Govt broadens definition of rapeThe government has amended the existing law in order to broaden the definition of rape as “penile penetration of orifices” and “non-penile penetration of vaginas”.
The government has amended the existing law in order to broaden the definition of rape as “penile penetration of orifices” and “non-penile penetration of vaginas”.
Earlier, only a “minor penetration of the penis into the vagina” was considered rape. The redefinition has eliminated confusion over rape of a male as well as same sex rape.
The new Act has made marital rape a non-bailable crime and increased jail term for upto five years. Besides, the Act has also increased current maximum three years of imprisonment for acid attack convicts to upto eight years in jail.
“There are a number of amendments to the existing penal code, which will address the gender-based violence,” said Ramesh Dhakal, joint secretary at the Law and Human Right Division of the Office of the Prime Minister.
The amendments were made as per the recommendation of a high-level monitoring committee formed by the then Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai in December, 2012, under pressure from the “Occupy Baluwatar Campaign”.
Khadka said the Act to Amend Laws to End Gender Violence and Ensure Gender Equality 2072 is “a milestone” in gender equality and structural discrimination.
The high-level monitoring committee was formed under the PMO Secretary Raju Man Singh Malla to review laws related to gender-based violence. A sub-committee was also formed to compile the problematic laws, which were barriers to justice in cases of violence, under the coordination of Sapana Pradhan Malla. The sub-committee had prepared the bill, which was formally tabled in the parliament the following year.
“Setting up a mechanism for law enforcement is crucial now,” said Malla, adding that the dissemination of the law and change in prejudices of law enforcement are major challenges ahead to implement the law effectively.
“This Act is an example of changing the law through peaceful means,” said Mohna Ansari, spokesperson at the National Human Rights Commission.