Marital Rape; A Taboo

It’s the social stigma of a Pakistani society that when a man marries a woman the first thing that comes to his mind is that he is now the proprietor of that lady to which he is married. He believes that now he becomes the owner of each and everybody portion of his significant and he can do anything with her without her consent. Marital rape is a taboo in the society and there is not even a proper law for this issue. People don’t even consider marital rape as kind of physical abuse. Marital rape is same as an ordinary rape but the difference is that it is done by the woman’s spouse. Anything that is considered as a part of physical abuse should be considered as a part of rape or harassment. When a woman doesn’t want to do any kind of sexual activity than no one has a right to do any sexual activity with her without her consent. It is one of the biggest issues in Pakistan that when a woman is physically and sexually abused and tortured by her husband than our society took it as it is the right of the husband to do sex with his wife. According to Pakistani legislation whoever commits rape should be rebuffed with death or detainment of either portrayal for a term which might not be under ten years or more, than a quarter century and might likewise be at risk to fine. As there is a strict punishment for the rape in Pakistani legislation so there should be a proper punishment for the Marital Rape.

There are a number of cases in Pakistan that shows a serious physical, sexual and mental torture against women by their husbands and the women can’t even file a case against their husbands. When a woman becomes a victim of marital rape in society than even her family members don’t accept this issue and think that it is the woman’s fault and it’s her obligation to oblige her husband and whatever he asked her to do. “Marital rape” is one which does not exist lawfully. By legitimate definition, a lady can’t be assaulted by her significant other, since the “wrongdoing” of assault is commonly and lawfully characterized as compelling sex on somebody other than the spouse of the individual blamed. The society is male dominant due to which there are not as many laws in supporting the rights of women. Rape itself is one of the biggest issues in Pakistan so talking about the Marital Rape it is considered to be a taboo. People don’t take it seriously even they considered it as a joke when someone talks about marital rape. People perceive that marriage itself is a consent between a man and a woman to do a sexual intercourse between them. People also think that marital rape is a way by which a husband shows his love towards his wife. Although marital rape is not considered to be a crime in Pakistani legislation. However, it is one of the most horrifying crimes because it is a sexual assault done by a man to a woman without her consent, it creates violence and it is a taboo in the society.

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Nobody has a right to do sexual actives with a lady without her assent. Indeed, even in the wake of having a conjugal relationship, man has no privilege to do anything with a lady. As per the United Nations for Women, every lady has equivalent right as a man. People think that sexual activities with a wife is legal but “The legal union of a couple as spouses. The basic elements of a marriage are: (1) the parties’ legal ability to marry each other, (2) mutual consent of the parties, and (3) a marriage contract as required by law”. (Tarcila, 1 ). According to Pakistani Legislation “Marriage is a legal consent between a man and a woman for having the sexual relationship between them” (Ali, 2 ). So, it shows that marriage in Pakistan is only about having sex between a man and a woman which means that according to law love is not necessary for a marital relationship. People think that marital rape issue happens mostly in the lower middle-class community but about 46.7% of the women in the average marriage is considered to be a victim of marital rape (GALLUP & GILANI PAKISTAN POLL, 3 ).

Thus, it demonstrates that an extensive number of ladies having a place with the high society group likewise experience the ill effects of this issue. The review, directed in 2003 in Islamabad and Rawalpindi, surveyed a marital abuse at home inside a conjugal setting. A poll was filled by 216 hitched ladies and a question in regard to non-consensual sex was additionally inquired. Out of the aggregate respondents, 96.8% said that they have encountered some type of abusive behavior at home in which being shouted at by their companions was the most widely recognized one. Marital rape is when, for any reason, one is not willing to do it but rather is constrained. In any case, it is vital in a marriage to bargain and gives in for accomplice’s bliss and it is not quite recently the lady who ought to will to submit to her better half at whatever point he requests it, however, the spouse ought to do likewise for his significant other. Since men’s sexual requests are more than the women’s, it is regularly the lady who needs to make the bargain and this is the means by which one can make a marriage effective. Battering and causing savagery on the spouse can’t be advocated, however, and that would be viewed as marital rape. Regardless of the possibility that a spouse does not have any desire to engage in sexual relations, she ought to satisfy her better half’s need generally otherwise “who idhar udhar mu marta phiray ga”.

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In Pakistan, there is a proper punishment and law for the rape. Since 2006, the law of assault has been administered by Ss375 to 376 of the Pakistan Penal Code1860. The law can likewise be perused as 375. A man is said to confer assault who has sex with a lady. Now the issue is that people don’t consider marital rape as a kind of rape they consider that it is the woman’s obligation to fulfill her husband’s sexual desires whenever he wants. As people don’t consider it as a rape then how can one say that there is the need for a proper law for rape in Pakistan. Before 1979, cases of conjugal assault were under the domain of family law rather than criminal law. Mr. Justice Shazado Sheik, a previous judge of the Federal Shariat Court of Pakistan, in any case, couldn’t help contradicting this analysis, expressing that the Ss 375/376 PPC do in actuality criminalize conjugal assault. This position has been upheld by other law specialists who call attention to that the governing body’s expulsion of a substantial marriage as an exemption to assault implies that marital rape should be criminalized, in spite of the non-attendance of particular enactment.

Ladies’ correct NGO’ the Aurat Foundation has bolstered this view. So, this shows that there is a proper precedence for the physical abuse but the law makers haven’t formed any proper legislation for the marital rape. There has, truly, been an origination of the marital appropriate inside marriage. This idea keeps on being perceived as law in Pakistan. There are no recorded instances of marital rape being effectively indicted against legitimately hitched couples in Pakistan. Neha Gauhar, a showing individual at the Shaikh Ahmed Hasan School of Law at LUMS says, “instances of conjugal assault need to come to court to give the legal space to translate the present law on assault and to get the level-headed discussion on this issue began. Such cases would likewise start a verbal confrontation on assent which is dependably an antagonistic subject in assault cases. The steady weight that converts into constrained assent is likewise observed as assent with respect to the spouse. In any case, ‘a non-appearance of “no” does not signify ‘yes'”.

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Evidently, a lady saying Qubool Hai to a man in Nikkah is viewed as proportionate to her truism yes to at whatever point her better half needs to engage in sexual relations, for whatever is left of their lives. Tragically, in Pakistan, the social taboos encompassing sex and assent are so all around established in the public arena that no one needs to discuss them transparently. “Bakhtawar, from Lahore, was of the view that declining to watch out for spouse’s sexual goals prompt them undermining their wives. “It is a general conviction that if a person engages in extramarital relations, the spouse is faulted too on the grounds that unmistakably she was not ready to fulfill her better half and that is the reason he went to another lady. In spite of the fact that infidelity is not legitimate but rather one ought to remember this could occur with anybody and abstain from making such conditions in our marriage,” said Bakhtawar.” (Marital Rape, 4 ).

So, it implies that in the shadow of marriage numerous ladies are tormented, physically and sexually manhandled. Ladies are battered and beaten on their appearances. Now and then this torment turns out to be so much outrage that it leaves an extraordinary check in one life and causes a mental manhandle. 35-year-old Naila will never be recuperated of what she experienced amid the nine years of her marriage. This is a genuine story; the genuine story of a lady who endured a predicament confronted by such a variety of ladies. Unfortunately, the wrongdoing carried out against them is not by any means considered a wrongdoing. ““Every time my husband approached me, it was sheer torture. Sometimes physical, and forever mental and emotional torture. He was physically brutal and wanted me to indulge in behavior I was not okay with. He never cared about what I wanted or needed. He did not care about whether I was unwell or pregnant or had recently given birth to a child,” says Naila.”. So, the agony felt by a lady being manhandled by the one to whom she accepts to believe the most. So, there is not a significant difference between a rape and a marital rape.

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The one major conflict is that marital rape is not considered to be a kind of rape in a Pakistan. Momina Khan, a 34-year-old single lady with a BS degree from the US and a 2 year Taleem-ul-Quran [Knowledge of the Quran] course from Al-Huda, was the assessment that spouses shouldn’t reject husbands from physical closeness, and on the off chance that they do and their husbands compel themselves on the wives, it isn’t assault. She stated while being met, “It is difficult to give a definition of marital rape. Both the husband and the wife have sexual rights, but if she lets her husband go to another woman because she was being unfair to her husband’s needs and purposely not having sex because she’s not interested in doing so, and if the husband forces himself on her then it isn’t marital rape because the wife was being unjust to her husband and was doing zulm [injustice/cruelty] on him.” (Rape trends and challenges, 5). So, this shows that many religious scholars don’t consider marital rape as a kind of rape they consider it as a religious obligation for a woman. No religion promotes violence, torture or harassment so by molding the Quranic verses in such a way that it shows that if one’s wife does not agree to do sex the “he can beat her”, the religious scholars are promoting the wrong teachings. Actually, it’s society’s fault that it teaches a man to do torture a woman. The society continuously told a man from his childhood that he is superior to every woman then why not he tortured his wife for not obeying him? Marital rape also had a very bad effect on the children whose mothers were being tortured and this effect also caused the children to have the same perspective that women are born to be tortured.

The marital rape exception or barrier turned out to be all the more broadly seen as conflicting with the creating ideas of human rights and correspondence. Women’s activists worked efficiently since the 1960s to upset the marital rape exclusion and criminalize conjugal rape. Increasing criminalization of marital rape is a piece of an overall renaming of sexual violations “from offenses against profound quality, the family, great traditions, respect, or virtue … to offenses against freedom, self-assurance, or physical integrity. “In December 1993, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights distributed the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women. This builds up conjugal assault as a human rights infringement. Today only 48 countries in the world are those which haven’t criminalized the marital rape yet and Pakistan is one of those. There are not any proper rights for women in Pakistani legislation so there is no possibility that there would be a proper legislation for marital rape. There is a properly defined punishment for rape or harassment in Pakistan but there is not even a single proper law for the marital abuse most of the cases remain unsolved because there is not any defined punishment for the marital abuse. So, the Pakistani law not considers the marital rape as a crime but since marital rape is actually a harassment so there should be some strict laws on this issue. Although there is a precedence passed by the jurists for criminalizing the marital rape Pakistani law makers haven’t made any proper law for this issue.

marital rapeThe Sun

Marital rape is one of the most critical issues in the Pakistan. It is the right of every woman to live her life by her own. Everyone has a right that he/she is the proprietor of his/her body. Marital rape laws ensure a woman that she can live her life as she wishes and can file a legal action against her husband for forcefully having sex with her and torturing her. There should be proper seminars and sessions that promote rights of a woman in a marital relationship. So, that the people show be aware of the legal rights of women in a marriage and the women suffering from the marital rape could raise their voices against this issue. As the marital rape is the same as an ordinary rape so people should treat this issue as seriously as rape. There should be proper education so that people should aware of these issues and marital rape no longer remains a taboo in the society. Crediting the impacts of conjugal assault in research is risky as it is almost difficult to locate a sufficiently huge specimen of companions to study who have encountered sexual viciousness yet have not likewise been physically ambushed by their life partner.

While assault by an outsider is exceedingly traumatic, it is normally a one-time occasion and is unmistakably comprehended as assault. On account of assault by a companion or long haul sexual accomplice, the historical backdrop of the relationship influences the casualty’s responses. There is research demonstrating that marital rape can be more sincerely and physically harming than assault by an outsider. Marital rape may happen as a major aspect of a damaging relationship. Injury from the assault adds to the impact of other oppressive acts or damaging and disparaging talk. Besides, marital rape is seldom a one-time occasion, however, a rehashed if not visit occurrence. Whether it happens once or is a piece of a setup example of aggressive behavior at home, injury from assault has genuine long haul results for casualties paying little respect to whether the attack is arraigned or no. Usually, people don’t talk about the marital rape because they consider it a taboo. There should be a proper education for this issue so that people don’t hesitate to raise their voices. Since it’s very traumatic so Pakistan should also develop proper laws for this issue in which should be proper strict punishments for the marital rape.


  • Zea, Tarcila Rivera, editor. “Indigenous Women’s Rights and Activism.” UN Women, United Nations For Women Rights, 13 Sept. 2007, Accessed 12 May 2017.
  • Muhammad, Ali . “Pakistan Development Review .” Ethnic Fertility Differentials in Pakistan 2nd ser. 35.4 (December 14-16, 1996): 733-44. Web. 12 May 2017.
  • “46% Pakistanis opine men are more intelligent than women; opinion split on gender lines. (GALLUP & GILANI PAKISTAN POLL).” Gallup Pakistan. N.p., 12 May 2017. Web. 12 May 2017.
  • (n.d.): Daily Dawn, Marital Rape n. pag. Online. Web. 11 Aug. 2017.
  • “Rape trends and challenges.” DAWN.COM. N.p., 11 Aug. 2003. Web. 12 May 2017.

Feature Image Credits: WomensWeb

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