Wednesday, November 15
Islam makes a belabored step towards equal-rights
A woman is raped every two hours and gang-raped every eight hours in Pakistan, according to the country's independent Human Rights Commission... Correspondents say these figures are probably an under-estimation as many rapes are not reported.
This is due in no small part to the fact that it is almost impossible to be convicted of raping a woman--in fact, usually the woman herself faces prosecution for inciting the rape:
Until now rape cases were dealt with in Sharia courts. Victims had to have four male witnesses to the crime - if not they faced prosecution for adultery.
A change for the sake of justice and humanitarianism:
Now civil courts will be able to try rape cases, assuming the upper house and the president ratify the move.
However, devout Muslims are opposed:
Religious parties boycotted the vote saying the bill encouraged "free sex"... They have threatened nationwide protests over the revised bill.