Recent research in developing countries suggests that a considerable number of young women may experience forced sex within marriage, but most women may be inhibited from reporting these experiences due to shame, fear of reprisal, or deep-rooted unequal gender norms. In September 2003, a global consultative meeting on nonconsensual sex among young people in developing countries was held in New Delhi, India. The meeting was organized by the Population Council in collaboration with World Health Organization/Department of Reproductive Health and Research, and Family Health International/YouthNet. Participants included researchers, legal analysts, representatives from community-based NGOs, policy-makers, and young people themselves. Papers highlighting the nature and prevalence of coercion among married young women were presented. Sessions examined the following issues in relation to nonconsensual sex: experiences of young females and males: prevalence, forms, and contexts; youth perspectives; patterns of transactional sex; roles of the legal system; outcomes of coercion at the individual and community level; interventions to prevent nonconsensual sex and to support and treat victims; and research design and methods. Several recommendations for action to address factors that heighten young women’s vulnerability to coercive sexual relationships within marriage were presented.
Ganju, Deepika, William Finger, Shireen J. Jejeebhoy, Vijaya Nidadavolu, K.G. Santhya, Iqbal Shah, Shyam Thapa, and Ina Warriner. 2004. "Forced sexual relations among married young women in developing countries," research brief. New Delhi: Population Council.