India – a democratic nation where the Constitution grants freedom of expression, freedom of speech to every citizen of the Nation but NO, you cannot speak against your husband if he rapes you. No, you aren’t given the freedom to express your grievance in that case. Neither can you file a ‘legal’ complaint against it. A society where sex in a marriage without consent is not even considered a crime.
Despite of literacy and awareness why such ‘critical’ issue isn’t addressed yet? Not that we aren’t literate. The question is Are we really educated? The most significant factor hindering the abashment of this issue is the so called ‘mindset’ of the society. Even today, the parents in India prefer to have a male child. Even today, the daughters are instructed to maintain and carry the dignity of the ‘family’ with her. Even today, a girl is asked to leave her job after marriage, just for the sake of her husband and family. Even today, a woman is expected to follow and support her husband. Who cares if it’s all against her? Who cares if she is being hurt? The man is believed to have the ‘right’ over his woman.
Since the schooling, talking about sex is considered to be a taboo in India. Lack of Sex Education and awareness’ also adds up to tolerance of such a violence at the later stage. If there is no environment set to freely raise a concern about such a sensitive issue since the beginning, then it becomes next to impossible to correctly highlight such an issue at the later stage.
The fear of helplessness, non-acceptance, reliance and dependency of women on their husband and in-laws; play a major role in demotivating the importance of raising this concern. Not only uneducated, but also an educated woman faces the constant fear of ‘non-acceptance’ from her family, from the society.
At times by raising such an issue, all that a woman gets is empathy or pity! Rather than any concrete assurance of punishment to the one at fault. In worst cases, rather than praising her bravery of being upfront, she is looked down upon by a few ‘conservative’ sections of the society, for publicly disclosing her ‘personal matters’.
After all, Who cares!
No legal punishments for such an act adds to the fire. It motivates the ones who practice this. It literally creates a ‘helpless state’ for the woman. Not even government of a so called ‘free country’ is ready to label such an act as a crime.
The ‘holistic book’ (Manusmriti, Manav Dharam Shastra) itself labels women as the ‘custody’ of her father and husband, such acts would surely take a lot more to abolish.
Author- Prarthana Padia, B-Tech Student at Ahmedabad University
This article was previously published on Oowomaniya
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Feature Image Source: theguardian.com