Wednesday, March 22

Human rights activist calls for prohibition of marital rape in Gambian laws

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Speaking during an advocacy seminar on inclusion and equality held at Baobab Hotel on Friday, the activist said: “Marital rape should be prohibited by law in our constitution and the necessary awareness should be created for everyone to know that it is a violation of human rights and human dignity.”

He continued that rather unfortunately, the country’s laws don’t consider marital rapes. He said marital rape is an issue while reminding those who use religion or cultural argument on the subject that marital rape is not Islamic.

“Just that you are married doesn’t give you the absolute right to forcefully have sex with your partner. In marriage, conscience matters so that it is not force.”

Dwelling on equality, the human rights activist said the government has to fulfill its own obligation to the nation and the international laws they have ratified.

He said that since 1994 when there was an International Convention on Women in Belgium, one of the outcomes was that all member states should at least obtain 30% representation of women in institutions and centres of power.

“Gambia has committed to that declaration and is a signatory to international laws on women. The government has the obligation to make sure the space is created for women to have equal representation in decision-making. That’s a huge challenge and there is no excuse. The political will is not there for that to happen.”