Rape and Domestic Violence: Rape, including spousal rape, is illegal, and the government enforced the law effectively. The law stipulates more severe penalties for repeated crimes and for cases in which the perpetrator had a close relationship with the victim. Penalties range from two to 10 years in prison. The National Council for Crime Prevention (NCCP) reported 6,509 rapes in 2011, compared with 5,960 in 2010.
The NCCP reported approximately 28,000 cases of assault of women in 2011, the latest year for which data was available. Authorities apprehended and prosecuted abusers in most cases.
The law provides victims with protection from contact with their abusers. When necessary, authorities helped victims protect their identities or obtain new identities and homes. According to official statistics, approximately 12,000 persons, mostly women, were in these programs in 2011. Both national and local governments helped fund volunteer groups that provided shelter and other assistance for abused women, and both private and public organizations ran shelters and operated hotlines.
Harmful Traditional Practices: Honor-related violence exclusively involved immigrants from Muslim countries; police concentrated on educating police officers and prosecutors to increase their awareness of the problem and to improve its detection and prevention. In 2010 county administration boards used a 36 million kronor ($5.3 million) grant from the Ministry for Integration and Gender Equality to work against honor-related restrictions. In July 2011 the Ministry for Education and Research announced a 9.6-million-kronor ($1.4 million) addition to the grant. The results of these programs have not been reported.
Sexual Harassment: The law prohibits sexual harassment, and the government generally enforced this law in practice. Employers who do not investigate and intervene against harassment at work may be liable for damages to the victim. There are no criminal penalties for harassment.
Reproductive Rights: Couples and individuals have the right to decide freely and responsibly the number, spacing, and timing of their children, and to have the information and means to do so free from discrimination, coercion, and violence.
Discrimination: Women have the same legal rights as men in the judicial system, including rights under family law, property law, and inheritance law. Some sectors of the labor market, including the financial sector and high-ranking positions in both the public and private sectors, demonstrated significant gender disparities in terms of salaries, especially in male-dominated occupations. Women’s salaries averaged approximately 86 percent of men’s.
The discrimination ombudsman investigated complaints of gender discrimination in the labor market. Complaints could be filed also with the courts or with the employer. Labor unions generally mediated in cases filed with the employer. There were 244 discrimination complaints from 2009 to July 2012 related to parental leave.