Rape and Domestic Violence: The law prohibits rape, including spousal rape, and the government enforced the law effectively. The legal penalties range from five to 10 years’ imprisonment. The law prohibits domestic violence, and the government effectively enforced the law. The law is gender neutral and provides for the removal of abusers from their residences for 10 days; this can be extended an additional three months. Penalties may include fines and imprisonment. If a person approaches an NGO for assistance in such cases, the police are required to investigate. In 2010 there were 589 cases of spousal abuse requiring a police response, and 264 of the abusing spouses were removed from their homes.
The government funded organizations that provided shelter, counseling, and hotlines. There were three hotlines for abused women. The government provided financial assistance to domestic violence victims during the year.
Sexual Harassment: The law prohibits sexual harassment and requires employers to protect employees from sexual harassment. The law prohibits gender-based job discrimination and harassment of subordinates by superiors. Disciplinary measures against offenders are available, including dismissal. An employer’s failure to take measures to protect employees from sexual harassment is considered a breach of contract, and an affected employee has the right to paid leave until the situation is rectified. Sexual harassment in the workplace was not considered a problem.
Reproductive Rights: Couples and individuals have the right to decide freely the number, spacing, and timing of their children, and to have the information and means to do so free from discrimination, coercion, and violence. There was easy access to contraception and skilled attendance during childbirth. According to UN statistics, the 2008 rate of maternal mortality was 17 deaths per 100,000 live births. No barriers existed that limited access to maternal health services.
Discrimination: Women enjoy the same legal rights as men, including rights under family law, property law, and in the judicial system. The law mandates equal pay for equal work; however, according to government reports, women were paid 14 to 16 percent less than men for comparable work. The Ministry of Equal Opportunities is responsible for protecting the legal and social rights of women. In November the Ministry for Equal Opportunities started a campaign, focusing on the equality of men and women in the personal and professional spheres. This campaign followed two earlier ones in 2010 that focused on equal rights for women and men.