Is ‘marital rape’ recognized as a crime in Pakistani law?
The law presents five conditions under which a woman is said to have been raped.
The Associate Director of the Legal Aid Society, Maliha Zia Lari, has stated that many people do not know about Pakistan’s rape laws.
The Associate Director added, “There was a time when the law did not recognize marital rape. The Enforcement of Hudood Ordinance, 1979 described rape as a man having forced sexual intercourse with a woman who is not his wife. She explained, “The wordings meant that a man is incapable of raping his wife.”
In 2006, the law was revised. The current law, Section 375 of the Pakistan Penal Code, says, “A man is said to commit rape who has sexual acts with a woman without her approval,” Lari added.
The change in wordings now shows that the country does acknowledge marital rape as a punishable crime.
However, there are other aspects of the constitution, which people do not entirely understand. The law presents five conditions under which a woman is said to have been raped.
Without a woman’s consent
It means that a conscious woman can give her consent. An unconscious woman or anyone who has any disability cannot give their consent, Lari clarified.
Against woman’s will
This means that a woman could have articulated her approval and kept on saying no, but still, a man forced himself on her.
The third condition deals with a woman granting her consensus, believing that she is married when, in reality, the man has been deceiving her. It is common in cases where men get fake marriage certificates, the director said.
Threatening a woman
The Fourth situation deals with obtaining a woman’s consent by threatening her. She may be afraid that if she resists, it will pose a threat to her and her family members’ lives.
Under 16 years of age
A man who has sexual intercourse with a female who is 16 years or younger is said to have committed rape. It does not matter if she gave her consent or not, Lari added.
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