‘Marital Rape’ in Marriage: The Need for Reform in Bangladesh


The notion of marital rape is not new and came from Hale’s theory. Although it is an old concept, but still some of the state parties of the United Nations are using this option as immunity. However, there are quite a few modern justifications that can actually defeat the Hale’s theory. Hence, the notion of Hale’s theory is not valid anymore in the 21st century. Currently, more than 100 countries have incorporated ‘marital rape’ as a criminal offence and punishing the offenders. Unfortunately, marital rape is not an offence under the Penal Law of Bangladesh unless the wife is under 13 years old. This article analysed the current Bangladeshi laws regarding rape, which is substandard to protect the marital rape victims. In addition, it also argues how current law is violating several international laws and the rights guaranteed under the Constitution of Bangladesh. The existing laws of rape under the Penal Law of Bangladesh are outdated and therefore, reform is the demand of time.

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