Rape and Domestic Violence: The law criminalizes rape as well as domestic violence, female genital mutilation, and sexual harassment. Spousal rape is criminalized, but sexual assault is not penalized if the victim is married to the perpetrator and 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 2012 authorities received reports of 364 rapes compared with 392 in 2011. In 2012 courts handed down 67 convictions for rape and 681 convictions for other sexual offenses.
Violence against women, including spousal abuse, remained a problem. The government and 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 to help families afflicted with domestic violence.
Sexual Harassment: The law prohibits sexual harassment and provides for a perpetrator, or an employer who allowed or failed to prevent an incident of harassment, to pay monetary compensation to victims. The government enforced the law effectively. 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 describe their actions to promote women’s participation in annual reports, explaining, if applicable, why targets were not met.