The law prohibits discrimination based on race, gender, disability, language, or social status. The law also prohibits public incitement to violence or public agitation or insult directed against a race, people, or ethnic group. The government effectively enforced these prohibitions.
Rape and Domestic Violence: Rape, including spousal rape, is a criminal offense, and the government effectively prosecuted those accused of such crimes. Spousal rape has the same penalties as rape under other circumstances. The courts may reduce sentences for spousal rape if the victim decides to remain with the abusive spouse.
The law prohibits all forms of domestic violence and provides for restraining orders against violent family members. However, there were reports of violence against women, including spousal abuse. According to police records, 17 women were victims of domestic violence.
In 2011 Frauenhaus, the country’s only shelter for women, provided counseling and refuge to 16 women and 14 children. Government centers provided single-stop financial, administrative, legal, and psychological assistance to victims of domestic violence. In 2011 the police intervened in 27 cases of domestic violence. Judges ordered interim injunctions against perpetrators in nine instances.
In December 2011 the government and the women’s shelter offered a two-week sensitization course for women to improve their ability to identify patterns of domestic violence and abuse.
Sexual Harassment: Sexual harassment is illegal and punishable by up to six months in prison or a fine, and the government effectively enforced these prohibitions. Stalking is a criminal offense. Employers are required to take reasonable measures to prevent sexual harassment; failure to do so may result in compensation for victims up to 40,000 francs (approximately $41,840). There were 11 complaints of sexual harassment recorded during the year. The government issued new directives during the year to address sexual violence and what it termed mobbing--pressure, harassment, or blackmail tactics used by perpetrators--in the workplace.
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. Contraceptives and medical services are readily available. There were no reports of 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 Equal Opportunity Office and the Commission on Equality between Women and Men worked to eliminate all forms of gender discrimination. However, societal discrimination continued to limit opportunities for women in fields traditionally dominated by men. On average women earned 20 percent less than men for equal work. The labor contract law and the equal opportunity law contain provisions to combat gender discrimination in the workplace.