The impossibility of marital rape

Mandal, Saptarshi (2014) The impossibility of marital rape. Australian Feminist Studies, 29 (81). pp. 255-272. ISSN 08164649

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India is one of the few countries in the world that continues to exempt husbands from being charged with rape committed against their wives. This article describes a brief period of contestation between feminists and the state in India, when this exceptional treatment of marriage was challenged and it was demanded that the husband's legal immunity be ended. Unpacking the responses of the state for retaining the immunity, this article shows how the idea of marital rape as an impossibility is constituted and contested in contemporary India. While the demand for repealing the husband's immunity did not succeed, the manner in which the state framed the issue and internal debates among Indian feminists over the politics and potentials of criminalising marital rape, complicates our understanding of the issues at stake. Consequently, the article emphasises the need for situating the marital rape question within a broader analysis of the legal regulation of marriage, rather than focusing on criminal law reform alone.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Marital | Rape | India | Feminists | Legal Immunity
Subjects: Social Sciences and humanities > Social Sciences > Gender Studies
JGU School/Centre: Jindal Global Law School
Depositing User: Mr Sombir Dahiya
Date Deposited: 19 May 2022 07:11
Last Modified: 19 May 2022 07:11
Official URL:


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