Sisters For Change is campaigning for the criminalisation of marital rape as a crime of sexual violence in all the regions and countries where we work.
In mid-2019, Sisters For Change commissioned a comprehensive legal review of the criminalisation of marital rape and intimate partner sexual violence across the Commonwealth. The report, authored by CEDAW Committee Member Marion Bethel and launched at a Commonwealth Asia High-Level Regional Dialogue in Kuala Lumpur in November 2019, explores the colonial origins of the marital rape exemption and examines in detail the development of international and regional human rights standards relating to marital rape and gender-based violence.
“Sisters For Change calls on governments to repeal the marital rape exception and reform their laws to recognise marital rape as a crime of sexual violence.”
In December 2019, Sisters For Change launched an interactive map to show the chronology of the adoption of laws criminalising marital rape across the Commonwealth and highlight the continuing and pervasive lack of legal protection for millions of women in many Commonwealth countries – especially in South Asia, South East Asia, and West Africa. Click here to find out more.
Almost half of all Commonwealth countries still require legislative reform to remove the marital rape exception in order to establish a statutory definition of rape that complies with international and regional standards.