Forced sex by husbands is rape: Malaysian women`s groups
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Last Updated: Wednesday, February 06, 2013, 16:03
  
Kuala lumpur: A Malaysian women's group has suggested that the acts of husbands forcing themselves on wives and women being forced to insert objects into their private parts should be included in the definition of rape in the law.

This is one of the reforms that the Joint Action Group for Gender Equality (JAG) has proposed following the Prime Minister Najib Razak's pledge that pro-women laws will be implemented swiftly.

The group, which consists of nine bodies including Sisters In Islam (SIS) and Women's Aid Organisation (WAO), said the country's laws should be amended to expand the definition of rape in line with current needs.

SIS programme manager Suri Kempe quoted a recent case of a father who forced his 13-year-old daughter to insert an object but was only investigated for molest. "This is why we need to make changes to our laws to suit contemporary notions of justice," she said here yesterday.

Molestation carries a maximum jail term of 10 years, a fine or whipping while those guilty of rape can be punished up to 20 years in jail and is liable to whipping.

All Women's Action Society's senior programme officer Lee Wei San said women had a right to say no to sex at any time.

"However, marital rape has yet to be recognised as a crime," she was quoted as saying by Star daily.

The group plans to write Najib to arrange a meeting to discuss long-standing women issues.

SIS board of directors member Zainah Anwar said the group would send him all 23 memorandums issued by JAG in the past decade.

One of the issues to be highlighted to Najib, who is also Women, Family and Community Development Minister, will be the Islamic Family Law (Federal Territory) (Amendment) Act 2006.

The law, among others, allows the right of a Muslim husband to claim joint assets from his existing wife or wives upon his polygamous marriage.

Najib said last month that pro-women legislation would be given due attention and there would not be a repeat of a seven-year wait for a Bill to be passed, as what happened with the Domestic Violence Act.

PTI


First Published: Wednesday, February 06, 2013, 16:02


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