Marital rape stands at the intersection of the socio-legal issues arising from both domestic violence and sexual assault. For centuries, women who suffered sexual assault perpetrated by their spouses had no legal recourse. A man's conjugal rights included his right to have sexual intercourse with his wife regardless of whether she consented. This right has been recognised in law, and still is in some jurisdictions today.
This book emerges from the research undertaken by an innovative, multi-country, academic, collaborative project dedicated to comparatively analysing the legal treatment of sexual assault in intimate relationships, with a view to challenging the legal impunity for and inadequate legal responses to this form of gendered violence.
Melanie Randall is Associate Professor at Western University Faculty of Law, London, ON. Jennifer Koshan is Professor of Law at the Faculty of Law, University of Calgary, AB. Patricia Nyaundi is the CEO of Kenya National Commission on Human Rights.
Part I: Marital Rape, Human Rights and the Law: Mapping the Issues 1. Introduction: Marital Rape and Law Reform: A Comparative Analysis of the Right to Say No Melanie Randall, Jennifer Koshan and Patricia Nyaundi 2. Marital Rape and Sexual Violence against Women in Intimate Relationships: The Less Recognised Form of Domestic Violence Melanie Randall 3. Normative and International Human Rights Law Imperatives for Criminalising Intimate Partner Sexual Violence: The Marital Rape Impunity in Comparative and Historical Perspective Vasanthi Venkatesh and Melanie Randall 4. Pluralistic Legal Systems and Marital Rape: Cross-National Considerations Vasanthi Venkatesh Part II: National Case Studies: Marital Rape and Law Reform in Canada, Malawi, Kenya and Ghana 5. The Criminalisation of Marital Rape and Law Reform in Canada: A Modest Feminist Success Story in Combating Marital Rape Myths Jennifer Koshan 6. Legislating against the Odds: Lessons Learned from Efforts to Legislate against Marital Rape in Malawi Ngeyi Ruth Kanyongolo and Seodi White 7. Dismantling Barriers to Women's Equality: Making the Case for the Criminalisation of Marital Rape in Kenya Winifred Kamau, Patricia Nyaundi and Jane Serwanga 8. Marital Rape under Ghanaian Law Renee Aku Sitsofe Morhe 9. The Judicial Treatment of Marital Rape in Canada: A Post-Criminalisation Case Study Jennifer Koshan