There is no legal Recognition of Marital Rape in Pakistani law. Subjects covered within marital rape are delineated in multiple separate laws governing the people of Pakistan. 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
Sources: Unicef 1997. Countries where marital rape is criminalized. UNIFEM 2003.
Prior to 1979, instances of marital rape were under the purview of family law instead of criminal law. 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.
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. It also requires that formal charges be brought in cases of an accusation of extramarital sex in order to jail the accused.
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.
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