Women's suffrage and rights in the constitutions of the world

Analysis of the book

Introduction

Always, in all historical periods, in all societies and even today, women suffer the compression of their rights, are subject to discrimination and do not see their biological diversity recognized: patriarchal communities suffocate, with different intensities from one State to another, the full self-determination of women, the full exercise of affirmation in politics, in managerial roles, in culture and in society.

The possibility of female self-determination grows proportionally in each state based on access to income: the more a woman will have access to a well-paid job position, the more she will be able to exercise her individual rights. The world, more than in states, is divided by wealth: access to wealth determines access to collective and personal freedoms.

But the world is also divided by States, in many different microcosms: their intense separation is more imposed by economic powers than by the will of the individual communities. People and governments around the world are forced by economic powers to suffer wars and violations of rights, including the compression of women’s rights. The government of the United States of America works incessantly in every corner of the world to guarantee and expand women’s rights, coming into conflict with economic powers that work in the opposite direction for the sole purpose of illegitimately preserving economic and financial power in the hands of a few to the detriment of the vast multitude of the world, starting with those women who see themselves relegated to strength in the unique roles of mother and domestic management.

There are signs that indicate the degree of evolution and emancipation achieved by society. This publication photographs the situation on 1 January 2020, highlighting two fundamental aspects:

1) the establishment of universal female suffrage and the percentage of women in parliaments around the world.

2) the recognition or denial of the fundamental rights of women in the Constitutions of all the countries of the world.

State Secularity

The cornerstone of any State and of any democracy is the secular State. The State cannot be confessional, but must necessarily be secular. The recognized freedom of exercising religious faiths can in no case be transformed into the affirmation of a fundamentalist State. Unfortunately, in the year 2020, it is necessary to point out that many States still have a confessional approach, where they make the bold will of a God prevail over the full exercise of the very personal rights of men and women. To pay the price of this approach , contrary to the rule of law, are, above all, women, who see themselves crushed into a marginal social role, without being able to access the highest offices of State: this happens for example in the Vatican, where no woman has ever had access to the college of cardinals, but also in Syria, where a woman, deduced from the literal wording of the norm(1), cannot be elected head of state, but can only be the wife (of exclusively Syrian origin) of the President. In addition to access to public offices, the compression of rights also takes place through the affirmation of the Shari’a, the Islamic law, which finds direct references in the following Constitutions: Afghanistan, Bahrain, Brunei, Iran, Kuwait, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Syria, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

In the Tunisian Constitution, however, the preamble states that “the State guarantees the supremacy of the law”, but in article 74 the norm is contradicted by the requirements for the election as President of the Republic, among which is the profession of the Islamic religion. The state organization of Vatican City is always of a confessional nature, in this case of Christian-Catholic matrix. The separation between State and religion, the affirmation of the secular State and its laws, remains an indispensable cornerstone of democracy in every corner of the earth. In this sense the advanced Constitution of Nepal that even affirms(2) that “There shall not be any physical, mental, sexual or psychological or any other kind of violence against women, or any kind of oppression based on religious, social and cultural tradition, and other practices” should be noted.

There are also evident cases(3) of patriarchal, masculinist and classist approaches: Armenia (special protection of motherhood “for the preservation and reproduction of the population”); Cyprus (“a married woman shall belong to the Community [Greek or Turkish] to which her husband belongs”); India (“seats shall be reserved for the Scheduled Castes”); Iran (“precious function of motherhood, rearing of ideologically committed human beings, … – woman – becomes the fellow struggler of man in all vital areas of life”); Yemen (“Women are the sisters of man. They have rights and duties, which are guaranteed and assigned by Shari’ah and stipulated by law”).

1 Syria, art. 84, par. 4: “The candidate for the office of President of the Republic should…not be married to a non-Syrian wife”)

2 Nepal, art. 38, par. 3.

3 Armenia, art. 16; Cyprus, art. 2, par. 7 ; India, art. 243T; Iran, preamble; Yemen, art. 31.

Universal suffrage and parliamentary representation

Decades of battles, even bloody struggles, have led women  almost all over the world to conquer the most elementary of rights, tooth and nail, in a vision of equality with man: the right to vote, to choose their own legislators and be candidates to become legislators. Since New Zealand, the first sovereign State, granted women the right to vote in 1893, up to now 127 years have passed, yet universal suffrage has not yet found affirmation everywhere: in 2002 Bahrain, in 2003 Qatar, in 2005 the Kuwait, in 2006 the United Arab Emirates, in 2008 Bhutan, in 2011-2012  Saudi Arabia(4), were among the last States to recognize the right of active and passive electorate to women. Unfortunately the Vatican insists on not allowing access to women in any high hierarchy. Suffrage cannot be considered universal even in Kuwait, because the vote is guaranteed on the condition that “women stay in line with Islamic traditions”.

To confirm that there is  a gender inequality, that societies have a male-dominated and patriarchal stance as of 1 January 2020, are the figures of the parliamentary representation which say: out of a total of 46,540 parliamentarians, men hold 34,953 seats (75.1%) , women only 11,587 (24.9%): in the Lower Chamber out of a total of 39,345 members, only 9,813 are women, equal to 24.94%; in the Upper House out of a total of 7,195, only 1,774 are women, equal to 24.66%. The overall picture of the single States shows how in the 197 sovereign States(5) examined, only in 3 cases can the Lower Chamber of the Parliament boast a higher representation of women than men (Rwanda, Cuba and Bolivia). In the case of the United Arab Emirates (with a presidential decree of 2018, which represents an avant-garde light in the Arab world) there is equal representation. In only 20 other cases is the percentage equal or greater than 40 (Mexico, Nicaragua, Sweden, Grenada, Andorra, South Africa, Finland, Costa Rica, Spain, Senegal, Namibia, Switzerland, Norway, Mozambique, Argentina, New Zealand, Belgium, Belarus, North Macedonia and Portugal). In all the other 173 States the percentage is less than 40 and confirms gender inequality and the social discrimination that women have to suffer in society which are also transferred into Parliament. The borderline cases are given by three states that register an absolute zero in the presence of women within the Lower Chamber (Micronesia, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu), with Micronesia boasting the sad record, shared with the Vatican, of not having ever had a parliamentary woman. It should be noted that Cuba has achieved  gender equality without any specific laws, as happened instead in Bolivia, which imposed gender alternation on the electoral lists and placed the female candidate at the top of the lists in the event of an odd number of candidates. The laws that guarantee an electoral quota or a reserve of seats for women are adopted with the aim of rebalancing what is a serious imbalance that originates from social, economic and cultural conditions that damage women’s fundamental right to access management roles both in public institutions, and in private companies: refusing to approve laws for rebalancing in parliamentary and governmental representations means slowing down the process of empowering women in society. It is not surprising that some women are against such laws in their favor: they are those with less self-awareness of their rights, which derives from an oppressive society which would like the marginal role of women to  continue to be the norm.            

The factsheets of the individual States show in which cases there are electoral quotas reserved for women, which do not necessarily derive from legislation included in the Constitution: the source can also be the electoral law or an ad hoc act. Sometimes the forecast is very weak: the calculation of female parliamentary representation is determined by the statutes of the individual parties, with results almost never sufficient to overcome the social gap that women have to bear. To prove it there are the percentages of women actually elected, far from that 50% that reflects the composition of the population.

Moreover, if in some cases(6) the reserving of seats or the electoral quotas established in the Constitutions has led to having in at least one of the two Chambers an appreciable female representation of more than 40%, in other cases(7) a rebalancing shock has taken place but has settled on a percentage between 30% and 40%, while in many cases(8) where the percentage is less than 30 it can be said that the constitutional provision is only a facade but does not act effectively in the representational  rebalancing : the extreme case is represented by Papua New Guinea which, despite the statement(9), boasts the sad record of zero women among the 111 parliamentarians.

Next to the name of the State in the factsheet is the year in which women, all women without any ethnic or other discrimination, have won the rights to vote and stand for national elections. A problem is created for those States that before becoming independent were colonies: the year indicated is that in which the suffrage became universal, even if this happened before independence, under occupation and foreign domination, and it was then confirmed after independence. No one should miss the opportune evaluations on the effective exercise of women’s rights in a state occupied and dominated by foreign powers, which in some cases, as in that of Algeria and other African states and the rest of the world, have given birth to intense struggles for freedom, democracy and the end of colonial occupation. However the cases of States born of the dissolution of the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia are  different in that women there had already won, decades before, the right to active and passive electorate, albeit in different years in the case of the Soviet Republics.

4 In September 2011, King Abdullah announced that women would be granted the right to both vote and stand for election from 2012. In 2015 women participated for the first time in municipal elections.

5 The independent country is not only a self-governed nation with its own authorities, but this status needs the international diplomatic recognition of sovereignty. Thereby, we can say that the total number of independent states in the world today is 197, including 193 fully recognized members of the United Nations and 2 countries, Vatican City and Palestine, have the status of permanent observers in the UN. The other 2 states we include in the list are Kosovo (recognized by 115 States, of which 15 have since been withdrawn) and Taiwan (recognized by 15 countries).

6 Argentina (40.86% and 40.28%); Belgium (40.67% and 45%); Bolivia (53.08% and 47.22%); Burundi (36.36% and 46.15%); Nicaragua (47.25%); Portugal (40%); Rwanda (61.25% and 38.46%); Senegal (43.03%); Zimbabwe (31.85% and 43.75%)

7 Ecuador (39.42%); France (39.51% and 33.33%); Italy (35.71% e 34.38%); Kosovo (31,67%); Nepal (32.73% and 37.29%); Serbia (37.65%); Taiwan (38.05%); Tanzania (36.9%); Timor-Leste (38.46%); Uganda (34.86%).

8 Afghanistan (27.02% and 27.94%); Congo (Brazzavile) (11.26% and 18.84%); Egypt (15.1%); Eswatini (9.59% and 33.33%); Kenya (21.78% and 30.88%); Mauritania (20.26%); Morocco (20.51% and 11.67%); Pakistan (20.18% and 19.23%); Papua New Guinea (0%); Samoa (10%); Saudi Arabia (19.87%); Slovenia (27.78% and 10%); Somalia (24.36 and 24.07%); South Sudan (28.46% and 12%); Thailand (16.2% and 10%); Zambia (16.77%).

9 Papua New Guinea, art. 101, par. 1: “the Parliament is a single-chamber legislature, consisting of:(…)a number of women elected from a single-member women’s electorates ad defined under an Organic Law”          

Representation in government, in constitutional and judicial organs and in the decision-making ranks

There are only three Constitutions (Bolivia, South Sudan and Zimbabwe) that indicate the necessary presence of women and gender balance within the national government. More numerous are those that establish a reserve of posts or announce the principle of gender balance in the elections and in the appointment of the members of the organs provided for by the Constitution(10) (including some ad hoc Commissions created to promote the full integration of women in society) and members of the judiciary(11). Of great interest is also recognizing the importance and favoring of women’s access to top positions in public and private decision-making bodies(12), where decisions are actually taken and made to fall on others: they cannot be a restricted club for men only, mostly white and wealthy.

10 Central African Republic; Ecuador; Eswatini; Ghana; Guyana; Kenya; Kosovo; Nepal; Niger; Rwanda; South Africa; South Sudan; Thailand; Zambia; Zimbabwe.     

11 Burundi; Ecuador; Kosovo; Morocco; South Africa; South Sudan; Zimbabwe.  

12 Burundi; Chad; China; Colombia; Côte d’Ivoire; Dominican Republic; Egypt; Equatorial Guinea; Ethiopia; France; Ghana; Guyana; Haiti; Rwanda; Uganda; Zambia; Zimbabwe.

Access to the labor market, equal pay for work, maternity leave

The emancipation and self-determination of women in any society ranges from their access to the labor market, to their access to decent wages that allow them to lead an independent life, without having to depend economically on the husband’s livelihood. However, women tend to be paid less in the labor markets for equal professional services rendered by men, tend to be exploited more frequently, tend to be discriminated against in accessing professions because of the biological specificity that allows them to procreate human life. In many Constitutions specific articles have been included that guarantee equal pay(13), the right to access to the labor market in conditions of equity(14), non-dismissability before and after childbirth(15), which intersects and in some cases  coincides with the right to maternity leave(16) (with salary and job retention): four nodes that any State must face in regulating the relationship between work and women. In particular, the biological specificity of women to procreate human life must necessarily be recognized and find the right place in labor law, so that the free choice of having a child does not have negative repercussions in the life of the woman. Many countries have taken measures, even outside the Constitutions, to recognize women’s rights in accessing the labor market. Among the States that wanted to recognize and include them in their Constitutions, due to the abundance of details and regulations even in the length of maternity leave, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay and Timor-Leste certainly deserve a mention.

In some cases(17) the right of women not to be employed in jobs that could jeopardize their health is also recognized, in other cases(18) the right to reconcile work times with those to be dedicated to the family (to be investigated in the social reality of each country, because this right could still be distorted and backfire against women closed in the role of housework and child rearing, from which the husband can escape). The Constitution of North Korea deserves praise, because it explicitly recognizes the right to be supported by a network of kindergartens, which are fundamental for mothers who want to work and, in child care in preschool age, for those who cannot rely on babysitters for economic reasons or on grandparents and relatives for other reasons. The Ghana Constitution also speaks of “facilities for the care of children below school-going age to enable women realise their full potential”. Other generic nursery services are mentioned in other Constitutions (Cambodia and others).

The Constitutions of Guyana and Venezuela recognize the social and economic value of unpaid work performed at home. The Sierra Leone Constitution provides specific welfare for working women. That of Bangladesh undertakes to reserve for women  places of work normally reserved for men. Those in Ecuador, Nepal and Somalia guarantee access to the armed forces and police on equal terms.

13 Belarus; Brazil; Burkina Faso; Cabo Verde; Cambodia; China; Ecuador; Ethiopia; Finland; Greece; Guyana; India; Italy; Korea (South); Lesotho; Liberia; Malta; Mexico; Myanmar (Burma); Namibia; Nepal; Nicaragua; Nigeria; Panama; Poland; Portugal; Romania; Senegal; Sierra Leone; South Sudan; Suriname; Tunisia; Ukraine; Zimbabwe.             

14 Algeria; Bangladesh; Belarus; Burkina Faso; Costa Rica; Côte d’Ivoire; Croatia; Czech Republic; Dominican Republic; Ecuador; Finland; Gabon; Gambia; Ghana; Guatemala; Guinea; Guyana; Haiti; Italy; Jordan; Korea (South); Lesotho; Malta; Moldova; Montenegro; Paraguay; Poland; Romania; Senegal; Serbia; Somalia; Spain; Suriname; Timor-Leste; Togo; Tunisia; Turkey; Ukraine; Venezuela; Zimbabwe. 

15 Bolivia; Cambodia; Czech Republic; Ecuador; Guatemala; Guyana; Honduras; Lesotho; Mexico; Myanmar; Nicaragua; Panama; Paraguay; Portugal; Seychelles; Slovakia; Suriname; Timor-Leste; Uganda.

16 Bolivia; Brazil;  Cambodia; Costa Rica; Ecuador; El Salvador; Ethiopia; Ghana; Guatemala; Honduras; Korea (North); Nicaragua; Portugal; Romania; Serbia; Seychelles; Suriname; Ukraine; Zimbabwe.  

17 El Salvador; Georgia; Mexico; Myanmar (Burma); Nepal; Pakistan; Philippines; Slovakia; Suriname; Taiwan; Tajikistan; Turkey; Ukraine; Uruguay.

18 Cabo Verde; Egypt; Italy; Korea (North); Ukraine; Zimbabwe.

Education and scholarization

A trained woman, a woman with analytical tools, the ability to rework and to intervene in reality is a freer woman, a woman who can aspire to better working conditions, who will become aware of her rights within the family and association contexts and will legitimately claim her right to exercise them. Most of the Constitutions recognize under formulas that include both men and women, the right to education, even if there are some who are careful to specify  that the right must be recognized to both sexes(19) or specifically to women(20), resulting in something more than the generic formula of guaranteeing access to education. In harsh and difficult situations, such as Afghanistan, the rules seek to bridge the huge gap that separates women from access to higher education. A female graduate  is a woman more likely to redeem her economic and social status and to determine her own life choices without having to depend on others.

19 Austria; Congo (Kinshasa); Côte d’Ivoire; Togo; Turkey.

20 Afghanistan; Belarus; Bolivia; Cambodia; Guyana; Laos.

Maternity, health care and welfare

The national public health service, accessible to all citizens and of excellent quality, is an inalienable right of the human being, man and woman. It cannot be the census, the degree of wealth possessed, that determines who can or cannot access health care, as if one were to participate in a macabre lottery in which life is played out. Women in poverty, agricultural and rural situations are those with the greatest difficulty in accessing health care. A large number of Constitutions recognize the right to motherhood: in some cases(21) it is a simple proclamation of maternity protection, but in many other cases(22) the State implements specific and advanced welfare programs to care for women before, during and after childbirth. Only a more in-depth analysis of the reality of each State can reveal in which cases we are faced with the effective recognition of a right proper to the biological diversity of the woman and of a conscious choice of the woman to become a mother, and in which cases instead, especially in States with a confessional and non-secular matrix, the role of women is relegated to that of procreator of the human race.

Almost all of the Constitutions refer without distinction to the rules for access to health care within a public welfare system for all citizens (as it should be): few are those(23) that explicitly provide a reference to women  concerning access to welfare or who envisage(24) a specific reference to welfare for widows, the elderly and pensioners.

21 Albania; Belarus; Benin; Burkina Faso; Cabo Verde; China; Congo (Brazzaville); Croatia; Georgia; Greece; Haiti; India; Iran; Iraq; Ireland; Italy; Kazahstan; Korea (South); Kyrgyzstan; Libya; Lithuania; Monaco; Montenegro; Morocco; Mozambique; Myanmar (Burma); Niger; Pakistan; Peru; Philippines; Portugal; Qatar; Rwanda; San Marino; Slovenia; Somalia; Spain; Suriname; Syria; Taiwan; Tajikistan; Turkey; Turkmenistan; Uganda; Ukraine; United Arab Emirates; United Kingdom; Uruguay; Uzbekistan; Yemen; Zimbabwe.

22 Angola; Argentina; Armenia; Austria; Bolivia; Brazil; Cambodia; Colombia; Costa Rica; Cuba; Dominican Republic; Ecuador; Egypt; El Salvador; Eswatini; Ethiopia; Gabon; Germany; Ghana; Guatemala; Honduras; Hungary; Korea (North); Malawi; Mexico; Moldova; Namibia; Nepal; Panama; Paraguay; Poland; Sao Tome and Principe; Serbia; South Sudan; Sri Lanka; Thailand; Timor-Leste; Venezuela; Viet Nam.   

23 Cambodia; Ecuador; Iraq; Laos; Nicaragua.

24 Hungary; Iran; Lesotho; Uganda.

Prohibition of discrimination

Almost all the Constitutions contain a provision that establishes the prohibition of discrimination. The norm highlighted in the study is that which explicitly refers to the prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sex or gender or establishes formal equality between men and women. It is a basic principle that cannot be lacking in any democratic legal order, even if to become substantial, so that a woman really enjoys real and full access opportunities in the political, working, social and cultural fields, a rule that serves as a statement is not enough, but needs further legislative interventions that regulate the labor market, recognize maternity leave, equate women’s rights with those of men within families and guarantee access to the highest levels of education. It should be noted that in the process of emancipation from British colonialism, many States(25) report a formula that is practically identical in all the Constitutions (texts that are in many cases lacking, however, in forecasts and recognitions of specific rights of women).

The prohibition of discrimination, which is transformed into access to the highest offices within indigenous communities, provided for by the Constitutions of Ecuador, Guyana and Mexico deserves to be highlighted.

To underline the still open wound of the wars conducted against the populations of Yugoslavia and Sudan and which have produced their disintegration: 5 States(26) have foreseen that the prohibition of discrimination cannot be derogated, even during the state of war.

25 Antigua e Barbuda; Bahamas; Barbados; Botswana; Dominica; Fiji; Gambia; Ghana; Grenada; Guyana; Malta; Mauritius; Saint Kitts and Nevis; Saint Lucia; Saint Vincent and The Grenadines; Sierra Leone; Solomon Islands; Sri Lanka; Uganda.

26 Croatia; Montenegro; North Macedonia; Slovenia; South Sudan.

Matrimonial equality and equality in relations with a partner

The male-dominated and patriarchal imprint in the conception of relationships within marriage is still very strong: its intensity varies from State to State. Many Constitutions contain a law that recognizes that marriage can be contracted only with the free and full consent of both spouses. Some Constitutions(27) go further, going so far as to establish equality between spouses in the exercise of rights within marriage and after its eventual dissolution: it is a very important law, which frees women from a state of submission formal and substantial towards men, which contributes in a decisive way to the emancipation of the role of women in society and in the family and which rejects (in part) the attempt to confine the woman to the role of procreator and breeder of children and  almost exclusively in charge of  household chores. Unfortunately the Constitutions(28) which refer explicitly to equal rights for women are too few, not only limiting them to the juridical institution of marriage, but extending them to any de facto relationship with a partner: the clearest is that of Venezuela(29) which states that “a stable de facto union between a man and a woman which meets the requirements established by law shall have the same effect as marriage”. Still today, unfortunately, unmarried women are discriminated against in society: according to this approach, which is forbidden by some Constitutions, women have to have a male figure of reference for most affairs to assert themselves in society and exercise their rights.

27 Andorra; Angola; Armenia; Azerbaijan; Belarus; Bolivia; Brazil; Bulgaria; Cabo Verde; Cambodia; China; Colombia; Cuba; El Salvador; Eritrea; Ethiopia; Georgia; Ghana; Guatemala; Guinea Bissau; Honduras; Italy; Japan; Kenya; Korea (South); Kyrgyzstan; Laos; Lithuania; Malawi; Mexico; Moldova; Mongolia; Montenegro; Mozambique; Namibia; Nepal; Nicaragua; Papua New Guinea; Paraguay; Portugal; Romania; Rwanda; Serbia; Slovenia; Spain; Tajikistan; Timor-Leste; Turkey; Turkmenistan; Uganda; Ukraine; Uzbekistan; Venezuela; Viet Nam; Zimbabwe. In other Constitutions the norm of matrimonial equality, even if not explicit, can be inferred from the recognition of equal rights in family relationships.

28 Dominican Republic; Equatorial Guinea; Venezuela.

29 Venezuela, art. 77.

Sexual freedom

A woman must never have to justify how she dresses, stiletto heels and miniskirts that she wants to wear, the desire to expose her naked breasts on the beach, neither to her father, nor to her brothers, nor even to her husband or partner. Just as she need not give an account to her father, mother, brother or sister about the romantic relationships she wants to entertain. A woman must be left free to fully determine herself: she has the right to enjoy her sexual and sentimental life. Also in this case, there are Constitutions (Bolivia, Cuba and Ecuador) that stand out in recognizing the right to sexual relations. On the other hand, no State can determine which person another person can or cannot marry or see: we are faced with a violation of a very personal and inalienable right of each human being and the fundamentalist approach of some Constitutions (Burundi, Honduras, Rwanda, Seychelles and Uganda) which prohibit homosexual marriages, should be  opposed and denounced without tacit acquiescence on the part of society. Only one Constitution (Ireland) explicitly recognizes marriages even between persons of the same sex.

No State can replace the woman in her full self-determination if she decides to terminate the pregnancy: the Constitutions that prohibit abortion (Eswatini, Kenya, Seychelles, Somalia and Zimbabwe) seriously damage the right and the principle of woman’s self-determination. Abortion is not a contraceptive method and every instance creates an injury, but no state can take away from any woman the right to decide about her body and her life.

Proprietary law

In some Constitutions, especially in the realities of Central and South America (Bolivia, Brazil and Paraguay) and of Africa (Eswatini, Ethiopia, Malawi and Zimbabwe), where economies are based on agricultural livelihoods in the countryside and urban suburbs, it becomes essential to reaffirm the right of women to become owners of the land to be cultivated, which in many cases represents the only source of livelihood and that cannot be a male prerogative as it was in the past and still happens today in the most backward areas of the world.

Death penalty and carcerary regime

There are Constitutions (Guatemala and Zimbabwe) that exempt women from the application of the death penalty and others (South Sudan)(30), which exempt them only if they are pregnant or in the first two years of maternity leave. The application of the death penalty, to women and men, is a great defeat for humanity, a legacy of a culturally undeveloped society, which should not take place in any State in the world. Even the differentiation of the prison regime, distinct between men and women (Mexico and Nicaragua), although based on the prevention of sexual crimes within prisons, is not functional to the rehabilitation of the condemned who, in the right and obligatory path of reintegration into society,  cannot be deprived of any connection with people of the opposite sex.

30 South Sudan, art. 21, par. 3: “No death penalty shall be executed upon a pregnant or lactating woman, save after two years of lactation”

Mass-media sexist propaganda

The object woman, relegated to the role of sexual toy, is an image that the televisions of many States of the world convey, not contributing to women’s emancipation. Starting from this observation, from too many companies accepted with acquiescence, ad hoc norms were formulated in a few Constitutions (Ecuador, Mexico and Paraguay) that forbid a sexist propaganda of the role of women in society.

Fecondative and genetic therapies

There is only one Constitution (Switzerland) which deals in depth with contemporary topics such as human cloning, fertilization and other genetic therapies. If the uniqueness of the human being is a principle that the whole international community agrees with and that involves the prohibition of cloning humans, the same cannot be said for fertilization, especially the heterologous one, which sees very different disciplines among the various States of the world and that has produced a “tourism” of men and women in search of the most favorable legislation to become parents. Women still have to determine unambiguously at the legislative level how to reconcile the rejection of their body seen as a commodity with the natural human aspiration to become parents.