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Tuesday November 10, 2009

Groups: Abolish Section 498

PETALING JAYA: The Women’s Aid Organi- sation (WAO), All Women’s Action Society (AWAM), Sisters in Islam (SIS) and Pusat Kesedaran Komuniti (EMPOWER) have joined hands in calling for the abolition of Section 498 of the Penal Code which they claimed was discriminatory against women.

WAO president Meera Samanther said women should be accorded rights as independent human beings an be treated as an equal partner in a marriage.

“Laws that discriminate women should be eliminated and Section 498 is one of them,” she told a press conference here yesterday.

AWAM senior programme officer Abigail De Vries said the organisation was on global campaign to draw the people’s attention to the violation of women’s rights.

Section 498 carries a punishment against any man convicted of “enticing a married woman.”

The section states that a man who enticed, took away or detained with a criminal intent a married woman can be jailed up to two years, fined, or both if convicted.

The Government has announced that it had no intention to amend Section 498.

Certain quarters have critised the section, saying it was an affront to women to suggest that they could be so easily enticed.

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