Consent in Marriage: A Radical Feminist Analysis of Pakistani Law

22 Pages Posted: 6 Jan 2020

See all articles by Iqra Saleem Khan

Iqra Saleem Khan

The Institute of Legal Studies (TILS)

Date Written: September 26, 2019


Marital rape is not a recognized offense in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. The legal definition of rape, as amended in 2006, defines the victim of rape as a woman, thereby opening room for judicial interpretation to criminalize rape within marriage. Despite this, there have been no reported cases of marital rape in Pakistan. Using the radical feminist lens, it is argued this is because the current law fails to comprehend the unreality of a wife’s ‘consent’ to sex in marriage. Under Shariah, a wife has an obligation to sexually submit to her husband, whereas the legal, social and economic inequalities prevalent within marriage also oblige her to have sex. Neither precludes legally valid consent. A reconception of marital rape based on sex inequality is required.

Keywords: Marital rape, sexual autonomy, Pakistani law, Feminist legal theory, Islamic law

Suggested Citation

Saleem Khan, Iqra, Consent in Marriage: A Radical Feminist Analysis of Pakistani Law (September 26, 2019). William & Mary Journal of Women and the Law, Vol. 26, No. 3, 2020. Available at SSRN: or

Iqra Saleem Khan (Contact Author)

The Institute of Legal Studies (TILS) ( email )

No: 36, Nazimuddin Road
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