Under Panama’s Family Code, the minimum age for marriage with parental consent is 16 for males and 14 for females, and 18 for both without parental consent.The law provides that women and men may freely choose their spouse and enter into marriage by their own free will. Concerning early marriage, according to 2002-2012 data, 3.8% of children were married by the age of 15 and 22.2% by the age of 18.
Domestic violence is covered under the 2001 Law against Intra-family Violence, which amended the Penal Code, providing for a comprehensive definition of violence against women that includes physical, psychological and sexual components. Under revisions to the Criminal Code in 2007, the sentence for the crime of domestic violence rose to 2-4 years in prison and in some cases to 4-6 years imprisonment, up from 1-3 years under previous laws.Further, under the new Criminal Code, prison sentences are also longer for a person who assaults or murders another in an act of domestic violence. The Organization of American States, in its review of Panama’s compliance with the Belem do Para Convention on Violence against Women, observed that “under Panama’s Domestic Violence Law, traditional community leaders may apply protective measures (Article 7) as well as those measures prescribed by their own internal normative systems” and noted that more information was needed on the implementation and the impact on victims of violence.
The male-to-female sex ratio at birth in 2013 is 1.05 and for the working age population (15-64 years old) 1.02.There is no evidence to suggest that Panama is a country of concern in relation to missing women.
There is no reported discrimination with respect to women’s access to land. In 2001, Law No. 68 was introduced which is considered a step forward in advancing women’s rights to own land. This law establishes that spouses or partners in a de facto union may legitimately purchase land and the state is required to promote joint titling of land. It is unclear how this legislation is implemented in practice, or whether these rights are fully enjoyed by indigenous groups in Panama.
Asociación Panameña de Personas Trans (2009) Shadow Report: Situation of lesbian, bisexual, transsexual and transgender women in Panama in relation to Discrimination. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, 45th Session, 18 January to 5 February 2010, Geneva.