The civic society claims that marital rape is not recognised in the Pakistani law. Nevertheless, the actual position is somewhat unknown. Often in the country’s conservative society, at least, every 10 minutes a married woman is a victim of marital rape, according to a Karachi-based psychiatrist. She further stated, “Unfortunately, women do not report such cases due to lack of support from the law and their families. Hence, the actual figures will always remain an estimate.”
Marital rape was widely unrecognized by law and society as a crime or wrongdoing for centuries. However, in recent times, it is strongly opposed in many western countries around the world.
Do women have a right to refuse sex in a marriage?
The issues of sexual and domestic violence while in wedlock is nothing new at home or abroad. In many countries men falling victims to such incidents are unheard-of. This is recorded as violence against women and hardly highlighted in the Pakistani media. Even if marital rape is criminalised in the country prosecution will remain a challenge. In view of a case study, in Ireland marital rape was made illegal in 1990, however by 2006, only one person was convicted of marital rape. The man raped his wife shortly after she gave birth and was still bleeding.
If a woman does not feel like having sex or if she is not willing because she is angry with her husband and the man still has sexual intercourse forcefully – in many countries, even if the case is registered the chances of a man getting convicted stands at ZERO percent.
In Islam, it is advised that if on a certain occasion, the husband shows a desire for sexual intercourse, but the wife shows hesitation due to menstruation or sickness then the husband can be understanding and voluntarily abstain from the desired course of action.
2.6 Billion women live in countries where marital rape is legal
In the Zia regime rape was included in the Zina Ordinance 1979 from the Pakistan Penal Code, equating it with adultery, to think of marital rape then would be a crime in itself. However this is not the case today but still Pakistan remains at the bottom of the list where women access to the justice system ranks poorly.
In 2016, reviewing the almost 69 years of existence of Pakistan, women have no stature, those who have done wonders for the country are regarded, but the sentiments have not transferred to the majority of the homemakers that play a vital role in grooming the generation of today. In many urban and non-urban areas of the country, women are not allowed to leave their houses alone asking for justice is a step too far. Till date, there are no recorded cases or official statistics to confirm number of marital rape.
Additionally, even today in many countries marital rape is either outside the criminal law or it is illegal. However, a large number of people have now come out in support to criminalise the action. In countries that do take action, the law is rarely enforced due to factors ranging from the reluctance of authorities to lack of public knowledge regarding the legality of forced sexual intercourse in marriage.