Marital Rape noun                                                                                                Rape committed by the person to whom the victim is married

Is marital rape still rape? You don’t hear about rape in Pakistan as often as you should, and there are several reasons why this is so.

Most cases aren’t reported and recorded, because so many women just don’t know where exactly they can go to report this. If you asked me right now, I probably wouldn’t be able to tell you either. Women are ashamed, and there is so much stigma in society that has led women to believe that so much of what happens to them is acceptable. The whole concept is fairly simple: Marital rape is rape. All rape is rape. However, some people in Pakistan seem to think that saying “Qabool Hai” three times absolves men from any sort of accountability. Here are a few reasons why people in Pakistan think marital rape is okay.

1. PATRIARCHY

We live in a patriarchal society where the glass ceiling is still very much intact. Advances have been made to break through it, but at the end of the day, a great number of the female population lives under the impression that they are second class citizens in this country. Men will do the work, men will make all the important decisions, men will remain in control, and women must remain compliant, especially to their male family members. As a result, many women believe that what men tell their wives is what they have to do, this is just how it’s supposed to be. So if the rapist is your husband, it’s okay. Because of this system, women do not have the economic freedom awarded to men. As a result, a lot of women, even the one’s that may see marital rape as wrong, may be forced to stay out of economic safety.

2. DEEN OVER DUNYA

Religion seems to be the driving force behind so many radical ideas in Pakistan. People think that if you add the stamp of religion to anything, it’s automatically true. Even if it isn’t necessarily what Islam says. Religious intolerance is a no-no, persecution of minorities is frowned upon, but if you twist things around enough, you can make anything Islamic! Even rape…

3. IGNORANCE

So many women lack basic knowledge about what their position in society should be. Because they do not know, they cannot distinguish right from wrong in certain situations. This ignorance is what leads them to believe that certain inappropriate things are alright. The solution: Educate our women!! Talk to your daughters about the uncomfortable topics so they know what is right and what is not.

4. MARRIAGE

The institution of marriage is romanticized so much in Pakistani society. If you’re unmarried, there still might be some room to blame men for their mistakes. However, if you’re married, “Sab Chalta Hai”. Anything that happens- you signed up for it yourself. If your husband doesn’t let you leave the house- it’s okay. If he abuses you- it’s okay. And if he rapes you, it’s NOT rape. You could just leave him, but divorce is stigmatized even more than marriage is romanticized. But it’s okay. Because you’re married.

5. FARHAT HASHMI

For people who religiously follow her teachings, apparently everything she says is incredible and enlightening and true. So, if Farhat Hashmi says marital rape is not actually rape, it must be true?

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