Towards Reform of the Laws on Rape and Related Sexual Offenses in Kenya
James Thuo Gathii
Loyola University Chicago School of Law
Harvard Law School
LAW AND THE QUEST FOR GENDER EQUALITY IN KENYA, Kivutha Kibwana, ed., Claripress, 2000
Kenyan rape laws are based on the English colonial rules which provided harsh punishment for rape in order to ensure the prevalence of English morality. However, the laws were not equally enforced. Instead, the punishment in Kenya for raping a white woman was death, while the rape of an African woman was punishable by three years of imprisonment. While the law was amended in 1959, there have been shortcomings in the legal system which have system which has led to failures in convicting rapists.
This chapter presents the argument to reform Kenyan rape laws. The chapter provides an explanation for why protecting woman for gender-based sexual violence must be criminalized based on ethical considerations, medical evidence and the law. It further provides the legal history of rape as an offense in Kenya and takes the reader through the problematic nature of rape claims in Kenya from the pre-trial stage through sentencing. Finally, it provides reform proposals to remedy the shortcomings.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 22Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: June 14, 2010
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