A Collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh

Pakistan rights activists want Islamic rape laws suspended

[JURIST] Women's rights activists in Pakistan [JURIST news archive] urged the government Sunday to suspend controversial religious laws that make it extremely difficult to prosecute rapists in the country. The Pakistan parliament [official website] delayed [JURIST report] the introduction of a revised 2006 Protection of Women Bill [BBC report] as planned on Friday because Islamic leaders do not want to change the laws, called the Hudood Ordinances [Pakistan government backgrounder], and would not make a compromise deal to parallel them with secular criminal laws.

The bill, which would classify rape under the penal code and make it easier for women in Pakistan [CBC backgrounder] to prove rape allegations, is at the center of a debate between liberals and conservatives in the country. Liberals who support changing the laws say the laws are old-fashioned and discriminatory against women. Conservatives, on the other hand, accuse bill supporters of trying to "westernize" the country. Reuters has more.

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.