Malawian women not reporting marital rape: fear losing men to prostitutes


Dust refuses to settle on controversy surrounding marital rape as it has been established that women who dare to report their husbands on the offence relating to marital rape risk losing their men to other women.

This is said to be discouraging most women from reporting the issue to law enforcement agencies and they are preferring to suffer in silence to protect their marriages.

Sex Workers pose threat to married women.
Sex Workers pose threat to married women.

Speaking during a women caucus which was organized by an umbrella body under the banner ‘Men Against Violence’ in Nkhatabay on Friday, women in the area conceded how difficult it becomes to report their husbands to Police on the issue.

One of the women, Mercy Nyirenda, revealed that her husband always challenges her that should she ever deny him sex, he will marry another woman.

“This forces me to comply with his demands even if I’m not in the mood for sex. It’s very difficult to deny making love to him because he always argues that marriage means sex every day,” she added her voice during the caucus.

She seemed to be one of the many women who are still suffering from the injustice as other women who patronised the meeting shared the same concern. The trend likely compromises the objectives of Southern Africa Women Organization, an umbrella body which heavily championed the criminalization of marital rape in Africa. As if that might not be enough, Seodi White who chairs Women in Law in Southern Africa-Malawi chapter is also worried with the trend. “

According to investigations, about 75 percent of women in Malawi are facing the injustice, and yet they suffer in silence to save their marriages and due to other cultural reasons,” she said. White added that though the trend might live under the comfort of the preceding reasons, forced sex remains very dangerous to women.

“A woman might face complications during delivery, a situation which might even risk her life,” added White.

However, a member of the faith community says it is not right for a woman to refuse to have sex with her husband. Evangelist Mlaliki John of Nkhatabay said the bible only discourages premarital sex but man may enjoy his spouse anytime.

“That is the meaning of one body. Why should a woman deny her husband sex while in marriage? That’s unacceptable,” he said. Malawi criminalised marital rape last year inside the Marriage, Divorce and Family Relations Act which also discouraged child marriages by raising the minimum age of marriage from 16 to 18.

Meanwhile, director for ‘Men Against Violence’ Luke Shawa has bemoaned shyness and fear among women to report their husbands on marital rape saying they are fueling the infringement of their own rights.

He said marital rape is an equal gender based violence thus victims ought to report to relevant authorities for assistance.

“If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem thus I urge you women to open your eyes and start reporting the injustices,” he said.



  1. Kawiri kawiri anthu amene amalimbikira zimenezi ambiri a iwo mukaonetsetsa ma banja adawakanika, ali pa mphala. Ndiye akufuna kusokonezanso mabanja a anthu ena. Si bwino.

  2. We are not what those who believe in marital rape are. Wec are balck Malawians and such a thing does not exist in our veins. Let those who want to be stupid continue with their stupidity

  3. My question is, if women are not reporting marital rape how do you know that narital rape do exist in Malawi? The problem with gender activists is that they re goin around for problems women are facing, yet that is not ur responsibility.. Ngati mukusowa ntchito, musachite kuwakakamiza azimai athuwa, omva mmimba ndi yemwe amatsegula chitseko akupezani ngati akupezana ndi zokhoma

    1. But did you read the article? The women are able to talk about it amongst other women but are not able to report it to the police. Just because you’re married doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t ask your partner for consent, they have the right to their own bodies. If they refuse you that day it doesn’t mean that they’ll refuse you forever.

      1. mmmh some how kumayakhula moganiza mwanva mai how can you expect to take what is suppose to be for the two at there secret room to bring it pa air is it banja or chibwenzi and chololela banjalo mchani do you mean kuti ngati zili mkhaza pachibwenzi samaziona and there first days atangotengana kumene samaziona if they face all that samapanga withdraw pomwepo bwanji and you ma activist your stupid if umbeta wakwana yambani uhule not kukasokoneza mabanja a eni cholinga mai ndi mwana azunzike nop find another thing to do. munabweresa zolela and now zodula zida za abambo all of those to shorten the production of man hood kodi kugonanako if they complain these days mzadaily?

  4. 1Cor 7:5 (NKJ) Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time…

    1Cor 7:5 (Wey) Do not refuse one another, unless perhaps it is just for a time and by mutual consent…

    So, it is a sin to refuse sex to your spouse. More to the point are the verses just before:

    1Cor 7:3-4 (NRS) The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.

    As to frequency, I suppose people differ. But it is not for an outsider to say in any case. If one partner wants sex, then God’s command for marriage is clear enough: “no refusal” is permitted unless mutually agreed to for a time of prayer. That is the command of scripture. Your body belongs to her, and vice versa.

    First, search your own heart and see if you have not “destroyed your own household” (Pv 14:1) in terms of normal sexual response and desire. We deal with this in another posting, but for our purposes here you must honestly ask yourself the question if you have contributed to her frigidity. Have you brought pornography into your marriage bed, for example, or thoughts of another woman? Have you been a lover or just auser of your wife’s body? In other words, if you have been sinning and are just reaping the harvest of your ways, then there is no time like the present to repent, ask for forgiveness, and seek God for healing. But if your conscience is clear, and she is sinning by “holding out”, this is also a grievous sin that directly disobeys the word of God, and she must be confronted about it.

    Practically, this needs to be worked out some other way than by the letter of the law; but the law has its “ministry” (of condemnation). The law won’t change her, in other words, but will serve to bring proper conviction into her life. Confront her with the word, in private, as commanded by Jesus Himself. If this does not work

    1. 1 Corinthians 7:5 talks about consent. If the wife doesn’t want to have sex on a particular day I am pretty sure that the husband then has to agree to that. If she denies you sex on one day it won’t mean that she will deny you sex everyday. Consent is needed at all times. This is the same for both men and women. In verse 6, God then says that he doesn’t offer this as a command rather as a compromise!

    2. The bible is clearly telling us that sex must not be done if on of you is sick or else in a time of prayer. Not just ndatopa thus not the issue

  5. Anthu inu ndi a galu achabe chabe, ndipo mulibe pabwino. mamuna wanu akafuna agone nanu mumayelekedwa akakagonanso ndimzanu wanjala mumayambanso kulusa ngati mkango wanjala.

  6. Mamuna ndipamimba, ndiye ngati pamimba akukana then go for it. Kukana nyama yagalu ndiye kuti alindi yambuzi. Akakukana dziwa kuti ena amukwata kale. How can i get thirsty while i am standing in a river.

  7. for sure a woman who refuses her husband his conjugal rights, and when he mounts on them to satisfy himself, and the woman calls that rape? she is not married, let the husband rest somewhere freely!.

    1. RAPE IS RAPE! just because we are married it doesn’t mean that you have the right to do as you please with my body! The fact that you feel this way is concerning.

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