African customary law and gender justice in a prograssive democracy
This thesis was prompted by the issues raised in the Bhe case of the Constitutional Court of South Africa. In this landmark judgment, Ngcobo J dealt with the development of customary law, and how it must be approached by the courts in a manner that would have due regard to the rights of women on one hand and, on the other, would also accord customary law of its proper place, purpose and values within the African context. Against this background, the thesis focused on South Africa, Nigeria and Lesotho as excellent models of the broader challenges for women as well as governments; despite certain legislative measures put in place by the latter, the battle continues unabated for the balance of traditions and culture with women’s rights issues. Although South Africa is more progressive in terms of Constitution and practice than Nigeria and Lesotho, a lot still needs to be done particularly in the area of harmonization of laws. Regrettably, in Nigeria and Lesotho respect for the Constitution is superficial and lacks substantive policies that would promote women’s rights. To this extent, the balance of democratic values and promotion of women’s rights issues within the continent lie in women being partners in development rather than unduly suffering under intense burden of culture, tradition and societal stereotypes.
School Location:South Africa
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:faculty of law
Date of Publication:01/01/2007