Added: March 13, 2006 – Last updated: January 7, 2017


Author: Felicity Kaganas and Christina Murray

Title: Law Reform and the Family

Subtitle: The New South African Rape-in-Marriage Legislation

Journal: Journal of Law and Society

Volume: 18

Issue: 3

Year: Autumn 1991

Pages: 287-302

ISSN: 0263-323X – Find a Library: WordCat | eISSN: 1467-6478 – Find a Library: WordCat

Language: English

Keywords: Modern History: 20th Century | African History: South African History | Prosecution: Laws / 20th-Century Legislation; Types: Marital Rape



HeinOnline (Restricted Access)

JSTOR (Restricted Access)



Felicity Kaganas, Law School, Brunel University LondonResearchGate

Christina Murray, Department of Public Law, University of Cape TownResearchGate


»Reviews the history of the new South African rape-in-marriage provision and discusses viable options for future legal reform and opportunities for the feminist movement to make advancements in South Africa.« (Source: Historical Abstracts)

»One main theme running through the debate was the concept that marriage and the family are situated within the private, rather than the public, realm and therefore insulated from State intrusion. The second apparent reason for treating rape-in-marriage differently from other sexual assaults is the perception that it is less damaging to the victim. The feminist critique of law and the family focuses on the public/private dichotomy, arguing that the way the dichotomy is manipulated contributes to the subjugation of women. However, the authors argue that any opponents of the legal system must be prepared to offer their arguments based on sound empirical evidence. Advocates of women's rights must be able to voice their views to ensure that women are not forgotten in the new constitution and Bill of Rights currently being debated in South Africa.« (Source: NCJRS Abstracts Database)


  Marriage and Law Reform in South Africa (p. 287)
  The Legislative History of the 1989 South African Rape-in-Marriage Provision (p. 288)
    The Reasoning (p. 290)
  Families, Feminism and Law Reform (p. 293)
    The Feminist Critique (p. 293)
    Reforming Law (p. 296)
  Conclusion (p. 299)
  Notes and References (p. 300)

Wikipedia: History of Africa: History of South Africa | Law: Laws regarding rape | Sexual violence: Sexual violence in South Africa | Types of rape: Marital rape