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Resisting Gender-Based Violence in Kenyan Women’s Novels in English

Alina Rinkanya, PhD

Abstract

The article briefly surveys the depiction of resistance to gender-based violence in Kenyan
women’s novel. Its aim is to assert that in the novels written in the second half of the last
century (1960s–1990s), the heroines were mostly exerting the passive resistance to the
violent actions of their male counterparts. This differs from the novels written in the
current century whereby the generation of ‘city-bred’ female writers inspire their
characters (and therefore readers) to relatively immediate and active resistance. The
article concludes that by doing this, modern Kenyan women authors do not pursue the
aim of ‘female dominance’, but are trying to show readers that the times of obsolete views
and practices are over; and only parity, understanding and equal partnership between
genders will ensure an acceptable future for the forthcoming generations.

Keywords

gender, violence, literature, novel, women, Kenya

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