The Myanmar government is looking to introduce a law that would see men jailed for up to seven years if they impregnate a woman but refuse to marry her, a move they think will strengthen women’s rights.
The country is also making laws to criminalise domestic violence for the first time, and to make gang rape punishable by death.
A man can also go to jail if he lives with a woman for five years and doesn’t marry her.
Burma, which has been subjected to military rule for decades, is considered a black hole for women’s rights. The language doesn’t even have a word for the female genitalia, and women’s clothes worn below the waist must be washed separately to men’s as they’re considered ‘unclean.’
“Women can complain if they are bullied into not getting married after living together. We will give them protection under the law,” Director of the social welfare department Naw Tha Wah told AFP.
The bill is in its final draft but still needs to pass through parliament.