Suggestion on spousal rape opposed in Bahrain

Manama, March 10: Bahrain’s top legal authority’s suggestion that spousal rape should not be treated as crime has been opposed, local media reported.

The Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) last Tuesday suggested that husbands who force themselves on their wives should not be prosecuted. Also, it said, the men who “reasonably” discipline their wives and daughters should be considered above the law.

The Shura Council’s woman and child committee chairwoman Rabab Al Arrayedh said that it has have already ignored and turned down the SJC suggestion, the Gulf Daily News reported Monday.

“No one can force a woman to have sex. If so, she has all the rights to go and file for divorce. The SJC can only make recommendations as they are not legislators,” Rabab Al Arrayedh said.

The recommendations were made by the SJC to ensure that new legislation on domestic dispute does not contradict the Sharia.

“Rape is rape, regardless of who the victim is. There is still a lack of understanding in this region about the rights of women in abusive relationships. The last thing we want is for a rapist husband to use the law as a shield against being charged with rape,” the Gulf Daily News quoted Batelco Care Centre for Family Violence Cases head Sharifa Swar as saying.

She added that pre-marital workshops should be organised to help new couples understand each other’s role in a marriage.

IANS