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 a 10-day period, which can be extended for an additional three months. Penalties may include fines and imprisonment. If an individual approaches a nongovernmental organization (NGO) for assistance in such cases, police are required to investigate. In 2012 there were 801 cases of spousal abuse requiring a police response; in 357 of the cases, authorities removed the abusive spouse from the household.
The government funded organizations that provided shelter, counseling, and hotlines. Three hotlines were available to assist 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 such harassment. The law prohibits gender-based job discrimination and harassment of subordinates by superiors. Disciplinary measures against offenders, including dismissal, are available. The law considered an employer’s failure to take measures to protect employees from sexual harassment a breach of contract, and an affected employee is entitled to paid leave until the situation is rectified. Observers did not consider sexual harassment in the workplace 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. There were no barriers limiting 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 a July report by CEPS/INSTEAD, a social science research institute, employers paid women 8.7 percent less on average than men for comparable work. The Ministry of Equal Opportunities is responsible for protecting the legal and social rights of women.