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Raping your wife isn’t allowed in Pakistan law

Maliha Zia Lari speaks about rape laws at Adab Festival

SAMAA | - Posted: Jan 31, 2020 | Last Updated: 1 year ago
Posted: Jan 31, 2020 | Last Updated: 1 year ago
Raping your wife isn’t allowed in Pakistan law

Dr Asha Bedar, Noorulaim Masood and Maliha Zia at the Adab Festival 2020 on Friday, Jan 31 at the Arts Council, Karachi. Photo: SAMAA Digital

Women are raped by their husbands and Pakistan’s law acknowledges it.

Many people don’t know about the country’s rape laws, said Maliha Zia Lari, the associate director of the Legal Aid Society. She was speaking at a session on violence against women at the Adab Festival, 2020 in Karachi on Friday.

“There was a time when the law didn’t recognise marital rape. The Offence of Zina (Enforcement of Hudood) Ordinance, 1979 defined rape as a man having sexual intercourse with a woman who is not his wife without her consent,” she said. The wordings meant that a man is incapable of raping his wife, Lari explained.

In 2006, the law was amended. The new law, Section 375 of the Pakistan Penal Code, now says that “a man is said to commit rape who has sexual intercourse with a woman without her consent and there is penetration,” she added.

The change in wording shows that the country does recognise marital rape as a punishable crime.

There, however, are other aspects of the law which people don’t fully understand. The law gives five conditions under which a woman is said to have been raped.

Without her consent

This means that a woman who is conscious is able to give her consent. An unconscious woman or anyone suffering from any disability cannot give their consent, Lari explained.

Against her will

This means that a woman was able to articulate her consent and kept saying no but still a man forced himself on her.

Fake marriage

The third condition deals with a woman giving her consent thinking that she is married when in reality the man has been lying to her. This is most common in cases where men get fake marriage certificates, she said.

Threatening a woman

Fourth deals with obtaining a woman’s consent by threatening her. She may be scared that if she resists, then it will pose a threat to her life or that of her family members.

Under 16 years of age

A man who has sexual intercourse with any woman who is 16 years or younger is said to have committed rape. It doesn’t matter if she gave her consent or not, Lari added.

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  1. Naveed  February 3, 2020 11:00 am/ Reply

    That would mean we should declare war against our own country. Because this law is unislamic

    • Ira  December 1, 2020 6:11 pm/ Reply

      there is nothing Islamic about raping someone.

  2. Dr. M. Mamnoon Khan  September 25, 2020 3:51 pm/ Reply

    Greater awareness should be spread about this law. In 20 years of my practice I have seen many women who were traumatized after being repeatedly forced into intercourse by their husbands. This is a heinous crime and needs to be treated as such .

  3. Dr. M. Luqman Khan  September 25, 2020 9:13 pm/ Reply

    Greater awareness must be spread about this law and it should be implemented. In 20 yrs of my practice I have seen many women who are mentally and physically scarred after being forced into intercourse by their husbands. This is a heinous crime and must be treated as such .

  4. Ruksana  September 25, 2020 9:15 pm/ Reply

    implementation of law must be carried out

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