NEW DELHI: The government on Thursday said the concept of marital rape, as understood internationally, cannot be applied in the Indian context.
Asked in Parliament on Thursday whether the central government had any plans to criminalise marital rape, Union minister for women and child development Maneka Gandhi said in a written reply, “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.”
Replying to another question in Rajya Sabha, Gandhi said the scheme for universalisation of the women’s helpline has been approved for implementation through states/Union Territories from April 1 last year to provide 24-hour emergency and non-emergency response to women affected by violence both in public and private spheres, including within the family, community and workplace
“All the states and Union Territories have been re- quested to submit the proposals in order to release funds. Funds have been sanctioned/released to 33 states/UTs for setting up the women’s helpline,” the minister said.
The WCD ministry has also conceptualised an idea of women’s welfare committees to be established in all districts of the country. How- ever, no such proposal has been formulated so far.