Madrid wants Sweden-style sexual consent law

MADRID: Spain's new government wants to reform the criminal code to stipulate that a woman must give her explicit consent for sex, deputy prime minister Carmen Calvo said Tuesday.

Her comments were based on a tough new Swedish law that states a person has committed rape if they have been part of a sexual act in which the other person has not given explicit consent, even if there is no violence or threats.

"If a woman doesn't say 'yes' explicitly, everything else is 'no'," Calvo, who is also minister for equality, told a parliamentary commission.

"That's how her autonomy, freedom, respect and sexuality will be preserved."

She referred to the new Swedish law which came into effect on July 1 after the country was rocked by the #MeToo movement denouncing sexual harassment and assault.

In Spain, Calvo's announcement comes as the country is still reeling from a sordid sexual abuse case that saw five men, calling themselves "The Pack", film themselves having sex with an 18-year-old woman in 2016.

They claim she consented but she said it was gang rape.

Thousands of Spaniards protested in April after a court sentenced the five men for "sexual abuse" rather than the more serious offence of "sexual assault", a category that includes rape, as there was no evidence of violence or intimidation.

A decision to free the assailants on bail pending an appeal was also widely condemned.

Since then, there have been calls to reform the criminal code, which stipulates there must be intimidation or violence for someone to be convicted of rape. — AFP