Your Rights:Women sex offenders
MIRIAM TOSE MAJOME
After last week’s column, at least three readers were unhappy with what they regarded as my sexist views regarding rape. They took particular exception with the definition of rape, as I wrote and my statement that only men can be convicted of rape. I must state that I did not invent the definition, but simply stated it as it is defined in the statutes. It is defined in Section 65 of the Criminal Codification Act Chapter 9:23 as
lIf a male person knowingly has sexual intercourse or anal sexual intercourse with a female person and at the time of the intercourse
— the female person has not consented to it; and
— he knows she has not consented to it or realises there is a real risk or possibility she may not have consented to it; he shall be guilty of rape and liable to imprisonment for life or any shorter period.
In many foreign jurisdictions, the definition of rape has been amended to be gender inclusive. In South Africa the definition was similar to ours until 2007, but amended by the Sexual Offences Act and Related Matters Act, which replaced the common law definition of rape. It was expanded to apply to all forms of non-consensual sexual penetration irrespective of gender. So in South Africa women are now deemed capable of committing rape.