Are there any gender-neutral laws on rape?


The Criminal Law Amendment Act of 2013 in India covers sexual offenses. A young girl amended it following the 2012 brutal gang rape in Delhi. Although it contains provisions for sexual assault and rape, the act does not have a provision for gender-neutral or genital rape.

According to the Indian legal system, rape can only be committed by men. The law defines rape as forced sexual intercourse, oral or penetration with any object, without the victim’s consent. This can be applied to any victim regardless of gender.

Many have called for India to adopt a gender-neutral law on rape, particularly from the LGBTQ+ community. They argue that the current law is discriminatory, and many victims are left without recourse. Currently, however, no legislation has been passed to address the issue.

You must note that sexual assaults and harassment remain underreported in India. More must be done for survivors and address the social and cultural factors that lead to these crimes.

Situation now

India’s current laws on rape only recognize men perpetrators and women victims. This can be seen as discriminatory against those who don’t fall within these traditional gender categories.

India’s existing rape law is gender-specific. It only allows men to commit rape. Sexual intercourse between a man or woman is considered rape. However, this definition does not include all sexual assaults, including forced oral sex and anal penetration.

In some cases, victims who didn’t identify as female couldn’t file a claim for rape or sexual assault because the law didn’t recognize them. These victims may be unable to seek justice or report the incident to the authorities.

In India, activists and members of the LGBTQ+ community have been calling for a gender-neutral law on rape. This law would recognize all people, regardless of gender identity, as victims or offenders. The United Nations has supported the demand for a gender-neutral law and has asked India to amend its rules so that victims of sexual violence can access justice.

In the past, there have been several attempts to introduce gender-neutral laws for rape in the Indian Parliament. However, they were not successful in passing. This is a complex issue, and there are questions about how such laws would be applied, especially in cases where perpetrators and victims have different gender identities.

Outside India, the status of gender-neutral rape laws

Many countries have laws that recognize rape or sexual assault as crimes that may be committed against anyone of any gender. There has been a growing recognition that gender-neutral laws for rape are needed to address the problem of sexual violence against marginalized groups, including transgender individuals and men who have been sexually abused.

Some countries recognize rape or sexual assault as crimes that may be committed against anyone, regardless of gender. The Sexual Offences Act 2003 in the United Kingdom defines rape to be any sexual intercourse that occurs without consent. It does not specify the gender or perpetrator.

Similar to Sweden, rape is a crime that can occur against anyone. The law defines it as “sexual intercourse” or any other sexual act against someone’s will using violence, threat, or coercion.

Other countries recognize that men can be the victims of sexual assault and rape. In the United States, for example, many laws make rape a crime that can be committed against any person regardless of gender. Although the definition of rape differs in each state, many states recognize that men and women can be victims of sexual assault and rape.

Some countries still do not recognize male or non-binary victims of sexual assault or rape. These individuals may find it difficult to report any sexual violence or seek justice as they may not have the proper legal recourse.

While there is growing recognition of the need to have gender-neutral laws for rape, the legal frameworks, definitions, and methods of sexual violence are varied across countries. Therefore, more work is required to ensure that victims of sexual violence, no matter their gender, have access the justice system.

Recent Indian court decisions regarding gender neutral rape laws

There have not been any major Indian court decisions regarding gender-neutral laws for rape since September 2021. However, some significant legal developments and cases have clarified that India needs a gender-neutral approach to sexual violence.

The Supreme Court of India passed a landmark judgement in 2018 in the Navtej Johar case. This decision decriminalized homosexuality within the country. This judgment recognized the importance of equal rights and protection for all people, regardless their sexual orientation or gender identity.

A transgender woman was raped in Kolkata by a group men in 2020. The case was filed under the non-gender neutral rape law. The victim challenged the law’s gender-specific definitions of rape and the Calcutta High Court ordered the central government to amend the law to make them gender-neutral.

In 2021, a transgender victim was gang-raped by Haryana police. The case was filed under the gender-specific law on rape. The victim’s lawyer claimed that the current law doesn’t recognize sexual violence against transgender people and demanded a gender neutral approach to the law.

These cases show the need for India to have a gender-neutral law on rape. This would allow all victims and perpetrators of violence to be recognized regardless of gender identity. Indian lawmakers and government must address this issue to ensure that victims of sexual violence can access justice regardless of gender.


India’s lack of a gender-neutral law on rape is a grave concern. It is imperative that the Indian government take action to address this problem. A law like this would ensure that victims of sexual violence, regardless of gender identity, have access to justice. It is important to recognize the diversity of experiences of those who don’t fit the traditional gender classification and ensure they are protected by the law.

It is vital that India has a gender-neutral law on rape to ensure that victims of sexual violence have legal recourse and justice. The Indian government must take action to address this issue, and ensure that all victims of sexual violence have access to justice and legal recourse.

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