Maneka Gandhi says that the concept of marital rape can’t be applied in Indian context

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The government remains unconvinced about criminalizing marital rape as Maneka Gandhi told Rajya Sabha on Thursday that the concept of marital rape cannot be “suitably applied in the Indian context” due to factors like poverty, illiteracy and religious beliefs. 

Deccan Herald reported that Maneka Gandhi, the Indian Union Cabinet Minister for Women & Child Development said,

It is considered that the concept of marital rape, as understood internationally, cannot be suitably applied in the Indian context due to various factors like level of education/ illiteracy, poverty, myriad social customs and values, religious beliefs, mindset of the society to treat the marriage as a sacrament etc.

After that, she was asked is the government plans to criminalize marital rape. She replied to another question saying that the scheme for universalisation of women helpline has been approved for implementation through states/UTs from April 1 last year to provide 24-hour emergency and non-emergency response to women affected by violence both in public and private sphere, including in family, community and workplace. She said,

All the states/UTs have been requested to submit the proposals in order to release funds. Funds have been sanctioned/released to 33 states/UTs for setting up Women Helpline.

The ministry has also conceptualized an idea of women welfare committee in all districts of the country, however, no such proposal has been formulated so far.

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