March 7, 2015
HUSBANDS who rape their wives in 142 countries across the world, including European powerhouses Spain, Italy and Germany, will not automatically be charged with a crime.
That’s the shocking finding of a UN report which details how a staggering 73 per cent of the world’s countries do not explicitly outlaw a husband raping his wife, affecting 2.6 billion women.
According to the 2011-2012 Progress of the World’s Womenreport no country in the Middle East has outlawed it, while even some western countries have failed to act.
While acknowledging the report is not new, the International Women’s Development Agency (IWDA) are using the staggering statistic to push its End the Right to Rapecampaign as part of International Women’s Day.
IWDA spokeswoman Bettina Baldeschi told news.com.au the 73 per cent figure still stood, despite the fact that a couple of the countries had outlawed marital rape since the report was published.
“Regardless, we think it’s outrageous that any country in the world has failed to explicitly outlaw marital rape,” she said.
“When governments fail to do this, they contribute to the perception that rape within marriage is acceptable.
“That’s a disgrace, and that’s why we are demanding an end to impunity.”
The IWDA are asking Australians to sign the petition demanding action by telling the world that no man has the right to rape.
It will then take the petition to the UN Headquarters in New York for the global gathering of the Commission on the Status of Women in a bid to pressure all governments around the world to take action.
Ms Baldeschi said the statistic was one which still shocked her and Australia, while outlawing marital rape, was not immune to violence against women or challenges when it came to gender equality.
“One third of Australian women will have experienced violence in their lifetime,” she said.
She added the petition was just one part of the organisation’s goal to push women’s rights further and to mark what the movement had achieved.
The campaign has already garnered some movement on social media with people tweeting support under the hashtag ##EndTheRightToRape.