India: Un­der­age sex is rape, even in mar­riage

West Hawaii Today - - World & Nation -

NEW DELHI — India’s Supreme Court on Wednesday struck down a part of the coun­try’s le­gal code that had per­mit­ted men to have sex with their un­der­age wives — a de­ci­sion that hu­man rights groups said was an im­por­tant step for­ward for the rights of girls.

In­dian law sets 18 as the age for mar­riage and con­sent to sex for a young woman. But an­other pro­vi­sion of the law was in­con­sis­tent, say­ing a man could have sex with a girl as young as 15, as long as she was his wife.

Ad­vo­cates ar­gued to the court that this ex­cep­tion en­cour­aged child mar­riage, which con­trib­utes to poor ed­u­ca­tion and poverty.

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