News: In a recent two-judge bench of the Delhi High Court gave a split ruling on marital rape. It ensured a future hearing of the matter with a larger bench.
Why marital rape has not been criminalized yet?
First, the concepts of rape and marriage have been seen as mutually exclusive, i.e. they could not be brought together. In the absence of a universal definition of marital rape, marriage has been depicted by only positive aspects like love, cooperation, and healthy sexual relations.
Second, even in western countries, marital rape was treated as an exception to the crime of rape till the early 1990s. The Soviet Union was an exception where marital rape was included in the law in the 1920s.
Third, taking the women as the property of husbands has been a long-held belief even in western societies. One of the examples of it is the government of India’s argument in 2017 that removing the exception to marital rape would “destabilize the institution of marriage”.
Source: This post is created based on the article “Marital rape is rape: Why modern India still won’t accept this” published in Indian Express on 14th May 2022.