Cases on Gender and Murder (Infanticide, Femicide, Female Infanticide, Filicide)

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Gender and specific offences

Murder R v LaValle,

People of Philippines v Genosa

Gender specific murder:

  1. Bride burning:. Where a woman is killed by being set on fire by her husband or in laws as a result of adultery, dowry disputes… Happens in India
  2. Dowry death: murdering or coerced suicide of a married woman over disputes about dowry. Dowry prohibition Act of 1961 of India, Pakistan dowry and marriage gifts ( restriction) bill, 2008

Homicide (Gender- Female Offender)

United Nations recorded 78.7% homicide victims as men of which the female perpetrators rely on the battered woman syndrome as defense. Rex v Shongwe – the burning bed case of 1977

Gender specific homicide

  1. Femicide: the killing of a woman by an intimate partner. in short, the murder of a woman by a man because she is a woman. R v Hunter; the state v Dausab. Femicide occurs because violence against women continues to be accepted, by tolerated and justified.
  2. Female infanticide: As a result of traditional preference for male offspring, many parents take desperate acts of killing their female child. This can be as a result of superstition or law( the one child policy implemented in China). A Confucian legacy enshrined that ‘there is no behavior more unfilial than to have no male descendants’. Women were termed worthless goods to be sold or kept for dowry to acquire properties for their brother.


Infanticide is the act of killing a child or infant generally. if such then happens from the biological parent of such infant, then it become Filicide


See also  Williams v Bayley, (1866) brief summary and court held

Infanticide is done by drowning, suffocation, poisoning, desertion of baby girls, with abortions following for women thought to be carrying a girl and this often dismissed as ‘family conflicts’.

China for example has many cases of fathers drowning their female child and female infanticide of over 232,000 girl child killed in 1981, just so their parents can try again for a male child and every female child keeps getting killed until the male child is gotten( this was as a result of the compulsory one child policy).

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