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Rights Groups: Pakistani Bill on Rape Partial Relief for Women


A bill amending Pakistan's controversial laws governing rape and adultery has met with mixed reaction.

On Wednesday, Pakistan's lower house of parliament passed a measure that would overturn laws requiring women to produce four male witnesses to prove they were sexually assaulted.

If passed by the Pakistani Senate, the bill would also drop the death penalty for women convicted of having consensual extramarital sex, which is outlawed in Pakistan.

Human rights groups welcomed the measure, but called it only partial relief for women. Pakistani women's rights activists say they will continue to demand more legislation protecting women's rights.

Conservative Islamic lawmakers stormed out of parliament in protest Wednesday and have vowed to block the bill's passage in the Senate.

The ruling party holds a commanding lead in the Senate, however, and is expected to pass the bill without major opposition.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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