Kenyan Justice Minister Apologizes for Rape Remark

Kenyan Justice Minister Kiraitu Murungi apologized in February for using rape as a metaphor for his criticism of aid donors concerned about corruption in that country.

Responding to criticism from donors about corruption in Kenyan, Murungi said that such criticism was “like raping a woman who is already willing.”

The statement brought swift condemnation and protests from women’s rights groups in Kenya. Miriam Kahiga of Amnesty International said of the comment,

It is trivializing rape and the fight against graft in one breath.

She also called Murungi, “an embarrassment to the country.”

Murungi later apologized saying,

I unreservedly and sincerely apologize to all the women of Kenya who were offended by these remarks.

Human rights groups in Kenya have faulted the government for the high incidence of rape and the poor response by police to prevent and investigate such crimes.

Sources:

Kenyan apology over rape remark. The BBC, February 11, 2005.

It?s a big shame, ministers say of attack. Patrick Mathangani, East African Standard, August 17, 2004.

Sexual Politics. Press Release, Kenya Human Rights Commission, February 10, 2005.

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