Written by 9:40 pm Society

Struggles between women’s rights movements and cultural perspectives hinder decriminalization of marital rape

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Women’s rights activists and civil organizations that support husbands are engaged in a contentious discussion about “marital rape.”

The movement for women’s rights views this as “an evil that needs to be criminalized.” At the same time, opponents contend that the Islamic religion requires women to have sexual relationships with their husbands.

Given the difficulty of gaining access to a private space between a couple, Mohammed Maj, an activist defending the rights of husbands, stated that laws intended to criminalize “so-called marital rape are emotional and limited in this regard”. 

He further explained that “the reference from which we start is the Islamic religion. Therefore, our doctrine acknowledges that having sexual relations with a spouse is both a duty and a right for the wife. Thus, this is not illegal,” completely disregarding the fact that marital rape is a persistent kind of abuse that a lot of women experience.

In his statement to the Hespress AR, Maj clarified that “the husband who tries to force his wife to have intercourse is the one who is sinning in these cases, and religion relieves the embarrassment of the exhausted or sick wife,” noting that “the wife who exploits this right for blackmail or refuses temperamentally, she, in turn, must be subject to punishment according to the law, given that she is a sinner in this case, and religion commanded her to obey her husband,” while also noting that “this ongoing discussion is very complex and ambiguous.”

The speaker, who doubles as the deputy secretary-general of the “Moroccan Association for Defending the Rights of Fathers and Children,” emphasized that equality must be fiercely defended, even against a wife who persists in abusing her husband and seducing him against his will.

The call for criminalization, he emphasized, is pointless. However, “if we approach the issue from our point of view, we will recognize that equality is a complex issue that involves all the parties involved in marriage and that equality should not be promoted as being in the best interests of women.”

The activist reiterated that family mediation, in this case, should be handled by a psychologist and sexual specialist rather than the judiciary because the incrimination call could be used as a means of harassing the husband, blackmailing him, or harming his rights, as has happened in the custody files and elsewhere. 

He explained that Moroccan society is still predominantly Muslim and that there is nothing wrong with being open to other experiences in any societal discussion. “But we must preserve our identity in all its diversity, richness, and difference, and not allow any destructive winds to uproot our national religious values.”

The Federation of Women’s Rights League President, Samira Mohya, on the other hand, called the persistence of this old-fashioned way of thinking “unfortunate,” adding that “the human rights call to criminalize marital rape does not deal with the issue in its apparent superficial aspect; Rather, with a solid past construction that hides in the masculine perception of intimate relationships.” 

She emphasized that terms like “dominance,” “tyranny,” and “intercourse” are elevated due to an incorrect and retrogressive understanding of marital relations.

Mohia observed that “an intimate relationship between husband and wife must be founded on understanding and desire, rather than coercion or treating the woman’s will as something secondary that the husband does not consider.”

Feminist associations have consistently opposed marital rape due to the risks it poses to women’s mental health and the integrity of their marriage, particularly when the behavior is motivated by aggression, sadism, or an incorrect definition of intimacy.

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Étiquettes : , , , , , , , , , Last modified: décembre 10, 2023
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