Gender, Law and Revenge Porn in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Review of Malawi and Uganda
9 Pages Posted: 7 Oct 2016
Date Written: October 2016
The spread of information and communication technologies (ICT) in Sub-Sharan Africa has provided a new arena for gender-based violence (GBV). Unfortunately, the growth of ICT has out-paced legal developments to regulate it. In this article we explore the legal responses to the phenomenon of nonconsenusal pornography — more commonly known as revenge porn — in the global south. We use case studies from Malawi and Uganda to illustrate the incidence of revenge pornography in a non-western context and to discuss the (in)adequacy of the legal regimes to deal with this new form of GBV. At the time of writing neither country has laws dealing specifically with revenge pornography, although both Malawi and Uganda have anti-pornography or anti-obscenity provisions in the law. The question that arises is whether such existing laws are adequate to combat incidences of revenge porn/nonconsensual pornography. We suggest that revenge porn, and indeed other forms of “cyber violence” against women, require specific legislation or a nuanced interpretation of existing laws to curb their incidence rates and to ensure redress for victims. This is an imperative subject and requires lawmakers to grapple with emerging issues of internet freedoms and the possible role that the law can play in regulating cyberspace in a way that protects the rights of women, freedom of expression but also the privacy rights of all. This article is published as part of a collection on gender studies.
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