Should rape laws be made gender-neutral?
The cabinet, according to media reports, is to consider making rape a gender-neutral offence. In other words, it proposes to expand the definition of rape from a crime involving sexual assault of women to including male victims of sexual assault and by changing the relevant provisions of the IPC, Evidence Act and CrPc. The proposal is to replace “rape” with “sexual assault”— a gender-neutral term. This would cover the pedophilia as well as the bizarre instance of rape by a woman.
While some welcome the proposal, others say there is hardly any instance of a woman raping a woman and existing laws are sufficient to cover the cases of pedophilia and sodomy. They say if rape laws are made gender-neutral, they will not have the deterrence value.
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