Issues on Explaining Legal Recognition of Marital Rape in Islam in Pakistan

By Fahd Zulfiqar.

Published by The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Civic and Political Studies

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In many conservative societies, marital rape is not recognised as a criminal sexual offence despite the fact that domestic sexual violence is recognised as one of the forms of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV). Domestic sexual violence can cause serious health repercussions including, though not limiting to, unwanted pregnancies, gynecologic morbidity, depression, and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) including HIV/AIDS. The attempt of this paper is to emphasise the need for legal recognition of marital rape in countries where it is not criminalised as a sexual offence. In addition, this paper intends to provide a reflection on the feminist perspectives on the issue with the intention of analysing the contextualised qualitative correlates of not criminalising marital rape in South Asian countries, signifying traceable research gap, and indicating a base for future research introspection. The conceptualisation of feminists᾿ theoretical and methodological frameworks on marital rape has been reviewed to indigenise into the local South Asian contexts. In the context of Pakistan, using both theoretical considerations of rape laws and methodological framework of semi-structured interviews with female lawyers, the legal recognition of marital rape in Islam and practical resistances to its criminalisation in Pakistan have been found out. The argument here is to recognise the bodily integrity of married women that Islam recognises and to highlight the deficiencies in the legal setup of Pakistan that, to a significant extent, is antithetical to the teachings of Quran and Hadith.

Keywords: Islam, Marital Rape, Sexual Violence

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Civic and Political Studies, Volume 12, Issue 1, March 2017, pp.1-12. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.185MB).

Fahd Zulfiqar

Lecturer, Department of Development Studies, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, Islamabad, Pakistan