Kenyans have taken to social media to share their views on a proposal by the country’s court of appeal to lower the age of consent from 18 to 16.
Three judges, while reversing a 15-year-sentence of a man who impregnated a 17-year-old girl, ruled that it was high time the country considered a revision of the Sexual Offences Act.
“Our prisons are teeming with young men serving lengthy sentences for having had sexual intercourse with adolescent girls whose consent has been held to be immaterial because they were under 18 years,” the judges ruled.
Arguing that it is unrealistic to assume that teenagers and maturing adults do not engage in sex, the judges counseled that should discuss challenges of maturing children, morality, autonomy, protection of children and the need for proportionality in punishing sex offenders.
“We need to add as we dispose of this appeal that the Act does cry out for a serious re-examination in a sober and pragmatic manner.”
I’m strongly against lowering the age of consent to 16! This will open floodgates where old men (pedos and perves) can have sex with children and entrench #ChildMarriage. Can the new Education CS oppose this strongly?All men with daughters and sisters opose this!#EndChildMarriage pic.twitter.com/LbPNStFHch— Samuel Gachagua (
sammyikua) March 26, 2019
Lowering the age of consent will disaproponately affect girls. Most will drop out of school. Let it remain at 18 years. Most teenagers lack proper sex-related education. This is a disaster in waiting— ChairMan KIM ?? (KimMutinda) March 26, 2019
Many people are not being objective, in this generation sexual activity starting from as low as 12 years, the difference between a 16 year old and an 18 year old is just witnessed in the law, in reality they share the same class in school, same mental state, the court is right— Juniper George (@JuniperGeorge) March 26, 2019
Whether or not they lower the sex consent bar….children below 18 and even 16 know about sex and they are doing it…look for better counter tactics to curb this….lowering to 16 or increasing consent ages to 21 is not a solution…— Brian_nzomo505 (@nzomo505) March 26, 2019
In most countries across the continent, children become adults at the age of 18, which bestows upon them privileges and responsibilities including voting, permission to drive, consume alcohol and consent to a sexual relationship.
In 2017, Tunisia raised the age of consent from 13 to 16, in reforms that also outlawed the practice of rapists evading jail time by marrying their victim who are minors.