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Honourable Supreme Court, here’s why Marital rape should be criminalised

  • Mrinalini Singh
  • December 2, 2017
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The recent landmark decisions by honourable Supreme Court on Triple Talaq and Privacy judgement are incomplete without revocation the harsh Section 377 and Criminalising Marital Rape. In India, rape laws continue with the parental mindset of considering women to be the property of men after marriage with no freedom or agency over their bodies. Marital rape has been denounced in approximately 106 countries and is documented as a violation of human rights. Though many countries around the world have taken such powerful and progressive steps, India is among those 36 countries where Marital Rape is still not a criminal offence.

The UN has several times suggested that India make marital rapes a criminal offence. The Minister for Women and Child Development, Menaka Gandhi, ruled out the feasibility of making rape a criminal offence by making this statement. The angst around the issue of marital rape sufficiently betrays the state’s hesitance to allow women to own their sexuality. By continually insisting of the family in the nation, politicians obliquely confess to the fact that they sometimes look at women as a significant voting troop in their own right.

We request to urge the Law Commission of India to move towards:

  • Improving the criminal legislative framework to incorporate marital rape as a crime
  • Demolish marriage as an exception to rape
  • Improving procedural and evidence laws to incorporate such kind of norms as maintenance and other such rules of marital rape.

There is an essential need to demolish marriage as an exception to rape to make sure that women have equal agency over their bodies and the freedom to decide their sexual interactions, regardless of such interactions being within outside marriage. The law surely needs to be get amended to include both the normal and the procedural law to incorporate marital rape as a crime.

We will be misleading ourselves if we believe that this issue can be solved slightly by removing the marital rape exception. But, the big question is how to change the parental social norms? The law alone really can’t resolve the dilemma of women unless backed by a change in parental mindsets and economic empowerment of women.

The recent landmark decisions by honourable Supreme Court on Triple Talaq and Privacy judgement are incomplete without revocation the harsh Section 377 and Criminalising Marital Rape. In India, rape laws continue with the parental mindset of considering women to be the property of men after marriage with no freedom or agency over their bodies. Marital rape has been denounced in approximately 106 countries and is documented as a violation of human rights. Though many countries around the world have taken such powerful and progressive steps, India is among those 36 countries where Marital Rape is still not a criminal offence. The UN has several times suggested that India make marital rapes a criminal offence. The Minister for Women and Child Development, Menaka Gandhi, ruled out the feasibility of making rape a criminal offence by making this statement. The angst around the issue of marital rape sufficiently betrays the state’s hesitance to allow women to own their sexuality. By continually insisting of the family in the nation, politicians obliquely confess to the fact that they sometimes look at women as a significant voting troop in their own right. We request to urge the Law Commission of India to move towards: Improving the criminal legislative framework to incorporate marital rape as a crime Demolish marriage as an exception to rape Improving procedural and evidence laws to incorporate such kind of norms as maintenance and other such rules of marital rape. There is an essential need to demolish marriage as an exception to rape to make sure that women have equal agency over their bodies and the freedom to decide their sexual interactions, regardless of such interactions being within outside marriage. The law surely needs to be get amended to include both the normal and the procedural law to incorporate marital rape as a crime. [ads1] We will be misleading ourselves if we believe that this issue can be solved slightly by removing the marital rape exception. But, the big question is how to change the parental social norms? The law alone really can’t resolve the dilemma of women unless backed by a change in parental mindsets and economic empowerment of women.

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