Sunday November 19, 2017

Reasons Why Marital Rape Should Be Recognised as a Criminal Offence

Debate on marital rape continues as it fails to get regarded as a punishable offense

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Marital Rape
Recognition of marital rape as a crime. Pixabay
  • The grievous danger caused by marital rape is unable to gain recognition
  • Women should be granted rights to handle situations of marital rape
  • Illiteracy, poverty and religious beliefs are not an excuse for committing marital rape

July 25, 2017: Most of the countries have regarded marital rape as a criminal offense but India has still not taken this action and due to this, the debate about marital rape continues.

The future for women and their rights in India seems bleak as the grievous danger caused by marital rape is unable to gain recognition.

But what exactly is marital rape? It occurs when a man imposes sexual right on his wife by use of force, without taking her consent, or threat of force. In a country where domestic violence is a punishable offense, why isn’t domestic sexual abuse a crime? Just as domestic violence destroys and hurts the body, marital rape destroys and harms the soul. Rape is rape no matter who commits it. It could be your boyfriend, your uncle, your husband or a stranger. Any force experienced to indulge in sexual activity should be made a punishable act regardless of the relationship with the rapist.

Also Read: Women should not Silently Face Atrocities and must Speak up about Issues like Marital Rape, says Actress Katrina Kaif

Maneka Gandhi, The Union Minister for Women and Child Development, says that “marital rape”  is inapplicable in a country like India since illiteracy, social customs, religious beliefs, poverty is widespread here.
This implies that it is acceptable for a man to force his wife into sexual activity because he is poor or illiterate.

Many of us often see our domestic help with a black eye, and when asked, she would say, husbands, are allowed to hit their wives as it’s the norm. The same norm permits husbands to rape their wives, without protection, whenever they come home drunk.

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An Indian Marriage is more like a sexual contract as it provides the husband a right over his wife’s body and gives him ownership rights over the wife. This implies that a married woman has no right over her own body. Refusing to recognize marital rape as a criminal offense is equivalent to spreading the belief that it is acceptable for women to be raped as long as the rapist is her husband. If we want to develop our country and spread literacy, we need to grant women the control of their lives where it is her right to say no to her husband for sexual intercourse or pregnancy without being penalized or punished for it and commence help for abused women. It is necessary for the myth of “wifely duty” to end because sexual activity must take place with mutual consent and pleasure.

Marital Rape
Marriage is no excuse for rape. Wikimedia

A few years back, newspapers carried a tale of a woman aged 26 who came back with severe injuries from her Bangkok honeymoon as her husband had violent sex with her. In order to achieve equality between men and women, it is essential to grant rights to women over their bodies, recognition of forced sexual activity in her marriage, and raising their voices against it. The government must provide help for abused women.

A Statistical report of the study conducted by The International Centre for Women (ICRW) in eight States: Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Odisha and Madhya Pradesh covered 3,158 number of women and 9,205 number of men aged between 18-49. The sample represented various castes, income groups and religions. The NFHS report revealed that the majority of rape that women reported was within the marriage and only 2.3 per cent of rape reported by women to the interviewers of NFHS was by other men.

Not criminalizing marital rape is either to degrade the real bonds and affections that keep marriages held together in spite of differences and disagreements or to believe that marital rape and sexual abuse in marriages is a common affair. A positive step in this direction will give women a sense of security and a redressal mechanism in situations of marital rape.

-prepared by Harsimran Kaur of NewsGram. Twitter @Hkaur1025

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Vidya Talks about her upcoming Movie Tumhari Sulu and Shares her views on Sexual Harassment

Vidya Balan opens up about her views on Sexual Harassment.

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Vidya Balan
Vidya Balan. ians
  • We should name and shame those who sexually harass others, actress Vidya Balan said on Friday.

After Big B, actress Vidya Balan speaks against women harassment 

“I think people who have suffered this only know what exactly does it feel like when you’re really in an uncomfortable situation. When someone just rubs or touches you with his hand, sometimes I get really angry. So I think in that sense, there are a lot of degrees in sexual harassment.

“I am very glad that people are talking about it now. Women are talking about it and they should talk about it because it is not their fault. We should name and shame those who are sexually harassing others, undoubtedly,” she told media persons here during a promotional programme for her upcoming “Tumhari Sulu”.

After the Harvey Weinstein controversy led to the disclosure of sexual harassment cases in Hollywood, prominent actors such as Irrfan Khan and Richa Chadha have opened up about the casting couch in the Hindi film industry.

Vidya, along with entire “Tumhari Sulu” team including Neha Dhupia and RJ Malishka, was attending the launch of PVR Big Screen PXL here.

The upcoming slice of life drama recently released a rehashed version of “Mr.India” song “Hawa Hawai”, which originally featured Sridevi.

Vidya said that Sridevi liked the song. “After watching the song, Sridevi told me, she found me very cute in the song and she found the song lovely, especially the way we did it… (was) very happy with it. I don’t want to say much, but it would be better if you ask her because I can only tell you this much.”

She also said that the response to the movie has been great but she finds it difficult to talk about compliments which she got from the fraternity.

“I always had a problem with this thing.. I am little hesitant to express someone’s words. Someone sent me a message or told me personally… hopefully quite a few people will turn up at the screening, it would be better if you asked them but so far the response has been good,” she said.

The “Tumhari Sulu” teaser and the trailer has set the tone right for the film and with back to back song releases, the movie is getting much talked about.

“‘Hawa Hawai’ has got a fantastic response and so has the ‘Ban Ja Tu Meri Rani’ song. And today we have released one more song, ‘Manva Likes To Fly’. I love that song because all of us want to fly on wings of our hearts. So far the response has been fabulous.

“There is a lot of excitement for the film because we got a fabulous response for the teaser and then we got an even better response for the trailer. And now you watch the film which is even better. We’re excited and promoting the film like anything and still, we are not tired at all.”

Vidya also said that she relates a lot to her “Tumhari Sulu” character, since, as an actress, she can’t participate in radio contests.

“I can’t call to participate in radio contests because people know me and they would never give me a gift. Sometimes I do feel like calling as I’d have really interesting and mad answers, so yeah, at times I do feel like calling and participating in the contests.”

About the event, Vidya Balan said: “I am a PVR Loyalist; I watch most of my films at PVR. There sound and picture quality is fabulous, it is even better now than what it is normally. I am sure it will be an extremely pleasurable experience for anyone watching films here.”

“Tumhari Sulu” starring Vidya Balan is directed by Suresh Triveni and produced under the banners of T-Series and Ellipsis Entertainment releases worldwide on November 17.(IANS)

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Women Rally Across France to Protest Sexual Harassment, Assault

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Women hold placards reading
Women hold placards reading "Sexism is not my gender,“ left, and “125 women killed in 2016" during a rally protesting sexual abuse and harassment, in Marseille, southern France. VOA

Paris, October 30: Hundreds of women took to the streets of Paris and 10 other French cities to protest against sexual harassment in the wake of the scandal surrounding Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein.

In Paris, women gathered in Republic Square, waving signs bearing the #metoo hashtag used by tens of thousands of women to share personal stories of sexual harassment and assault.

Similar gatherings were also held in Marseille, Bordeaux, and Lille, among other cities.

As the #metoo campaign erupted across the United States, a similar campaign unfolded across France under the hashtag #balancetonporc or #squealonyourpig. As in America, French women have begun naming and shaming their attackers.

Since it started, several prominent figures have been targeted in French assault claims, including a lawmaker in President Emmanuel Macron’s party, a judge on France’s equivalent of a reality show “America’s Got Talent” and Oxford professor Tariq Ramadan, a leading lecturer in Islamic studies.

French-Polish filmmaker Roman Polanski, who is wanted in the U.S. for the statutory rape of a 13-year-old girl in the 1970s, has also been hit with new abuse claims.

The avalanche of accusations was unleashed weeks ago when The New York Times and The New Yorker published reports of women accusing Weinstein of rape and sexual harassment going back decades. Among the accusers were some of Hollywood’s most prominent actresses, including Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Rosanna Arquette.(VOA)

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Stand-Up Comedian Mallika Dua Protests on ‘Me Too’, Shares Her Horrifying Molestation

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Standup Comedian Mallika Dua shares her Molestation story. Instagram.

Mumbai, October 23: According to the current status acquired from the Me Too campaign, every woman living in this violent world has been molested, assaulted and sexually harassed at some point in their lives.

  • Although the world knew this happening since matters relating to our sexual issues are considered as a taboo in our society, the people pretended to be dumbfounded to take the issue seriously under the law.
  • After getting disclosed to the public this time with Me too campaign on social media, as initiated by actress Alyssa Milano, the pain we feel is something that mere words can’t explain.

The Me Too protest doing the rage on social media has brought forth stories from women around the globe who didn’t open up until recently, about such cases because they were victimised.

It all started with several Hollywood actresses announcing up publicly about their painful incidents of sexual allegations against Harvey Weinstein that were kept hidden for years. With one woman supporting the other, the Me too campaign arose high to an increased extent whereby women shared horrifying stories of rape and sexual assault, and so did the standup comedian, Mallika Dua or our Makeup Didi.

“Me Too … in my own car. My mother was driving while he sat at the back with his hand under my skirt the whole time. I was 7. My sister was 11. His hands went everywhere inside my skirt and on my sister’s back. My father who was in a different car dislocated the bastard’s jaw with his bare hands later that night.”

Me Too
Mallika Dua takes to Instagram to stand against Me too Campaign. Instagram.

If you are one of them irrespective of men or women reading this, we know you too have been through such disastrous incidents. It’s time to realize that we were overthrown to put down our voices and that by supporting our stories forward as a part of the Me too campaign, it’s not us who should be ashamed of but those who presume to have an upper hand over the other gender.

        -Prepared by Bhavana Rathi of Newsgram. Twitter @tweet_bhavana