How The Prevailing Discourses on Ukuthwala Mask the Linkages Between Marriage and Rape

You are invited to the next CSSR Seminar with Nyasha Karimakwenda

In my presentation I focus on how South Africa institutional responses to violent forms of ukuthwala (abduction for purposes of marriage) have had the effect of invisibilising marital rape. I argue that the approaches of policymakers, civil society groups, the justice system and legal scholars, are characterised by rigid and stereotyped notions of how the living customary practice of ukuthwala occurs. By dissecting the narratives that stem from the multisectoral push against ukuthwala, I illustrate how the institutional failure to embrace a more fluid and localised understanding of ukuthwala obscures the pervasiveness of rape in marriage.

Nyasha Karimakwenda is a feminist researcher and consultant on gender and women's rights. She has worked and conducted research in the US, the Caribbean and Southern Africa. Her interdisciplinary research focuses on contextualising lesser understood forms of gender-based violence against women in South Africa. She is a former Fox Fellow at the Centre for Law and Society at the University of Cape Town (UCT) and is currently completing a PhD in Public Law at UCT. Her dissertation explores how marital rape in South Africa is rendered (in)visible in and through the institutions where women seek protection from violence. Nyasha holds a BA from Wellesley College, a law degree from North Eastern University, and an MA in African Studies from Yale University.


Tue, 16 Oct 2018 - 12:45

Centre for Social Science Research Seminar Room, 4.29, Leslie Social Science Building, Upper Campus

Contact Information:

Tel: (021 650 4656