Kenya: Criminalization of Marital Rape

Congratulations to a recent LL.M. graduate, Christine W. Kung’u, whose Master of Laws thesis was prepared under the supervision of Professor Rebecca Cook, Co-Director of our International Reproductive and Sexual Health Law Programme at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law.  We thank her for submitting the following abstract of her thesis:

Christine W. Kung’u, Master of Laws thesis, 2011
Faculty of Law, University of Toronto
Marital rape is not a criminal offence in Kenya.  This thesis argues that criminalization of marital rape in Kenya is a necessary but insufficient means of addressing marital rape. It analyzes the Kenyan legal framework and the international framework. The analysis of the international framework focuses on the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). The thesis also includes a comparative analysis of how South Africa and Zimbabwe have addressed marital rape, and an examination of the benefits and limitations of criminal law in addressing marital rape. Finally, it argues that an examination of the wrongful gender stereotypes of married women is essential to create effective and holistic remedies; and that wrongful gender stereotypes of married women violate their rights to equality and non-discrimination and the right to be free from violence.

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