Rape and Domestic Violence: The law criminalizes rape as well as domestic violence, female genital mutilation, and sexual harassment. Spousal rape is criminalized in most cases, but some human rights groups asserted that women were not treated equally in this area of the law, since sexual assault is not penalized if the victim is married to the perpetrator, or the victim is in a helpless state due to physical or mental illness, drugs, or alcohol.
Penalties for rape include imprisonment for up to 12 years, depending on the seriousness of the offense. The government effectively prosecuted persons accused of rape. In the first half of the year, 182 rapes were reported, compared with 392 reports in all of 2011. In 2011 there were 249 convictions and 46 cases of imposed punishment (nonsuspended sentences).
Violence against women, including spousal abuse, remained a problem. The government and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) operated 24-hour hotlines, counseling centers, and shelters for female victims of violence. The royal family supported a variety of NGOs that worked to improve conditions and services at shelters and help families afflicted with domestic violence.
Sexual Harassment: The law prohibits sexual harassment and provides for monetary compensation for victims paid by the perpetrator and/or the employer who allowed or failed to prevent the incident. The government effectively enforced the law. Few cases were reported during the year, and they were generally handled through the employee unions, which function as semigovernmental institutions.
Reproductive Rights: The government recognized the basic right of couples and individuals to decide freely and responsibly the number, spacing, and timing of their children and to obtain the information and means to do so free from discrimination, coercion, and violence. Health clinics and local health NGOs operated freely in disseminating information on family planning under the guidance of the Ministry of Public Health. There were no restrictions on access to contraceptives, and the government provided free childbirth services. Women had unfettered access to maternal health services, including skilled attendance during childbirth. Women used nurses and midwives for prenatal and postnatal care unless the mother or child experienced more serious health complications.
Discrimination: Women have the same legal status and rights as men, and the law requires equal pay for equal work. There was little reported discrimination in employment; pay; ownership and management of businesses; or access to credit, education, or housing. The law requires the 1,100 largest companies to establish target numbers for the participation of women on their boards, develop specific plans for recruiting women, and to describe their actions to promote women's participation in annual reports, explaining, if applicable, why targets were not met.