The NGOs stated that the lack of a clear definition of “discrimination” has prompted individual Ministries to set their own standards through adopting their definitions of discrimination; this in turn may create legal loopholes which can be exploited by public authorities, to the detriment of those aggrieved individuals seeking redress. Local NGO have discovered that here are difficulties of application and enforcement which makes the Act marginally successful.
For example, the police may be unwilling to interfere in domestic matters, a summons may not be served due to inadequate financial resources, the victim may fear losing her job through taking time off to appear in court, or she may feel embarrassed about the openness of a court action. Moreover, the applicant may be aware that few applications result in the grant of a protection order. In 1994, only 39% of the applications had a positive outcome, and this could be for a variety of reasons: pressure may be exerted on the victim to drop the case; a case may be withdrawn due to impatience with regards to the number of adjournments, or because the victim has resolved the situation with the accused and returns to the family home through economic dependency, and for the benefit of her children.
Society’s tolerance of the subordinate treatment of women is a major hindrance. Moreover, the practice of blaming the victim, and making excuses for the accused, can even be witnessed in the statements of respected members of Parliament, and in prominent newspapers.
Obtain data concerning the number of women who have brought domestic violence cases before the courts and concerning women who have benefited from protection orders, or the number of women who have been killed through domestic violence, is difficult since the Central Statistical Office does not classify data by way of gender. In the case of rape generally, there are problems which surround the definition of consent. If a woman is ‘immoral’, that is,...
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