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Marital Rape Must Be an Offence, Anything Less Is an Insult to Women

Until marital rape is recognised as an offence, a woman will stay a second-class citizen. And that's NOT okay.

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Video Producer: Shohini Bose
Video Editor: Deepthi Ramdas

Yeh Jo India Hai Na…here, marital rape MUST be an offence. Anything less is an insult to Indian women.

A marriage does not equal a wife consenting to sex with her husband, for life. In fact, if we value the institution of marriage, then forced sex – marital rape – must be treated as an abuse of marriage.

Here's what senior lawyer Karuna Nandy has to say:

If it's not rape, which is what the exception says, then a husband who has committed such a thing cannot be prosecuted for any form of rape – penal-vaginal rape, anal rape, gangrape. This is the burning problem. It is a blot on the nation and a blot on the Indian Constitution.
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To Guarantee Sexual Autonomy to India's Women, Laws Must Cover Marriage

If a woman can't choose when she wants or, more importantly, does not want to have sex, it's simply not an equal relationship. And surely, a marriage MUST be an equal relationship.

If we agree that India's laws MUST guarantee sexual autonomy to India's women, then those laws MUST cover marriage. Because, that's the institution within which almost all sex takes place, isn't it?

Listen again, to Karuna Nandy:

Given that the government hasn't opposed it, it behooves the government to file an appeal on its own, it behooves the government to pass a legislation. If the government wants to pass any legislation, they can pass, and they should pass this one.

The excuse that there will be false accusations doesn't hold. People are often falsely accused of murder. So, should we drop murder as a crime? Surely, not.

Yeh Jo India Hai Na…here, until marital rape is recognised as an offence, a woman, a wife, will remain a second-class citizen, and that is NOT okay.

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