Rape and Domestic Violence: Rape, including spousal rape, is punishable by up to 15 years imprisonment under the law. The government generally enforced the law. According to government statistics, 1,184 cases of rape and sexual coercion and 133 convictions were reported in 2013. Law enforcement response to rape and domestic violence was effective. According to a 2012 study of the EU Fundamental Rights Agency, 13 percent of women above the age of 15 had experienced at least one instance of physical and/or sexual violence. Women’s’ NGOs estimated charges were filed in 10 percent of rape cases and only 13 percent of those led to convictions, due to lack of credible evidence.
Domestic violence is punishable under the criminal code provisions for murder, rape, sexual abuse, and bodily injury. There were reports of violence against women, including spousal abuse. Police can issue a two-week order barring abusive family members from contact with the victim, and courts may extend the order for up to six months. In compliance with a Council of Europe agreement, the Justice Ministry eliminated court fees to obtain an injunction.
According to Interior Ministry statistics, police and courts issued injunctions prohibiting abusive family members from returning home in 7,810 cases in 2013. In the four months following a September 2013 amendment expanding injunctions prohibiting abusive family members’ access to their children’s schools and kindergartens, courts issued an additional 419 injunctions based on this amendment.
Under the law, the government provided psychosocial care in addition to legal aid and support throughout the judicial process, to survivors of gender-based violence. Police training programs addressed sexual or gender-based violence and domestic abuse.
The government funded privately operated intervention centers and hotlines for victims of domestic abuse. The centers provided for victims’ safety, assessed the threat posed by perpetrators, helped victims develop plans to stop the abuse, and provided legal counseling and other social services. NGOs observed these centers were generally effective in providing shelter for victims of abuse.
Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C): The law prohibits FGM/C as deliberate bodily injury with severe lasting consequences. A 2012 law establishes extraterritorial jurisdiction over acts perpetrated in foreign countries that do not punish FGM/C, if the victims or perpetrators have residence in Austria.
Sexual Harassment: The law prohibits sexual harassment and the government generally enforced the law. Labor courts may order employers to compensate victims of sexual harassment based on the Federal Equality Commission’s finding in a case; the law entitles a victim to a minimum of 1,000 euros ($1,250) in financial compensation. In 2012, the last year for which figures were available, 301 of the 3,218 cases of discrimination brought to the ombudsman for reasons of gender cases involving sexual harassment.
Reproductive Rights: Couples and individuals have the right to decide freely and responsibly the number, spacing, and timing of their children; to have the information and means to do so; and to attain the highest standard of reproductive health free from discrimination, coercion, and violence. The government offered free access to contraception. Mandatory health insurance provided skilled health attendance during pregnancy and childbirth, prenatal care, and essential obstetric and postpartum care, as well as emergency health care, including services for the management of complications arising from abortion.
Discrimination: Women enjoy the same legal rights as men, and the Federal Equality Commission and the ombudsman for equal treatment of gender oversee laws requiring equal treatment of men and women. The ombudsman provides advice in discrimination cases and can file complaints with the Federal Equality Commission on behalf of persons who assert discrimination against them. The minister for women’s affairs and civil service is responsible for promoting the legal rights of women. The law requires equal pay for equal work.
To establish greater transparency and reduce the pay gap between the genders, the government required reporting on salaries by position and gender for all companies with more than 250 employees. The participation rate for women between the ages of 15 and 64 in the labor force was 71.1 percent, compared with 81.2 percent for men. Approximately 45 percent of employed women worked part time, compared with 32 percent in 2000 (2012 figures).
Female employees in the private sector may invoke laws prohibiting discrimination against women. Depending on the Federal Equality Commission’s findings, labor courts may award the equivalent of up to four months’ salary to women found to have experienced gender discrimination in promotion. The courts may also order compensation for women denied a post despite having equal qualifications.