Burundi signed the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (The Maputo Protocol) on the 3rd of December 2003 but has not ratified it. Sexual violence and domestic violence, among other forms of violence, are widespread in Burundi due to the discriminatory Government legislation. Despite the introduction of free primary education in 2005, there is still a disparity between boys and girls mainly in secondary and higher education.
The Law on the Protection of Victims and the Prevention and Punishment of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence includes a comprehensive definition of gender-based violence including measures of prevention and protection for victims. For example, Article 2 lists sexual mutilation, child marriage, domestic violence, marital rape, and sexual harassment as forms of violence against women. It also addresses discriminatory traditional customs and includes them in the definitions concerning violence against women.
Legislation and Criminal Penalties on sexual harassment in employment: Loi No. 1/27 du 29 décembre 2017 portant révision du Code pénal, Art. 586.
Constitutional reforms (revised from 2005) includes multiple relevant provisions, including:
- Article 25: “All human beings have the right to freedom of their own person, notably in their physical and psychic integrity and freedom of movement. No one may be subjected to torture, nor to punishments or sentences which are cruel, inhuman, or degrading.”
- Article 29 “Freedom of marriage is guaranteed, as is the right to choose one’s partner. Marriage cannot take place without the free and full consent of the future spouses.
- Article 78 “Political parties, in their organisation and their operations, must answer to democratic principles. They must be open to all Burundians and their national character must be equally reflected at the level of their leadership. They cannot advocate violence, exclusion, and hatred of any form, notably based on ethnic, regional, religious, and gender affiliations”.
2011 Electoral Law updated in 2019, Article 108: “1 in 3 candidates put forward for election to the National Assembly must be female. If this is not reached, then the Electoral Commission has the power to make amendments so that the National Assembly reflects the stipulated quota”.
Labour Code: §109 “Female employees are entitled to a maternity leave of 12 weeks with full pay, including 6 weeks of prenatal leave. Maternity leave may be extended up to 14 weeks”.
2016 Law on the Protection of Victims and the Prevention and Punishment of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, available at: https://assemblee.bi/IMG/pdf/loi%20du%2022%20sept%202016.pdf
World Bank (2021) ‘Burundi economy snapshot’, Loi No. 1/27 du 29 décembre 2017 portant révision du Code pénal, Art. 586; Loi No. 1/13 du 22 septembre 2016 portant prévention, protection des victimes et répression des Violences Basées sur le Genre, Art. 2(n).
Burundi’s Constitution of 2018, available at: https://www.constituteproject.org/constitution/Burundi_2018.pdf?lang=en
2019 Revised Electoral Law, available at: https://www.eisa.org/pdf/bur2019electoralcode.pdf
Wage Indicator (2021) Burundi Decent Work Check, available at: https://wageindicator.org/documents/decentworkcheck/africa/burundi-english.pdf