Qissa Meherbano Ka has stirred up quite a debate on marital rape in Pakistan. Audiences were divided when they witnessed the scenes where Mawra Hocane’s character, Meherbano, is repeatedly subjected to forced relations with her husband.
Mawra has continued to defend her character and spoken up about it freely and openly. She spoke up about it in a recent post too. “It’s 2022 and men like murad freely exist in all spheres of life who not only rape their wives but to make it worse also fail to acknowledge it & mock it,” wrote Mawra.
Marital Rape In Pakistan
Marital rape is a taboo topic in Pakistan and other Asian countries.
In Pakistan, women fail to recognize that they are being violated by their husbands as they are made to believe (and taught from a very young age) that they must submit to their husbands. At times, even if one is aware of this, they remain quiet because of societal pressure.
As a result, unwanted and unplanned pregnancies, abortions take place. Doctors have reported numerous cases with the patients coming in with severe injuries as a result.
In the drama, Meherbano undergoes a similar fate. It takes her time to come to terms with it, which had audiences divided.
Do We Have Laws For Marital Rape?
In Pakistan, according to Section 6 of the Hudood Ordinance, a man is said to have committed rape when he engages in sexual intercourse with a woman “against her will and consent.” With that being said, in Pakistan, the number of cases being reported is very low, as it is considered a private matter among the spouses, a taboo, and of course, religion plays a part in it as well.
Pakistan still has a very feeble stand over criminalizing marital rape with section 375 being the only legislature related to rape crimes yet, it includes no reference to marriage. The problem might lie in our society being dominated by male chauvinists who consider women as mere tools of pleasure.
Being married doesn’t change social rules. Just because a woman said “I do” to marriage doesn’t mean she said “I do” to an intimate relationship whenever, wherever, and however, her husband wants it.
Even though Pakistan as a nation is based on the theory of equity, it still has not recognized the right of a woman over marital intercourse as a component of equality.
Courts have various methods to identify marital rape & have handed out strict punishments previously, but due to the lack of legal provisions, they are bound & hence, cannot describe ‘forceful intercourse by a man upon his wife’ as marital rape.
Hence, the judiciary is not enough & it requires the help of the legislature – the laws have to adapt to the changing reality of our society.
Qissa Meherbano Ka has started conversations on a matter that was so far, considered taboo in our society.
We would like to thank the makers & cast for starting conversations, hopefully, mindsets and then, subsequent amendments in our laws, can help protect women who have been wronged in a relationship that needs the highest level of respect.
Qissa Meherbano Ka Might Help Women Come Forward & Speak Up
Qissa Meherbano Ka has started conversations about a topic that so far was never on the table in Pakistan. It has made people uncomfortable but has also made them think. Maybe watching Meherbano may help women summon up the courage to speak up and raise a voice for themselves and the generations to come.