Pakistani women can now request chemical castration of rapists

To curb rising epidemic of sexual violence against women, bill also gives permission to police to arrest female offenders in cases of sexual assault

A bill allowing Pakistani women to request the chemical castration of rapists has been passed by the upper house of parliament.

The upper house of the Pakistan parliament passed the anti-rape bill on Wednesday, but the bill does not mention the specifics of the procedure.

The law does allow police to arrest female offenders in cases of sexual assault.

Under current Pakistani law, people can request the application of chemical castration in cases of sexual offence, but they cannot be forced into it.

Opponents of the bill say it is an attack on the rights of women.

The government, which is in charge of the legislation, says the law can curb rising rates of sexual violence against women.

Experts say the law will mean repeat offenders will not be able to commit sexual assault because they will not be able to ejaculate.

But critics say the law sets a dangerous precedent because the law does not go as far as in Europe, where convicted rapists are required to take the female form in order to ensure condom use.

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About half of Pakistani women are subjected to sexual assault before the age of 25, and police in the country use private detectives rather than put suspects through identification tests, according to a survey released in March this year.

The law will make the judicial system accountable to women’s groups and enable investigations into cases where no witnesses can be found, said Mohammad Akram Sheikh, the human rights minister.

There were about 19,000 reported rapes in Pakistan in 2016, up from 17,216 the previous year, according to police statistics.

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