Everyone has the right to live the life they want. Everyone has the right to control their body as per their wishes as they are the master of their body. This is a basic human right that every individual should get but Are these Rights available to Women? Married women too have right to control their body as per their wishes as they are the master of their body like their counterparts. We are concerned about the serious difficulties faced by women when it comes to rights held by women on their own bodies.
In a country like India where sex before marriage is considered taboo in the same country, there are no laws regarding marital rape. Is it so that after marriage women lost their dignity? Or that she, the married woman, lost her right from her own body just because is married now?
Though it is understood that marriage in India is for legalising sex between the partners but what if a woman is unwilling to have sex with her partner for a period of time or for any other reasons? Although the Indian constitution guarantees equality to all its citizens but Indian criminal law discriminates against females who have been raped by their own husbands which clearly shows that men and women are not equal.
Rape itself is an offence, violating her dignity and self-respect and when it occurs within four walls of a matrimonial home; it reduces the woman to the status of an object who has no right of her own. In a survey conducted by the International Centre for Research on Women in the year 2011, nearly 20% of Indian men have reportedly, attested once carried out sexual violence against a female partner. In another study by the National Health and Family Survey for the year 2015-16 5.6% of women have been reported as victims under the category of ‘physically forced her to have sexual intercourse with their husband even when she did not want to”.
Nimeshbhai Bharatbhai Desai v.s State of Gujrat (2017) Gujarat High Court in this case dealt with the matter of marital rape but did not consider it as an offence instead court held the husband is only liable for outraging her modesty. Section 375 does not recognize the concept of marital rape. Indian laws give women the right to life and liberty but not their bodies. A married woman is not able to enjoy freedom in her own body.
Whoever you are, wherever you live, you have the right to make choices without fear, violence or discrimination. Yet women are discriminated against for their choices about sex with their partners. They are refused by the courts when it comes to marital rape.
Why doesn’t a married woman can have all the rights to their body sometimes they are denied to have contraceptives, sometimes they are denied to have a sex choice and sometimes not allowed to have abortion by their choice. Women are denied to have an abortion, it’s her body she has all the right over it she can at an early stage have an abortion but in Indian society, women’s rights are denied. It is important for societies to recognize and respect the autonomy and bodily integrity of all individuals, regardless of their marital status or gender.
We need to understand women’s body is their own, they have all the rights over their body which is their power and dignity. Marital rape should become a criminal offence because it’s more about gender inequality, it’s more about women’s right to their own bodies and most importantly it’s about their dignity.