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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:LGBT rights in Malawi: one step back, two steps forward? The case of 'R v Steven Monjeza Soko and Tiwonge Chimbalanga Kachepa'
Author:Demone, Bradley
Periodical:Journal of African Law (ISSN 1464-3731)
Geographic term:Malawi
Subjects:human rights
External link:https://doi.org/10.1017/S0021855316000127
Abstract:In late 2009 two Malawians, a man and a transgender woman, united in an engagement ceremony. Police charged both under Malawi's anti-sodomy provisions. The case captured the nation's attention and drew scrutiny from foreign governments and human rights organizations. Several western nations threatened to withdraw aid unless the prosecution was discontinued. Nevertheless, the defendants were convicted and sentenced. Following a visit from the UN secretary general, Malawi's president pardoned the couple, but emphasized that the 'two gay boys' had offended Malawi and its people. This article examines this case (R v Soko and Kachepa) and its impact on Malawi's LGBT rights movement. Using Thomas Stoddard's 'rule-shifting, culture-shifting', it considers the efficacy of international and domestic advocacy efforts and concludes that aid conditionality is, in many ways, counter productive. Conversely, multi-dimensional domestic advocacy is a promising strategy to change the relevant law and public attitudes associated with the Malawian LGBT community. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]