Progress

There has been progress in removing legal discrimination against women. Equality Now is pleased to report that more than half of the countries highlighted in our previous reports have either repealed or fully or partially amended the indicated discriminatory laws. Among these countries are:

View our current campaign progress.

Countries Legal provision repealed or amended since 2000
Global In September 2015, the UN General Assembly adopted Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (“Agenda 2030”), a new development framework which calls on all governments to “[e]nsure equal opportunity and reduce inequalities of outcome, including by eliminating discriminatory laws, policies and practices and promoting appropriate legislation, policies and action in this regard.” (Target 10.3)
Algeria Wife obedience is no longer mandated
Argentina A sexual abuser is no longer exempt from punishment by agreeing a settlement with the victim
Australia, Switzerland Women are now allowed to apply for all jobs in the army
Bahamas Women now have equal inheritance rights to men
Bangladesh, Kenya Women can now pass citizenship to their children on the same basis as men
Bolivia, France Women are no longer prohibited from working at night
Colombia, Mexico, Romania, Turkey The minimum ages of marriage for males and females are now the same
Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Peru, Uruguay A rapist can no longer avoid punishment by marrying the victim
Haiti, Jordan, Morocco There is no longer an exemption from penalty for men who murder their wives and/or female relatives in certain circumstances
India*, Malaysia**, Papua New Guinea, Serbia and Montenegro, Tonga Marital rape is now a crime
Iraq Women can now obtain a passport without having to get approval from a male guardian or a husband
Kuwait Women now have the right to vote
Latvia Women are no longer prohibited from working overtime and travelling for work during pregnancy and one year after childbirth
Lesotho Property can now be registered in the name of women married in community property
Mexico Women are no longer prohibited from remarrying for a specified time after divorce or widowhood
Kenya, Monaco, Venezuela Women can now pass their nationality to their foreign spouse on the same basis as men
Nepal Certain restrictions on women’s property rights have now been lifted
Pakistan Discriminatory evidentiary standards applied to proving rape under the Zina Ordinance have been removed
Poland Women are no longer restricted from passing their surname to their children
Republic of Korea, Turkey Men are no longer designated as head of the family
Swaziland A woman married in community of property can now register property in her own name

* Although India’s domestic violence law of 2006 gives women the option to bring a civil case for marital rape, India continues to exempt marital rape from its criminal law.

** Malaysia added a new provision in 2007 to the Penal Code which criminalizes a husband who "causes hurt or fear of death or hurt to his wife" in order to have sex with her, which is a positive step toward addressing marital rape. However, it did not delete the exception for "sexual intercourse by a man with his own wife" in the provision on rape and does not criminalize the act of rape itself committed by a man against his wife. This does not afford women full protection against marital rape.