n African Human Rights Law Journal - Realisation or oversight of a constitutional mandate? Corrective rape of black African lesbians in South Africa

Volume 15, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1609-073X
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2096



Corrective rape is a form of sexual punishment by men towards lesbians in order to cure them of their sexual orientation. Black African lesbians are victims of corrective rape, particularly those in townships who are seen to challenge patriarchal gender norms. Therefore, discrimination on the basis of gender, race, sex and sexual orientation is called into play. The impact of discrimination is rendered more serious and their vulnerability increased by the fact that the victims are also seen as a threat to patriarchy and hetero-normativity which demarcate women's bodies as male property. The article focuses on how South Africa balances its constitutional mandate in relation to black African lesbians affected by corrective rape. The article argues that it is necessary to define corrective rape as a hate crime and not merely a crime of rape for victims of corrective rape to be adequately protected.

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