Indian government panel to make marital rape a crime

According to the UN Population Fund, more than two-thirds of married women in India, aged 15 to 49, have been beaten, or forced to provide sex. In 2011, the International Men and Gender Equality Survey revealed that one in five have forced their wives or partner to have sex.

Marital rape could be an offence in a report submitted by the Pam Rajput committee, to the women and child development (WCD) ministry, which has recommended that as a pro-woman measure, marital rape should be considered an offence irrespective of the age of the wife and the relationship between the perpetrator and survivor.
Among the other issues that the high level committee on women has addressed are that age of consent must be revised form the present 18 years to 16 years. It has also suggested that rape by armed personnel in the place of or during their duty must be penalized and AFSPA be revoked.

The report has also recommended that the definitions of “cruelty” under the anti-dowry act be widened to include all forms of violence against women and the definition of dowry be expanded to include any property, valuable given directly or indirectly, before or after marriage in connection with marriage.

Honour crimes should be dealt with a separate legislation while police should take strict and immediate action to prevent archaic practices like witch-hunting, the report says. It has also suggested regulating sale of acid and similar corrosive substances to prevent acid attacks on women.



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