Mon, Aug 19, 2013 - Page 8 News List

Gender bias plagues justice system

By Lin Shih-fang 林實芳

On Tuesday, the Awakening Foundation listed at a press conference a number of absurd rulings issued in cases dealing with sexual assaults in intimate relationships.

Among the examples cited was that of a husband who had forceful intercourse with his wife although she suffered from vaginitis and a urinary-tract infection at the time. She did not scream because she did not want to wake their children, and later filed a lawsuit.

However, the judge was of the opinion that she was obliged to cohabit with her husband and that she should accommodate her husband’s need to give vent to his sexual desire and that the act therefore did not constitute marital rape.

In another example, a judge believed that a boyfriend beating his girlfriend so she would have sex with him was common practice and did not constitute sexual assault.

Not only do these judges lack sensitivity about violence in relationships, they also ignore people’s bodily integrity. Even worse, they treat marriage and intimate relationships as a license to commit sexual assault.

The transfer of military cases in accordance with the amendment to the Code of Court Martial Procedure (軍事審判法) clearly exposed the district court president’s gender bias. The military system is not difficult to understand. What is difficult to understand is gender discrimination.

Lin Shih-fang, a lawyer, is

secretary-general of the Awakening Foundation.

Translated by Eddy Chang

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