NGO report

Women and The Death Penalty in Kenya: Essays on the Gendered Perspective of the Death Penalty

on 2 February 2024

Death Row Conditions 

Fair Trial



This publication seeks to make visible the gender and intersectional discrimination faced by women in the judicial process leading to the death penalty. Through the various articlesin this publication, the authors bring to light the reality of women facing the death penalty through a different lens.

The first author, Shekinah Bright Kiting’a, in making a compelling case for abolition of the death penalty, explores how the death penalty uniquely affects women in the context of motherhood. Further, she highlights the rights and well-being of the children affected by their mothers’ death sentences, revealing flaws in our legal and ethical systems. With the overall aim of advocating for its abolition due to its significant impact on both parenthood and children’s rights, her article seeks to push for reforms that honour motherhood and prioritize children’s well-being in these difficult circumstances.

Kenaya Komba dissects gender disparity in the judicial system by exploring the intersection of domestic violence and the death penalty. In making a case for a restorative approach to justice, her article analyses the impact of capital punishment on victims of domestic violence and the systemic injustice and biases they continue to grapple with. Her elaborate analysis of the Constitution of Kenya, 2010 and the Protection Against Domestic Violence Act, 2016, highlights the urgent need for reform in the legal system.

While Analyzing the role the media plays in shaping perceptions of women on death row, Patricia Chepkirui evaluates the implications of positive and negative media portrayals of such women by highlighting the ethical responsibilities of media in the coverage of women on death row cases. The article ultimately underscores the significance of responsiblemedia coverage in ensuring that media exposure of cases of women on death row is fair,balanced, and respectful of their rights and dignity.

Alex Tamei delves into the intricacies of abuse, gender-based violence, and trauma as mitigating factors in death penalty sentencing for women. His article comparatively analyses two Kenyan cases of murder in retaliation to intimate partner violence, seeking to shed light on the plight of victims of gender-based violence. The article effortlessly brings out the nexus between the death penalty and intimate partner violence and makessolid recommendations for change.

The fifth author, Patience Chepchirchir, delves into the nexus between psychological abuse and provocation. Through her article, she brings out the scope of psychological abuse while focusing on the linkage between emotional abuse and provocation and how the same can be considered as mitigating factors. Through an elaborate analysis of case law, she makes a case for psychological abuse of women as a mitigating circumstance during sentencing.

Stella Cherono’s article reflects on the intersectional discrimination faced by women in the criminal trial process leading to death row. The article highlights the complex and overlapping forms of discrimination women experience during the pretrial, trial and sentencing stages. Through her comprehensive analysis of gendered pathways to offending and imprisonment, she challenges how society perceives discrimination.

Loraine Koskei Interrogates the emerging jurisprudence on Intimate Partner Violence.Her article lays out the gendered factor in the commissioning and sentencing of women convicted of murder and offers possible recommendations.

  • Document type NGO report
  • Countries list Kenya
  • Themes list Death Row Conditions  / Fair Trial / Gender / Women