India’s Supreme Court has struck down a legal clause that permits men to have sex with their underage wives.

The clause, which was part of India’s law on rape, said intercourse between a man and his wife was permissible as long as she was over 15 years of age.

The legal age of consent and marriage in India is 18 but marital rape is not considered an offence.

The verdict has been hailed by women’s rights activists but correspondents say the order will be difficult to enforce.

According to BBC News, the judgement said that girls under 18 would be able to charge their husbands with rape, as long as they complained within one year of being forced to have sexual relations.

India’s government says the practice of child marriage is “an obstacle to nearly every developmental goal: eradicating poverty and hunger; achieving universal primary education; promoting gender equality; protecting children’s lives; and improving women’s health”.

Advertisement

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here