The Minister of Women and Child Development, Maneka Gandhi, in written response to a question on Marital Rape, in Parliament last week,
“It is considered that the concept of marital rape, as understood internationally, cannot be suitably applied in the Indian context due to various factors like level of education/illiteracy, poverty, myriad social customs and values, religious beliefs, mindset of the society to treat the marriage as a sacrament, etc.,”
The minister on Marital Rape, in June 2015:
“My opinion is that violence against women shouldn’t be limited to violence by strangers. Very often a marital rape is not always about a man’s need for sex; it is only about his need for power and subjugation. In such case, it should be treated with seriousness,”
What happened in 6 months ? I really want to know what happened in 6 months.
I can understand a whole bunch of legal issues with criminalizing marital rape – especially proving it. i would have accepted those as excuses for not criminalizing marital rape for now -while the system works out how do you protect victims of rape ie women, and victims of false accusation of rape ie, men. As a minister, you could tell us, the people, that various provisions exist within the Domestic Violence Laws that allow women to get justice – even for rape, and i would have reluctantly bought the argument for now.
But, to put it down to ‘our culture allows it’ – and this is what her answer really boils down to — is really, really insulting. This is not our culture. Atleast it is not my culture. I really want to know whose culture it is, that allows the rape of a wife by her husband. And if a husband rapes his wife, is he really fit to be called the husband?
(image courtesy – meotherwise)