Added: October 3, 2015 – Last updated: October 3, 2015


Author: Miyoko T. Pettit

Title: Who Is Worthy of Redress?

Subtitle: Recognizing Sexual Violence Injustice Against Women of Color as Uniquely Redress-Worthy–Illuminated by a Case Study on Kenya's Mau Mau Women and Their Unique Harms

Journal: Berkeley Journal of Gender, Law & Justice

Volume: 30

Issue: 2

Year: Summer 2015

Pages: 268-322

ISSN: 0882-4312 – Find a Library: WordCat

Language: English

Keywords: 20th Century | African History: Kenyan History; European History: English History | Society: Redress Movements; Types: Interracial Rape



* EBSCOhost (Restricted Access)

* HeinOnline (Restricted Access)



»Until recently, reconciliation initiatives tended to ignore specialized harms of sexual violence suffered by women. At the urging of gender scholars and advocates, reconciliation initiatives started acknowledging the unique nature of sexual violence harms to women and began tailoring remedies to address these specialized harms. Yet, though a step in the right direction, even those forward-looking gender-sensitive initiatives have not specifically and forthrightly recognized the unique sexual violence harms to women of color.
Race and gender place women of color at the bottom of the social hierarchy, making them particularly vulnerable to sexual violence as part of mass injustice and later often rendering their injuries nearly invisible in the redress process. Yet their severe sexual violence harms are unique, ranging from irreparable reproductive damage, broken relationships, and economic hardship to stigma, isolation, and shame. Why do those fashioning redress tend to largely overlook or ignore these unique sexual violence harms to women of color?
This Article responds to this pressing question and modestly refines the recently developed intersectional race-gender redress analysis. It clarifies societal constructions of gender by focusing on one aspect as it intersects with race--sexual violence. The Article calls for a particularized intersectional racegender redress analysis to recognize sexual violence against women of color as uniquely worthy of redress.
Through a case study on Kenya's Mau Mau women and their unique harms, the Article employs this refined redress analysis and encourages scholars, frontline advocates, policymakers, and survivors and their families to strive for more comprehensive and enduring social healing "by doing justice" for both individual women of color and the polity itself. In doing so, it emphasizes that unveiling and making explicit any implicit intersectional racegender redress bias might significantly begin changing societal notions about who is worthy of redress.« (Source: Berkeley Journal of Gender, Law & Justice)


  Abstract (p. 269)
  Introduction (p. 270)
  I. Redress for Historic Injustice (p. 278)
  II. What's Missing?: Mau Mau Women's Unique Harms in Redress (p. 281)
    A. A Brief Historical Background of Mau Mau Women's Experiences (p. 282)
    B. Mau Mau Women's Devalued Sexual Violence Harms (p. 284)
      1. Post-Colonial Silencing (p. 284)
      2. Public Discourse (p. 286)
      3. Court Documents (p. 288)
      4. An Out-of-Court Settlement (p. 290)
  III. Why Are They Missing?: The Underpinnings and Recent Developments of Intersectional Race-Gender Redress Theory (p. 291)
    A. Gender-Sensitive Redress Theory (p. 293)
      1. The Emergence of Gender-Sensitive Redress Theory (p. 293)
      2. Sexual Violence Against Women in Redress Initiatives (p. 295)
    B. Cutting-Edge Intersectional Race-Gender Redress Approaches (p. 300)
      1. Intersectionality Theory (p. 300)
      2. Intersectional Race-Gender Redress (p. 302)
    C. What Happened to the Women of Color?: Implicit Intersectional Redress Bias Rendering Nearly Invisible Sexual Violence Injustice Against Women of Color (p. 303)
      1. Mayan Women and Guatemalan Redress Efforts (p. 304)
      2. Korean Comfort Women and Current Redress Efforts (p. 305)
      3. Jeju Women and Jeju 4.3 Reconciliation (p. 305)
    D. What Happened to Mau Mau Women?: An Intersectional Race-Gender Redress Case Study to Illuminate Implicit Redress Bias (p. 308)
      1. Where is the Racisim? (p. 308)
      2. Where is the Sexism? (p. 310)
      3. Where are the Multidimensional Harms? (p. 312)
  IV. What's Next?: Refining Intersectional Race-Gender Redress Theory to Recognize Sexual Violence Against Women of Color as Especially Worthy of Redress (p. 313)
    A. Recognition of Sexual Violence Injustice Against Women of Color–Empathizing with Those Suffering (p. 314)
      1. Recognition of Historic Sexual Violence Harms (p. 314)
      2. Recognition of Persisting Harms (p. 317)
    B. Recognition of Sexual Violence Injustice Against Women of Color–Critical Interrogation of the Discursive and Structural Aspects of Suppression (p. 319)
      1. Discursive Strategy: Stock Stories Legitimizing the Injustice (p. 319)
      2. Structural Aspects: Organizational Structures Embodying Oppressive Practices and Policies Contributing to Sexual Violence Against Women of Color (p. 320)
  Conclusion: Looking Forward to More Comprehensive Redress (p. 322)

Wikipedia: Wartime sexual violence: Mau Mau Uprising