was a loss of visibility and focus on gender equality issues and the institutional safeguard for women’s rights and gender equality was significantly reduced.[7]

Following the CEDAW Committee’s 2006 concluding comments, no steps have been taken to strengthen the National Machinery for Women’s Rights. While the budget of the national machinery for the advancement of women increased in the years 2006-2009, the budget was cut by at least 50%in 2010 and 2011. The budget was reduced from 980.000 Euros in 2008 to 435.000 Euros in 2010 and 450.000 Euros in 2012.[8]

In April 2014, the President of the Republic appointed a Commissioner for Gender Equality that, following Ministerial Decision, will preside over the National Machinery for Women’s Rights. Despite this positive development, no financial or human resources have been allocated to the Commissioner to carry out her mandate. Furthermore, it is not clear what the terms of reference and mandate of the Commissioner will be.

The Mediterranean Institute of Genders Studies (MIGS), in an open letter to the President, criticized the government saying the creation of the post was decided behind closed doors, without first consulting NGOs or civic society in general. MIGS also asked inform the public on what the commissioner’s mandate is exactly, and what budget has been allocated for the role.[9]

At the international level, Cyprus has signed several accords as a member of the European Union. For instance, in the Directive 2000/78/EC (establishing a general framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation in order to combat discrimination based on religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation) and the Roadmap for Equality between Men and Women 2006-2010 of the European Commission.

In Cyprus, most citizens belong to one of the two main ethnic and religious groups: the Greek Orthodox (78 percent) and the Turkish-speaking Muslims (18 percent). Other religions represented on the island include the Maronites and the Armenian Apostolics (4 percent).  All citizens are equal before the civil law.[10]

 [1] Article 28 [2] CEDAW/C/CYP/6-7 (2011) , p.7 [3] The Ministry of Justice and Public Order. http://www.mjpo.gov.cy/mjpo/mjpo.nsf/page22_en/page22_en? penDocument (accessed 14/04/2014) [4] CEDAW/C/CYP/6-7 (2011) , p. 9 [5] European Institute for Gender Equality. ttp://eige.europa.eu/sites/default/files/documents/MH3012934ENN.pdf (accessed 14/04/2014) [6] CEDAW/C/CYP/6-7 (2011) , p.9 [7] CEDAW Shadow Report (2014) [8] CEDAW Shadow Report (2014) [9]Cyprus Mail (2014) [10] Articles 6, and1 8 of the Constitution ; United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

DISCRIMINATORY FAMILY CODE: 

According to information provided by the CIA, Cyprus has a mixed legal system of English common law and civil law with Greek Orthodox religious law influence.[11] However, in is unclear to what extent the religious influence in the law affects women’s rights within the family.There is no evidence to suggest that Greek Orthodox religious law has any influence in the Cyprus legal system. Cyprus Law is based on European Law; The Constitution; International agreements ratified by the House of Representatives; Laws enacted by the House of Representatives; Subsidiary Legislation; Judicial precedents; and English Common Law.[12]

The Family Court has the authority to take up petitions regarding the dissolution of marriage as well as matters relating to parental support, maintenance and adoption of children, as well as property relations between spouses, provided that the parties are residing in Cyprus.As per provisions of Article 111 of the constitution, family matters were adjudicated by ecclesiastical courts, in an effort to preserve the rights of the Greek Orthodox Church and other religious groups such as the Maronite and Latin Communities (belonging to the American Church). Article 111 has been amended by the First Amendment of the Constitution Law (Law 95/89), which provides that every matter relating to those matters which belonged to the Greek Orthodox Church is now to be adjudicated by the Family Court.[13]

The statutory minimum age of marriage in Cyprus is 18 for men and women.[14]

Civil marriages between Greek-Cypriots and Turkish-Cypriots became lawful unions in 2003, through the enactment of law 104 (I).[15]The Constitution establishes that a woman shall belong to the religious Community to which her husband belongs.[16]

There is no evidence of planned legislation to change the minimum age of marriage.                                   

Forced and child marriage occur within migrant communities, such as the Roma. This issue is often overlooked, as no particular measures have been set in place for their integration in employment, education, health care or other social programmes.[17]

Parental authority is governed by the Parents and Children Law of 1990, amended seven times, the last time in 2004[18][19]. The law provides that women and men have equal decision-making authority over children during marriage.[20]

For children born out of wedlock, parental authority is exercised solely by the mother, but in case the father recognizes the child as his own (always with the consent of the mother), parental care is exercised jointly by both parents.[21]

No restrictions were located for women to be the head of the household.

In cases where the spouses are separated and cannot reach an agreement regarding the well-being of their children, the Social Welfare Services of the Ministry of Labour and Social Insurance compose socio-economic reports in order to provide the Court important information and therefore reach a decision on the best interests of the child. The law provides that women and men have equal decision-making authority over children after divorce.[22]

No restrictions could be located in regards to women’s equal inheritance rights as wives and daughters.[23]

The law provides women and men equal rights to initiate divorce.[24]No legal provisions exist for divorce by mutual consent. However, when spouses live separately for a continuous period of at least four years, this is recognised as a valid ground for divorce. Moreover, the Property Rights of Spouses Law also stipulates that if the marriage is dissolved or if the spouses are separated, each spouse is entitled to a share in the property acquired by the other during the marriage. This share is proportionate to the amount by which each spouse can show that he/she contributed to the increase in the other’s property. Housework and child upbringing is deemed to be a contribution. [25]

In 2008, women’s legal protections after divorce were enhanced through the amendment of two laws relating to maintenance of children and alimony of spouses. The Spouses Property Relations Law and the Parents and Children Relations Law were amended, making it possible for women to receive an automatic 10 percent increase every 2 years of the amount fixed by the court order and the possibility for the court to order direct monthly payment by the employer or from the bank account of the responsible spouse by standing order, were provided.

 

[11] CIA. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/fields/2100.html (accessed 24/04/2014) [12] Supreme Court of Cyprus (n.d.), Legal System, ttp://www.supremecourt.gov.cy/judicial/sc.nsf/DMLLegSystem_en/DMLLegSystem_en? [accessed 06/06/2014] [13] Legal Propnet (n.d.), Cyprus Law – Cyprus Justice System, http://www.legalpropnet.com/resource-centre/cyprus-law/cyprus-law-cyprus-justice-system [accessed 06/06/2014] [14] Law 104 (I) of 2003, Article 14.3.a [15] aria Gasouka (2008) Reconciliation Of Family And Professional Life. Proposal of measures and policies. p.39 [16] Article 2.7 [17] Mediterranean Institute of Gender Studies (2012) “Flying Team against Violence  combating Honour related Violence and Forced marriages”. p.11 [18] ttp://ec.europa.eu/civiljustice/publications/docs/family_rights/cyprus_en.pdf [19] Republic of Cyprus (2011), The Parents and Children Relations Laws 1990 to 2008, http://www.olc.gov.cy/olc/olc.nsf/all/026CCEE95C0E7ECF422579410034B016/$file/The%20Parents%20and%20Children%20Relations%20Laws%201990%20to%202008.pdf? penelement [accessed 06/06/2014] [20] Article 5.1 [21] Parents and Children Law of 1990, Article 16 [22] Ministry of Labour and Social Insurance Website. http://www.mlsi.gov.cy/mlsi/sws/sws.nsf/All/2C71BBEA3B63D628C2256E77003603D8?OpenDocument (accessed 16/04/2014) 23] European Commission’s Successions In  Europe Project. http://www.successions-europe.eu/en/cyprus/topics/which-law-applies_can-i-choose-the-applicable-law-to-my-inheritance/ (accessed 24/04/2014) [24] Law 104 (I) of 2003, Article 27.2 [25] Council of Europe Family Policy Database. http://www.coe.int/t/dg3/familypolicy/Source/4_2_i%20Legislation%20on%20divorce.pdf (accessed 16/04/2014)

RESTRICTED PHYSICAL INTEGRITY: 

The National Machinery for Women’s Rights (NMWR) works on overcoming the gender stereotypes that promote gender-based violence through activities under the Chapter on Education and the Chapter on Mass Media, such as research on gender equality in these fields and the sensitization and training of teachers, parents and students, as well as journalists and policy-makers in the mass media.[26]

The National Plans to eradicate gender-based violence have been criticized by the European Women’s Lobby, in the sense that they fail to provide proper support and protection to victims, prevention measures are inadequate and do not address the root causes of violence, and there is no specific timelines for implementation or funds are not allocated. Moreover, NGOs and women’s movements report that the government does not consult them in the creation of policies to combat gender-based violence. When consultation occurs, it is superficial and does not result in real policy changes. [27]

The Family (Prevention and Protection of Victims) Law 119 (I) of 1994, amended in 2000 and 2004, defines domestic violence as an offence or behaviour of a member of a family that causes physical, sexual or psychological damages to another member of the family, including sexual assault and limitation of an individual’s freedom. The 2004 amendment includes the enhancement of the Courts’ powers to issue protection orders, a provision that allows for the appointment of Family Counsellors, and the creation of the Advisory Committee for the Prevention and Combating of Domestic Violence (ACPCDV).

The ACPCDV is charged with monitoring the implementation of the Law, the taking of testimony of victims of violence by electronic means, the protection of victims and witnesses, etc.[28] The ACPCDV’s work also includes raising awareness among professionals and the general public about domestic violence, the enhancement of interdepartmental cooperation and the evaluation of existing services.[29]

The Social Welfare Services, of the Ministry of Labour and Social Insurance, is the main institution charged with dealing with domestic violence prevention.[30] The Preventive Services provide financial assistance and counselling and support to families facing domestic violence.[31]There is one national women’s helpline, one women’s shelter, and one women’s centre in Cyprus.[32]

The Domestic Violence and Child Abuse Office is the central agency charged with monitoring cases and incidents of domestic violence and child abuse that are reported to Police Stations all over Cyprus and with collaborating with the investigators as well as with professionals from other relevant Services. This office maintains an electronic registry of all the cases and publishes relevant statistics every year. Also, in cooperation with the Police Academy, they organize special trainings for the police and published a manual on handling domestic violence cases. [33]

The Cyprus law on domestic violence is considered to be adequate and its broad scope has been cited as an example of best practice. However, the ‘family violence’ framework has been criticized by experts on violence against women, as it results in public policies that aim to combat domestic violence from a gender blind perspective, and does not consider the gendered power relations that are at stake in violence against women. In addition, it has been argued that gender-neutral legislation is subject to manipulation by offenders and it has helped to prioritise the stability of the family over the rights of the (mainly female) complainant or survivor, since it does not specifically reflect or address women’s experiences of violence. As a result, it was argued that this gender-neutral legislation fails to recognise the differences and specific needs of women and men in terms of their experiences of violence, and it does not identify violence as a manifestation of unequal power relations between men and women. [34]

There is only one shelter for family violence in operation in Cyprus, run by the NGO Association for the Prevention and Handling of Violence in the Family (not the Social Welfare Services of the Ministry of Labour and Social Insurance). The Social Welfare Services provides some financial support for the operation of the Association’s victims support services (shelter, women’s counselling centre, helpline).[35]

In 2010, there were 884 cases of domestic violence, 671 of which were female victims, with 611 of the cases involving an adult female (18 years old or older).[36]Information from 2010 suggests an overwhelming preference for imposing monetary fines and financial guarantees on perpetrators as the majority of penalties imposed were fines (74%), 21% were imprisonment and/or suspended sentences, and 5% were probations. In regards to imprisonment, the maximum penalty was 12 years and the minimum 10 days. Fines range from 50€ to 3,850€. Reported cases seldom develop into a criminal investigation (about 40 percent). 90% of cases that were formally investigated proceeded to court but only half of these were completed. The rest were suspended, interrupted, withdrawn or overruled by the courts.[37] 

Rape is a crime under the Criminal Code, which defines it as having unlawful carnal knowledge of a female, without her consent, or with her consent, if the consent is obtained by force or fear of bodily harm, or, in the case of a married woman, by impersonating her husband.[38]The punishment for rape is imprisonment for life, and ten years for attempted rape.[39] The definition of rape specifically includes marital rape under The Violence in the Family (Prevention and Protection of Victims) Law of 2004.[40]

There is no evidence suggesting that the perpetrator escape prosecution by marrying the victim.

Cyprus lacks a rape crisis centre or specialized services for victims of rape and sexual assault. There are no centres for women survivors of sexual violence in Cyprus.[41]

While the law is very strict in regards to rape, implementation is weak, according to the European Women’s Lobby.[42]In 2010, there were 36 reported cases of rape and a total of 79 cases of sexual violence.[43]

Under the Equal Treatment for Men and Women in Employment and Vocational Training Law, sexual harassment is considered a type of sex discrimination. It is defined as any form of unwanted verbal, non/verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, which has the purpose or effect of violating the dignity of a person, in particular when creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment. According to Law 205(I)/2002, the employer, in addition to the perpetrator, may also be held responsible for acts of sexual harassment done by his/her employees, whether they are supervisors or co-workers of the victim. Complaints are dealt by the Gender Equality Committee and the Gender Equality Inspectors. [44]

Cyprus has signed several international conventions banning Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), including CEDAW, UDHR and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (2010/C 83/02). In 2003 the Penal Code was amended to add a provision banning the cutting or mutilation, in any way, of the major lip or the minor lip or the clitoris of a woman’s genitalia.[45]

In Cyprus there is a strong lack of choice, accessibility and affordability of contraception for all women, especially young girls and vulnerable groups, migrants and domestic workers. The contraceptive methods available in Cyprus are limited to the male condom, few brands of combined oral contraceptives, the Intra-Uterine Device (IUD), and hormonal Intra-Uterine Systems (IUS). These are not available in state hospitals but only through private clinics, pharmacies at market prices. Diaphragms, injectable hormonal contraception, mini-pills, femidoms, and other modern contraceptive options are not available in Cyprus. This scarcity of options provided regarding sexual protection and contraception is likely to affect the prevention of sexually transmitted illness and unwanted pregnancy prevention, and have adverse effects on quality of life for many women and girls.[46]

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Female genital mutilation and other harmful traditional practices, like honour-related violence or forced marriage are not considered as issues in Cyprus, despite an increasing migrant population. In addition, there is a lack of data on particular forms of harmful traditional practices. In an environment where patriarchal regimes still influence the everyday life of women and men, issues affecting primarily women and girls, such as forced marriage, remain silenced by migrant women as they fear being further marginalised. There is no research or data on gender based violence within ethnic minority and migrant communities in Cyprus and so it is difficult to make any assumptions as to its extent. It is also worth noting that, despite the important migrant population in Cyprus, migrant women and women from ethnic minorities are not included in the National Action Plan on Combating Violence in the Family (2010-2015). This makes them invisible on a policy level. There is no evidence to suggest that services for victims of violence are culturally sensitive or able to assist women with special needs or women facing multiple discriminations.[47]

Since 1986, the voluntary termination of a pregnancy is only allowed in Cyprus to save a woman’s life and/or health, in the case of rape, incest or foetal impairment. Certification from two physicians is required to proceed, except in the case of rape, when a police report is required.[48]

  

[26] CEDAW/C/CYP/6-7 (2011) , p.12 [27] EWL Centre on Violence against Women (2011) National Action Plans On Violence Against Women In The European Union. p.19-20 [28] CEDAW/C/CYP/6-7 (2011) , p.12 [29] CEDAW/C/CYP/6-7, p. 7 [30] Ministry of Labour and Social Insurance Website. ttp://www.mlsi.gov.cy/mlsi/sws/sws.nsf/All/19B80747F7E1AE1DC225736F003105BD?OpenDocument (accessed 16/04/2014) [31] Ministry of Labour and Social Insurance Website. http://www.mlsi.gov.cy/mlsi/sws/sws.nsf/All/02A83FF0659A6726C2256E70003A52DF?OpenDocument (accessed 16/04/2014) [32] Women Against Violence Europe. http://www.wave-network.org/sites/default/files/06%20CYPRUS%20END%20VERSION.pdf ( 22/04/2014) [33] Cyprus Police Website. ttp://www.police.gov.cy/police/police.nsf/All/24387A257E85837CC22578A900271B1A?OpenDocument (accessed 16/04/2014) [34] Mediterranean Institute of Gender tudies (2010), REACT to Domestic Violence: Building a Support System for Victims of Domestic Violence, Nicosia http://www.medinstgenderstudies.org/wp-  ontent/uploads/REACT_ENG.pdf [accessed 06/06/2014] [35] Mediterranean Institute of Gender Studies (2010), REACT to Domestic Violence: Building a Support System for Victims of Domestic Violence, Nicosia http://www.medinstgenderstudies.org/wp-content/uploads/REACT_ENG.pdf [accessed 06/06/2014] [36] Information about the relationship between the perpetrator and the victim is not available [37] Women Against Violence Europe. http://www.wave- etwork.org/sites/default/files/06%20CYPRUS%20END%20VERSION.pdf ( 22/04/2014) [38] Section 144 of the Criminal Code (CAP 154) ;  Women Against Violence Europe. ttp://www.wave-network.org/sites/default/files/06%20CYPRUS%20END%20VERSION.pdf (accessed  22/04/2014) [39] Section 145 and 146 of the Criminal Code (CAP 154) ;  Women Against Violence Europe. http://www.wave-network.org/sites/default/files/06%20CYPRUS%20END%20VERSION.pdf (accessed  22/04/2014 [40] CEDAW/C/CYP/6-  (2011, p.12  [41] Women Against Violence Europe. http://www.wave-network.org/sites/default/files/06%20CYPRUS%20END%20VERSION.pdf (accessed  22/04/2014) [42] European Women’s Lobby.   http://www.womenlobby.org/spip.php?action=acceder_document&arg=3149&cle=ae96695a5daad8abcf94cdb319d08ea0969b5dfc&file=pdf%2F2714_cyprus_lr.pdf (accessed  22/04/2014) [43] KNOEMA. http://knoema.com/UNODCAKRS2013/unodc-assaults-kidnapping-robbery-sexual-offences-sexual-rape-total-sexual-violence-2013 (accessed 23/04/2014) [44] Ministry of Labour, Welfare and Social Insurance. http://www.mlsi.gov.cy/mlsi/dl/dl.nsf/0/65349D95AFC7D80EC22575FB0033730A/$file/Sexual%20harassment.pdf?OpenElement (accessed 22/04/2014) [45] Article 233A. http://eige.europa.eu/sites/default/files/documents/Current%20situation%20and%20trends%20of%20female%20genital%20mutilation%20in%20Cyprus_EN.pdf [46] Astra (2011), Astra Youth Report: Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights of adolescents in Central and Eastern Europe and Balkan Countries, http://www.astra.org.pl/youth/pdf/SRHR_of_adolescents_in_CEE_and_Balkan_countries_AY_2011.pdf, pp. 17-18 [accessed 06/06/2014] [47] CEDAW Shadow Report 2014 http://www2.ohchr.org/English/bodies/cedaw/docs/ngos/JointNGOsSubmission_ForTheSession.pdf [48] sections 167-169 and 169A of the Criminal Code ; UN. http://www.un.org/esa/population/publications/abortion/doc/cyprus1.doc (accessed  22/04/2014)

SON BIAS: 

The male/female sex ratio for the total population in 2014 is 1.04 while the sex ratio at birth is 1.05. Hence, there is no evidence to suggest that Cyprus is a country of concern in relation to missing women.[49]

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According to 2011 data, there are more female children out of school than male children. However, there is no gender gap in regards to the literacy rate for youth aged 15 to 24.[50] In 2008-2009, females represented 49 percent of all the children enrolled in pre-primary education and primary education and 52 percent in secondary education.[51]

Data on the gender division of household chores between girls and boys was not located. However, according to 2012 data, females are more likely to be contributing family workers than males, that is, to hold "self-employment jobs" as own-account workers in a market-oriented establishment operated by a related person living in the same household.[52] In regards to this question, the NMWR, under the 2007-2013 National Plan, organized activities to encourage girls to pursue careers in entrepreneurship and to encourage boys to become more involved in family and private life.[53]

No gender disaggregated data on child nutrition or birth registration was found.

The data on immunization provided by the World Bank Development Indicators Database is not disaggregated by sex.[54]

  

[49] CIA. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/fields/2018.html (accessed 11/04/2014) [50] World Bank Development Indicators Database ttp://databank.worldbank.org/data/views/reports/tableview.aspx (accessed 11/04/2014) [51] CEDAW/C/CYP/6-7 (2011, p.21 [52] World Bank Development Indicators Database http://databank.worldbank.org/data/views/reports/tableview.aspx (accessed 11/04/2014) [53] CEDAW/C/CYP/6-7 (2011) , p.12 [54] World Bank Development Indicators Database http://databank.worldbank.org/data/views/reports/tableview.aspx (accessed 11/04/2014)   

RESTRICTED RESOURCES AND ASSETS: 

The constitution of Cyprus guarantees the right to property.[55] No formal restrictions to this right in regards to gender could be located. According to information provided by the US State Department, women generally have the same legal status as men under family and property law and in the judicial system.[56]

No formal restrictions could be located in regards to women’s equal access to financial services.

In 2011, 83 percent of women older than 15 had an account in a formal financial institution, compared to 88 percent for men of the same age group. Moreover, the percentage for men older than 15 that received a loan from a financial institution in 2011 is roughly 30 percent, compared to 25 percent for women of the same age group.[57]

Microcredit opportunities are available for women via the Cooperative Central Bank of Cyprus, the European Progress Microfinance Facility (funded by the European Commission and the European Investment Bank and managed by the European Investment Fund).[58]

  

[56] US. State Department. http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2010/eur/154419.htm (accessed 24/04/2014) [57] World Bank Development Indicators Database ttp://databank.worldbank.org/data/views/reports/tableview.aspx (accessed 11/04/2014) [58] http://www.euromediter.eu/index.php? ption=com_content&view=article&id=65%3Aculture-and-microcredit-in-the-mediterranean&catid=25%3Anouvelles-de-bruxelles&Itemid=46&lang=fr

RESTRICTED CIVIL LIBERTIES: 

The right to freedom of movement and access to public space is not present in the Constitution.

The constitution of Cyprus guarantees the right to freedom of assembly and association[59] and the right to freedom of speech.[60] No formal restrictions to these rights in regards to gender could be located.

While women participate actively in the trade union movement, they continue to be disproportionately underrepresented in the internal decision making bodies. On average, 31% of working women are members of trade unions and only 15% hold positions of authority. [61]

The Women’s Multicultural Centre was created under the 2007-2013 National Action Plan, in order to promote women’s role in bi-communal reconciliation and peace.[62] However, the Centre is no longer operational due to lack of funding.

There are no quotas at a national or sub-national level to promote women's political participation. Two political parties, the Kinima Sosialdimokraton (‘Movement of Social Democrats’) and Dimokratikos Synagermos (‘Democratic Rally of Cyprus’) have adopted voluntary quotas.[63]

According to 2014 information, there are 7 female representatives, out of 56, in the single-house parliament. This represents 12.5 percent.[64] At the local level, in 2011 there were 3 female mayors, out of 33.[65]There has been an increase in women actively involved in politics in Cyprus, but progress has been slow and women are still severely underrepresented in Government.  In fact, the 2011 Parliamentary and Municipal elections resulted in a drastic decrease of women both as candidates as well as among those elected. What this indicates is that Cypriot society, including the media, is not supportive and encouraging to women’s efforts to enter political life.

Currently there is only one woman in the council of ministers in Cyprus,[66] and there is no woman mayor among the 34 mayors in Cyprus.[67] In the first election of 2004 there were no Cypriot women Members of the European Parliament (MEPs).[68]In the election of 2009 there were two Cypriot women MEPs out of 6 Cypriot MEPs in the European Parliament.[69]

In 2005, was created the Committee of Elected Women of the Union of Municipalities with the purpose of promoting equality and equal representation of men and women in local life through the participation of women in the local councils. For the 2006 local elections, the NMWR organized meetings of female candidates in all major cities, with the general public, to give them the opportunity to present their commitments and vision, under the European programme on “Women in Local Authorities”.[70]

At the European level, Cypriot representatives remain largely male.[71]  

Cyprus has been extremely reluctant to implement positive action measures such as quotas, even on a temporary basis as foreseen by the CEDAW Convention to accelerate de facto equality between women and men.  The National Action Plan on Gender Equality, in its chapter on the “Balanced Participation of Women and Men in Political/Social and Economic Life”, foresees measures for the introduction of targets and quotas, such as the target of 40% for the participation of women in political life, quota of 30% for women in ballots in local, parliamentary and euro-parliamentary elections, and a quota of 30% for women in the appointments in all public committees and boards. Since the NAP’s adoption in 2007 no initiative has been undertaken by the Government, nor has there been any public dialogue on the issue of quotas or other positive action measures to support the candidacy of women who are running for political and public office.[72]

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The legislation in place to protect women against discrimination in employment is The Equal Treatment of Men and Women in Employment and Vocational Training Law (2009), which amended a 2002 law and harmonized their legal framework to European standards (European Directive 2006/54/EC). This law protects women from direct and indirect gender-based discrimination, including pregnancy, childbirth, nursing, maternity, or sickness due to pregnancy or childbirth, but also other types of unequal treatment. [73]

The Equality Authority is one institution charged with addressing complaints on the grounds of sex in the area of employment and vocational training, including sexual harassment, implementation of maternity protection and rights, discrimination in access to employment and employment and working conditions (including dismissal and pay). [74]The Department of Labour also set up the The Gender Equality Committee in Employment and Vocational Training, which  supervises the implementation of the 2009 Employment and Vocational Training Law.[75]

Maternity leave is established at 18 weeks, according to the The Maternity Protection (Amendment) Laws, 2007 and 2008.[76]Moreover, dismissal is not allowed during the period from the beginning of the pregnancy and up to three months after the end of maternity leave. Maternity leave may not affect employment rights such as rank and position, seniority or the right to promotion or to return to work. Employers must take measures to protect the safety and health of pregnant workers at work.[77]

Women continue to be relegated to certain professions and sectors, mainly in services and unskilled work. Despite advances and a more significant presence of women in the labour market, the general situation of women is especially disadvantaged compared to that of men. Women are under-represented in low specialisation jobs and in high specialisation jobs, while there are indications that they cover a significant part of jobs in the para-economy.[78]

Despite relatively high employment rates in Cyprus and an increasing number of women participating in the labour market, if you take closer look at the quality of women’s labour market participation there is a tremendous gap between women and men. There is a significant gender pay gap (16.4%). [79]There is also a high gender vertical and horizontal segregation in employment.[80]The general female participation rate in Cyprus was 70.6% in 2012; it was 7.3 pp higher than in 2002 (63.3%). Still, the participation of men (83.2%) in the labour market exceeded women's participation by 12.6 pp in Cyprus in 2012.[81]

Over the years, the unemployment rate of women has always been higher than that of men, although during the last two years, rates have equalized somewhat due to the impact of the economic crisis. However, job losses have a differential impact on women and men, due to their different positions in the labour market and in society. First, unemployed women are often unaccounted for in unemployment data as they are less likely than men to register as unemployed. Many withdraw from the labour market to informal or unpaid work.[82]

There is a high unemployment rate for women aged 35 to 44, which indicates that women face particular difficulties in trying to reintegrated into the workforce after a period of inactivity, usually because they have children.[83]

  

[59] Article 21 [60] Article 19 [61] Cyprus Gender Equality Observatory (2008) “Woman in Modern Society Internationally and in Cyprus: Personality and Factors of Success” p.35 and 40-41 [62] CEDAW/C/CYP/6-7 (2011, p.19 [63] The Quota Project. http://www.quotaproject.org/uid/countryview.cfm?country=59 (accessed 11/04/2014) [64] Inter-Parliamentary Union. http://www.ipu.org/wmn-e/classif.htm (accessed 11/04/2014) [65] CEDAW/C/CYP/6-7 (2011, p.17 [66] Parity Democracy for Europe www.paritydemocracy.eu [67] Parity Democracy for Europe www.paritydemocracy.eu [68] Parity Democracy for Europe www.paritydemocracy.eu [69] Parity Democracy for Europe www.paritydemocracy.eu [70] CEDAW/C/CYP/6-7 (2011, p.18 [71] Cyprus Gender Equality Observatory (2008) “Woman in Modern Society Internationally and in Cyprus: Personality and Factors of Success” p.34 [72] CEDAW Shadow Report 2014 ttp://www2.ohchr.org/English/bodies/cedaw/docs/ngos/JointNGOsSubmission_ForTheSession.pdf [73] CEDAW/C/CYP/6-7 (2011)  pp. 4-5 [74] EDAW/C/CYP/6-7 (2011) , p.6 [75] Department of Labour. http://www.mlsi.gov.cy/mlsi/dl/dl.nsf/All/9CDFC63C531C85FEC2256E82001F6F50?OpenDocument accessed 14/04/2014) [76] CEDAW/C/CYP/6-7, p.32 [77] European Network Of Legal Experts In The Field Of Gender Equality (2010) Gender Equality Law in 33 European Countries. http://ec.europa.eu/justice/gender-equality/files/dgjustice_eugenderequalitylaw33countriesupdate2010_final_24february2011_en.pdf [78] Cyprus Gender Equality Observatory (2008) “Woman in Modern Society Internationally and in Cyprus: Personality and Factors of Success” p.54 [79] Eurostat Labour Force Survey (LFS) 2013 (data from 2010 and 2012) [80]Eurostat Labour Force Survey (LFS) 2013 (data from 2010 and 2012) [81] Eurostat Labour Force Survey (LFS) 2013 (data from 2002, 2012) [82] CEDAW Shadow Report 2014 http://www2.ohchr.org/English/bodies/cedaw/docs/ngos/JointNGOsSubmission_ForTheSession.pdf [83]CEDAW Shadow Report 2014 http://www2.ohchr.org/English/bodies/cedaw/docs/ngos/JointNGOsSubmission_ForTheSession.pdf 

 

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CEDAW (2013), “Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women”, http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/cedaw/docs/co/CEDAW.C.CYP.CO.6-7.pdf (accessed 12/11/2014)

CEDAW (2013), “Shadow Report”, http://www2.ohchr.org/English/bodies/cedaw/docs/ngos/JointNGOsSubmission_ForTheSession.pdf (accessed 12/11/2014)

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Data
DISCRIM. FAM. CODE VALUE 2014: 
0.0107
DISCRIM. FAM. CODE CATEGORY 2014: 
Very Low
Legal Age of Marriage: 
0
Early Marriage: 
0.02
Parental Authority During Marriage: 
0
Parental Authority After Divorce: 
0
Inheritance Rights For Widows: 
0
Inheritance Rights For Daughters: 
0
Data
REST. PHYS. INTEGRITY VALUE 2014: 
999
REST. PHYS. INTEGRITY CATEGORY 2014: 
Not Applicable
Attitudes Towards Violence Against Women: 
999
Prevalence Of Domestic Violence: 
0.15
Laws Addressing Domestic Violence: 
0.5
Laws Addressing Rape: 
0.25
Laws Addressing Sexual Harassment: 
0
Female Genital Mutilation: 
0
Reproductive Autonomy: 
999
Data
SON BIAS VALUE 2014: 
0.0897
SON BIAS CATEGORY 2014: 
Low
Missing Women: 
0
Fertility Preferences: 
0.51
Data
REST. RESOURCES & ASSETS VALUE 2014: 
0
REST. RESOURCES & ASSETS CATEGORY 2014: 
Very Low
Secure Access To Land: 
0
Secure Access To Non-Land Assets: 
0
Access To Financial Services: 
0
Data
REST. CIVIL LIBERTIES VALUE 2014: 
0.5399
REST. CIVIL LIBERTIES CATEGORY 2014: 
High
Access To Public Space: 
0
Political Quotas: 
1
Political Participation: 
0.11