Rape and Domestic Violence: Rape, spousal rape, and domestic abuse are criminal offenses for which conviction is punishable by a maximum of 20 years’ imprisonment. Nevertheless, rape was a problem, and the government did not enforce the law effectively. Most victims did not report rape due to fear of reprisal or social stigma. As of September 1, authorities received only five reports of rape. Only 13 other cases of sexual assault were prosecuted, and none resulted in conviction.
Domestic violence against women was a problem and underreported. Police rarely responded to domestic disputes, although media continued to draw attention to the problem. Police maintained a specialized unit, the Family Squad, to address domestic violence and other family problems. The unit was underfunded and ineffective. Judicial authorities often dismissed the few cases that reached a prosecutor. In the cases that resulted in conviction, judges generally handed down light sentences. As of September 1, of 27 reported cases of domestic violence, 11 were prosecuted.
The Social Affairs Division of the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs and NGOs, provided counseling services to victims of rape and domestic violence. The ministry’s Gender Secretariat conducted various outreach campaigns to end gender-based violence.
Sexual Harassment: The law prohibits sexual harassment, but enforcement was rare. The penal code provides no penalty for sexual harassment, although the court may order a person accused of such conduct to “keep a bond of peace,” which allows the court to assess a fine if the harasser fails to cease the harassment.
Reproductive Rights: Couples and individuals have the right to decide freely and responsibly the number, spacing, and timing of their children and to have access to the information and means to do so, free from discrimination, coercion, or violence. Health clinics and local NGOs operated freely in disseminating information on family planning under the guidance of the Ministry of Health. The government provided free childbirth services including doctors, nurses, and midwives for delivery and for prenatal and postnatal care. Men and women had equal access to diagnosis and treatment for sexually transmitted infections. There were no legal, social, cultural, or other barriers to accessing these services.
Discrimination: The law provides for the same legal status and rights for women as for men, and the society is largely matriarchal. While unwed mothers were the societal norm, the law requires fathers to support their children. In June 2015 the Employment Act was amended to provide fathers with five days of paternity leave upon the birth of a child. There was no officially sanctioned discrimination in employment, and women were well represented in both the public and private sectors.
There was no economic discrimination against women in employment, access to credit, equal pay for equal work, or owning or managing a business. Inheritance laws do not discriminate against women.