The move comes after nationwide demonstrations sparked by a series of sexual assaults.
A brutal gang rape last week has to protests in Bangladesh.
Bangladesh to introduce the death penalty for rape cases, following days of protests about the country’s high level of sexual violence against women.
Khandker Anwarul Islam, who is the Cabinet Secretary, has confirmed that the cabinet had approved a bill ruling that anyone convicted of rape would be punished with death or “rigorous imprisonment” for life.
Law Minister Anisul Haq said that the president would deliver an ordinance on Tuesday, making it law.
There was widespread wrath and disapproval in Bangladesh last week after a brutal gang rape footage on a 37-year-old woman who went viral.
Protesters galvanized by last week’s viral video have demanded faster trials and changes to the way rape cases are carried out.
An inspection conducted by Bangladesh’s National Human Rights Commission found that the woman in the viral video was assaulted in the district of Noakhali. She had been raped again and again over time and terrorized. Eight men were arrested after the video came out.
In another case, another woman was allegedly gang-raped last week in a hostel in the northern district of Sylhet Which eventually led to the arrest of several members of the ruling party’s student wing.
Bangladesh was shaken over the weekend by an unmatched level of protest. Protestors carried signs reading “Hang the rapists” and “No mercy to rapists.” In Dhaka, a mock gallows was erected by the demonstrators.
Acknowledging the protests, the government responded by changing through an ordinance since parliament is not sitting – successfully passing it directly into law.
According to a country’s human rights group, more than 1,000 rapes were reported in Bangladesh this year. A fifth were gang rapes.
Many have embraced and welcomed the government’s decision to introduce the death penalty. Still, gang rapes have continued to make headlines in recent days, and some say it will take more than the death penalty to shift attitudes towards sexual violence in Bangladesh fundamentally.