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There is no legal Recognition of Marital Rape in Pakistani law.[1] Subjects covered within marital rape are delineated in multiple separate laws governing the people of Pakistan.[citation needed] The first is the Hudood Ordinance, an implementation of Islamic Shari'a law enacted in 1979. The second is the 2006 Women's Protection Bill which reformed many Hudood Ordinance laws that covered rape and adultery in Pakistan. Neither law provides a basis for prosecuting the perpetrators of marital rape.

Hudood Ordinance and Shari'a Law

File:Criminalization of marital rape map.svg

  Countries where marital rape is criminalized.
Sources: Unicef 1997.[2] UNIFEM 2003.[3]

Prior to 1979, instances of marital rape were under the purview of family law instead of criminal law.[4] With the passage of the Hudood Ordinance in 1979, women were required to have four male witnesses to any rape to corroborate any accusation of rape. If they failed to provide such witnesses, they were convicted of zina, or extramarital sex.[5]

Women's Protection Bill

The Women's Protection Bill, passed on 15 November 2006, moved the prosecution of rape cases from the Hudood Ordinance to Pakistan's secular penal code. The bill enabled judges to try rape cases in criminal court instead of Islamic court. These moves ended the need for multiple male witnesses to a rape in order to prosecute. It eliminated the sentence of death for consensual pre-marital sex, reducing the maximum penalty to five years imprisonment and a fine. However, marital rape remains excluded from being prosecuted as rape.[6] It also requires that formal charges be brought in cases of an accusation of extramarital sex in order to jail the accused.[citation needed]

Women's Rights in Marriage

There has, historically, been a conception of the conjugal right within marriage. This concept continues to be recognized as law in Pakistan. There are no recorded cases of marital rape being successfully prosecuted against legally married couples in Pakistan.[7]


  1. Koss, M.P., Dinero, T.E., Siebel, C.A., & Cox Stranger and acquaintance rape: Are there differences in
  2. Sir Matthew Hale , Pleas of the Crown, Vol.1 736
  3. Clarie M. Renzetti, Requel Kennedy Bergen Violence Against Women 2004
  4. Suzanne G. Frayser, Thomas J. Whitby Sudies in Human Sexuality: A Selected Guide 1995
  5. A.Nicolas Groth , H. Jean Birnbaum Men Who Rape: The Psychology of the Offender 2001
  6. Samya Burney Crime or Custom? Violence Against Women in Pakistan 1999
  7. Irfan Latif Mir, Situation of Marital Rape in Pakistan Weekly Iqbalian. 23 March 2002
  8. Naeem Butt, After Effects of Spousal Rape Monthly Daytime, January 2007
  9. Dr. Shahid Masood, Enough is Enough, Its time to Change Daily Nawa-e-Shumal, Sialkot Pakistan, 14 August 2007 Independence day Special
  10. Nicole Westmarland, Rape Law Reform in England & Wales School for Policy Studies Working Paper Serious April 2004, Paper 7
  11. Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women A/RES/48/104 23 February 1994.
  12. Not a one Minute more, ending Violence against Women, UNIFEM 2003
  13. Expert Group Meeting on good practices in legislation on violence against women United Nations Office at Vienna 26 to 28 May 2008 EGM/GPLVAW/2008
  14. Violence aginast Women, Amnesty International 1993, 11-12
  15. Violence against Women, Amnesty International 1995, 14
  16. ‘A World Free of Violence Against Women’, United Nations Inter-Agency Global Videoconference, 8 March 1999
  17. Frieze and Browne ,Violence in Marriage, Family Violence: Crime and Justice, A Review of Research, 1989


  1. Goonesekere, Savitri. Violence, Law and Women's Rights in South Asia. Published by SAGE, 2004. pp. 61. ISBN 0761997962, 9780761997962
  2. UNICEF, The Progress of Nations, 1997, 48.
  3. United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), not a minute more: Ending Violence Against Women, 2003.
  4. Goonesekere, Savitri. Violence, Law and Women's Rights in South Asia. Published by SAGE, 2004. pp. 60. ISBN 0761997962, 9780761997962
  5. "A victory for Pakistani women", the Washington Times, August 2, 2006
  6. Human Rights Watch (2007-04-10). Human Rights Watch World Report 2007. Seven Stories Press. pp. 300–301. ISBN 9781583227404.
  7. Aurangzeb Haneef Marital Rape. January 8, 2001. Chowk.
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