Rape and Domestic Violence: Rape is a crime and carries a maximum penalty of 25 years’ imprisonment. The 2016 Crimes Act specifically applies penalties for rape of married and de facto partners. Police investigated all reported rapes, and the courts prosecuted cases. Statistics related to rape cases were not available. There were reports female refugees were subject to sexual harassment and sexual assault, yet such cases were often underreported to police.
The law does not address domestic violence specifically, but authorities prosecute domestic violence cases under laws against common assault. The maximum penalty for simple assault is one year’s imprisonment. The maximum penalty for assault involving bodily harm is three years’ imprisonment.
The government did not maintain statistics on the incidence of physical or domestic abuse of women, but police officials said they received frequent complaints of domestic violence. Reports from women’s organizations indicated abuse occurred, often aggravated by alcohol use. Families normally sought to reconcile such problems informally and, if necessary, communally. Both police and judiciary treated major incidents and unresolved family disputes seriously.
Sexual Harassment: There is no specific law against sexual harassment, but authorities could prosecute harassment involving physical assault under assault laws.
Reproductive Rights: Couples and individuals have the right to decide the number, spacing, and timing of their children; manage their reproductive health and have access to the information and means to do so, free from discrimination, coercion, and violence. The government medical system provided access to contraception and prenatal, obstetric, and postpartum care free of charge. According to the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), adolescent pregnancy rates in the country were among the highest in the region, and access to adolescent reproductive health services and information was limited. The UNFPA also reported there was a high unmet need for family planning commodities and the quality of family planning services was poor.
Discrimination: The law provides for the same legal status and rights for women as for men, including under family, religious, labor, property, nationality, and inheritance laws. Discrimination in employment and wages occurred with respect to women (see section 7.d.). The Women’s Affairs Office is responsible for promoting professional opportunities for women.