Marital Rape in South Asia: Colonial Origins and postcolonial challenges

Uma, Saumya (2023) Marital Rape in South Asia: Colonial Origins and postcolonial challenges. In: The Asian Yearbook of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law. The Asian Yearbook of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, 7 . Brill Nijhoff, Leiden, pp. 271-309. ISBN 9789004538627

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This article traces the colonial origins of the marital rape exemption in criminal law, and critically examines the socio-legal efforts taken in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, in grappling with this exemption. It argues that the exemption of marital rape from the criminal offence of rape in the penal codes of some countries, and differential treatment in sentencing policy between marital and non-marital rape in other countries, violate international human rights standards as well as a constitutional promise of equality. Despite varied postcolonial developments, the article highlights and discusses similar challenges faced by the five countries. It draws upon feminist theory and praxis and concludes that a removal of the exemption and sameness in treatment of marital and non-marital rape are not panacea for all violence and discrimination that married women are subjected to, in the absence of radical social reforms. It advocates for accepting and respecting young women’s exercise of choice and agency in marriage, as a necessary pre-condition for negotiating sexual intercourse within marriage. It also advocates for strengthening a transnational feminist exchange of socio-legal strategies and solidarities to end impunity for marital rape in South Asia.

Item Type: Book Section
Keywords: Marital Rape | South Asia | Exemption | Immunity | Discrimination | Equality
Subjects: Social Sciences and humanities > Social Sciences > Law and Legal Studies
JGU School/Centre: Jindal Global Law School
Depositing User: Amees Mohammad
Date Deposited: 09 Jun 2023 04:40
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2023 04:40
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