Rape and Domestic Violence: Rape, including spousal rape, is illegal, and the government prosecuted such cases. In 2012 federal police registered 3,003 rapes, and 3,381 indecent assaults. A convicted rapist may be imprisoned from a minimum of 10 years to a maximum of 30 years depending on such factors as the age of the victim, the difference in age between offender and victim, the relationship between the pair, and the use or absence of violence during the crime.
The law prohibits domestic violence and provides for fines and incarceration. In 2012 federal police registered the following complaints related to domestic violence: 20,263 complaints of physical violence between partners (22,013 in 2011), 112 for sexual violence (122 in 2011), and 19,530 for psychological violence (21,824 in 2011). The Federal Institute for Equality of Men and Women coordinated a national action plan to combat violence between domestic partners. Women from Eastern Europe, sub-Saharan Africa, and Asia were subjected to sexual exploitation.
Harmful Traditional Practices: Harmful traditional practices were a rare occurrence, with the most common practice being female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C). The 2010-14 national action plan of the Federal Institute for Equality of Men and Women focused inter alia on violence linked to honor and FGM/C. Specialized nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) organized several awareness campaigns against FGM/C in early 2013.
Sexual Harassment: Reliable statistics on sexual harassment were not easily accessible since formal complaints could be filed with various entities. The law aims to prevent violence and harassment at work, obliging companies to set up internal procedures to handle employee complaints. The government generally enforced the antiharassment legislation. Although a national campaign to fight sexual harassment does not exist, politicians and organizations such as the Federal Institute for the Equality of Men and Women worked to raise awareness of the dangers of sexual harassment. A number of government-supported shelters and telephone help lines were available across the country for victims of domestic abuse. In addition to providing lodging, many shelters assisted in legal matters, job placement, and psychological counseling to both partners.
Reproductive Rights: The constitution provides for complete freedom in the way that persons organize their private lives, including the basic right of couples and individuals to decide freely and responsibly the number, spacing, and timing of their children. Health clinics and local health NGOs operated freely in disseminating information on family planning. There are no restrictions on the right to access contraceptives. Men and women received equal access to diagnosis and treatment for sexually transmitted infections.
Discrimination: Women have the same legal rights as men, including rights under family law, property law, in the judicial system, in labor relations, and in social welfare protection. The law also prohibits discrimination on the grounds of gender, pregnancy, or motherhood as well as sexual intimidation in labor relations and in access to goods, services, social welfare, and health care.
The Federal Institute for the Equality of Men and Women, which is responsible for promoting gender equality, may initiate lawsuits if it discovers violations of equality laws. Most complaints received during the year were work-related and most concerned the termination of employment contracts due to pregnancy. Economic discrimination against women continued. During the year the institute released a survey (based on 2010 data) indicating that women earned an hourly rate 10 percent less than their male colleagues. This represented an annual gap of 23 percent, taking into account part-time work. The law requires that one-third of the board members of publicly traded companies, but not private ones, be women.
The law requires companies with at least 50 employees to provide a clear overview of their compensation plans, a detailed breakdown by gender of their wages and fringe benefits, a gender-neutral classification of functions, and the possibility of appointing a mediator to address and follow up on gender-related problems. All elements of the law have been implemented through royal decree.