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Southern Africa

Contesting Customary Law in the Eastern Cape: Gender, Place and Land Tenure

Citation:

Weinberg, Tara. 2013. "Contesting Customary Law in the Eastern Cape: Gender, Place and Land Tenure." Acta Juridica 2013 (1): 110-7.

Author: Tara Weinberg

Abstract:

This paper explores how government interventions to restrict African access to land in the 'Ciskei' in South Africa between 1930-1960 impacted disproportionately on women. It focuses on events in three districts, Fort Beaufort, Keiskammahoek and Peddie, making use of archival research to show how African people, particularly women, responded to government interventions that progressively rendered them landless. The paper interrogates how Africans' contestation of customary law and their relationship to the land was intricately tied up with the gendered nature of their family positions, privileges and responsibilities. Since the arenas in which women could voice their issues were limited, men sometimes articulated these issues (albeit in a mediated form) when the interest of a woman who approached them coincided with their own. Male Bunga Councillors appealed to a 'living' form of customary law in attempts to win greater rights to land inheritance for women and younger sons. They positioned their children as 'responsible' daughters and 'responsible' sons. In a context in which the state frequently used the language of 'African custom', in distorted ways, to justify its land policies, men and women contested not only the restraints on Africans' access to land, but also the nature and content of customary law. 

Topics: Governance, Rights, Human Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 2013

Gender and Land Rights: The Struggle over Resources in Post-Apartheid South Africa

Citation:

Meer, Shamim. 1997. “Gender and Land Rights: The Struggle over Resources in Post-Apartheid South Africa.” IDS Bulletin 28 (3): 133–44.

Author: Shamim Meer

Abstract:

This article argues that the goals of social justice, poverty alleviation and gender equality within the post‐apartheid government's land reform programme are threatened by government's neo‐liberal macroeconomic framework, by shortcomings in addressing gender and because rural women do not constitute an organised social force. The article outlines the key elements of the land reform programme and points to limitations arising from the market‐based nature of the land reform programme. The article highlights innovative mechanisms within the programme aimed at involving women in land reform. These include the requirements of women's participation in land reform pilot programme structures and of gender equality within group ownership entities – the ‘Community Property Associations’. However, the overall approach is to target women without adequately considering gender power relations. The article suggests that while the state can play a significant role in providing an enabling framework, the key to advancing gender equality is women's organisation.

Topics: Economies, Poverty, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Governance, Justice Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 1997

Formalising Land Rights Based on Customary Tenure: Community Delimitation and Women’s Access to Land in Central Mozambique

Citation:

Kaarhus, Randi, and Stefaan Dondeyne. 2015. "Formalising Land Rights Based on Customary Tenure: Community Delimitation and Women’s Access to Land in Central Mozambique." Journal of Modern African Studies 53 (2): 193-216.

Authors: Randi Kaarhus , Stefaan Dondeyne

Abstract:

The Mozambican Land Law of 1997 intends to provide flexible rules of access to land, while securing local people's customary rights, as well as equal rights for women and men. Drawing on participant observation during a ‘land delimitation’ process in central Mozambique, this article analyses the complex negotiation ensuing from the implementation of the Land Law in a local community. It shows how the delimitation process provided spaces for asserting – male – roles of power and authority, while local women were increasingly marginalised in the process. By presenting oral testimonies from women in the community, the authors seek to balance the account, providing women's perspectives on the highly gendered character of interests in, access to, and exclusion from land. The analysis ends with the question: What would be required to provide a space for local women to articulate their interests in a secure access to land during the delimitation process itself?

Topics: Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Mozambique

Year: 2015

Finding Women in the Zimbabwean Transition

Citation:

Dendere, Chipo. 2018. "Finding Women in the Zimbabwean Transition." Meridians 17 (2): 376-81.

Author: Chipo Dendere

Abstract:

This essay is a feminist response to the 2017 coup in Zimbabwe that brought to an end Robert Mugabe’s thirty-seven-year on power. Mugabe came into power in 1980 after his party, the Zimbabwe African National Union–Patriotic Front (ZANU PF), successfully negotiated for an end to the civil war. The male-dominated ZANU PF has stayed in power because they consolidated power around Mugabe’s leadership. However, as the aging Mugabe became frail and his fifty-two-year-old energetic wife found her political voice, ZANU PF became deeply fractured and was facing electoral defeat in the 2018 elections. Grace Mugabe’s rise to power became the rallying point for ZANU PF to evict their longtime leader. Her fall from power has been used to restrict the voices of women even in this new era of political openness.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Feminisms, Gender, conflict, Governance, Elections, Post-conflict Governance Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Zimbabwe

Year: 2018

Gender Equality and Land Administration: The Case of Zambia

Citation:

Spichiger, Rachel, and Edna Kabala. 2014. “Gender Equality and Land Administration: The Case of Zambia.” DIIS Working Paper 4, Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS), Copenhagen.

Authors: Rachel Spichiger, Edna Kabala

Abstract:

Land, and in particular agricultural land, is central to livelihoods in rural Zambia. Zambia is characterised by a dual legal system of customary and statutory law and by dual land tenure, with state land and customary land. A first wave of socialist-oriented reforms took place after independence in 1964, which abolished previously existing freehold land in favour of lease-hold. Subsequent changes in government policies under the influence of structural adjustment programmes and a new government in 1991 paved the way for a market-driven land reform. The 1995 Lands Act introduced the privatization of land in Zambia and provided for the conversion of customary into state land, with the hope of attracting investors. However, the Act has been unevenly implemented, at least in rural areas, in part due to problems plaguing the land administration institutions and their work, in part due to opposition to the main tenets of the Act from chiefs, the population and civil society. Civil society, with donor support, calls for more attention towards women’s precarious situations with regard to access to and ownership of land under customary tenure, but it still expresses a desire for customary tenure to remain. However, civil society also recognizes that customary practices are often also discriminatory towards women who depend on male relatives for access to land.
 
A gender policy, passed in 2000, and two subsequent draft land policies tried to address women’s lack of access to land by stipulating that 30% of the land should be allocated to women. What has been the role of donors in these developments? Both on the government’s side and for civil society, NGOs and donor agencies, gender has increasingly come to the fore. Donors have certainly pushed for policies and changes in legislation. In particular, the recent Anti Gender-Based Violence Act has been hailed as a huge step for gender equality, and was heavily supported by donors. The land sector, however, does not receive much donor support. While it is notable that donors (e.g. USAID and the World Bank) supported the process leading to the 1995 Lands Act, no donor supported gender issues within that sector in that period. Some donors do take issues related to women’s access to land into account within their agricultural programmes or through their work on democracy and governance, however. Over the last five years, several programmes implemented by NGOs (national and international) and civil-society organisations have focused entirely on women’s land rights. Despite registering some positive outcomes, especially in areas of knowledge and capacity-building, these programmes have met some challenges. Apart from technical and financial issues, it was observed that changes with regard to land tenure are slow to be institutionalised, if at all, and that mechanisms to enhance the accountability of land administrators on both customary and state land are lacking. These initiatives are taking place against a changing background, as Zambia is now at an important juncture at the policy and legal levels, with attempts to codify customary law and to take steps to strengthen tenure security on customary land. How and when this will be done, and how this codified customary law will be enforced, as well as what impact it will have on women remains to be seen. What is also uncertain is what impact this will have on current policies that are under review (e.g. gender and land policies) and the direction that will be taken with regard to issues of tenure security for women living under customary tenure. Whether and, if so, to what extent donors will adopt a defining role in these coming endeavours is not yet clear, especially in a changing aid landscape, since several donor agencies have now withdrawn from Zambia. 

Topics: Civil Society, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Governance, Livelihoods, NGOs, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Zambia

Year: 2014

Left Out in the Cold While the Planet Heats Up: How Can Feminists Contribute to Climate Change and Energy Debates and Policy in South Africa Today?

Citation:

Annecke, Wendy, Yvette Abrahams, and Nthabiseng Mohlakoana. 2010. “Left Out in the Cold While the Planet Heats Up: How Can Feminists Contribute to Climate Change and Energy Debates and Policy in South Africa Today?” Agenda: Empowering Women for Gender Equity 24 (83): 36–45.

Authors: Wendy Annecke, Yvette Abrahams, Nthabiseng Mohlakoana

Abstract:

The issue of climate change is one of the most critical issues confronting feminism today. Since energy use and in particular burning fossil fuels is the largest contributor to greenhouse gases and global warming, feminist input to determine what sources of energy South Africa should develop for the future is fundamental to the debate.
 
To facilitate feminist responses, a workshop was held by the Gender and Energy Network South Africa in collaboration with the Commission for Gender Equality on 18–19 May 2010 to examine some of the new State initiatives to formulate relevant policy. Policies concerned are the Draft National Climate Change Policy, the Renewable Energy policy and the Integrated Resource Plan II.
 
Interestingly enough, the most critical problems to emerge from this workshop were not issues around the substance of the policies (although there are plenty of those), but how to relate to a State that is deaf to its constituencies, and how to deal with the lack of women's voices in constructing guidelines which are going to determine not only our national energy production for the next 20 years, but also the welfare of our planet itself. It is clear that the State is currently preparing these policies with substantial input from male-dominated sectors such as mining, engineering and Eskom (the State-owned enterprise which generates approximately 95% of the electricity used in South Africa and approximately 45% of the electricity used in Africa), but very little from women. Poor women are even further removed from the policy processes that middle-class women are struggling to be part of. The aim of this Focus is to present the deliberations of this workshop and follow-up activities in broadening the impact of feminist activism.

Keywords: gender, climate change, governance and participation

Topics: Class, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Governance, Infrastructure, Energy, Political Participation Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 2010

Transport, (Im)mobility, and Spatial Poverty Traps: Issues for Rural Women and Girl Children in Sub-Saharan Africa

Citation:

Porter, Gina. 2007. "Transport, (Im)mobility, and Spatial Poverty Traps: Issues for Rural Women and Girl Children in Sub-Saharan Africa." Paper presented at Understanding and Addressing Spatial Poverty Traps: An International Workshop, Durham University, UK, March 29.

Author: Gina Porter

Abstract:

This paper reflects on the experiences of women and girl children residents in rural areas of sub-Saharan Africa with poor physical accessibility (to services and markets) because of poor roads and inadequate transport (in terms of regularity, reliability and cost). Examples from field research conducted in diverse agro-ecological and cultural contexts in western and southern Africa are used to explore the impacts of relative immobility and poor access to services on women and girls. Three themes are examined in some detail: access to education, access to health services and access to markets. (Abstract from original source)

Topics: Gender, Women, Girls, Infrastructure, Transportation, Water & Sanitation Regions: Africa, Southern Africa, West Africa

Year: 2007

Gender Justice, Development, and Rights

Citation:

Molyneux, Maxine, and Shahra Razavi, eds. 2002. Gender Justice, Development, and Rights. New York: Oxford University Press. 

Authors: Maxine Molyneux, Shahra Razavi

Annotation:

Summary:
Gender Justice, Development, and Rights reflects on the significance accorded in international development policy to rights and democracy in the post-Cold War era. Key items on the contemporary policy agenda - neo-liberal economic and social policies, democracy, and multi-culturalism - are addressed here by leading scholars and regional specialists through theoretical reflections and detailed case studies. Together they constitute a collection which casts contemporary liberalism in a distinctive light by applying a gender perspective to the analysis of political and policy processes. Case studies from Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, East-Central Europe, South and South-East Asia contribute a cross-cultural dimension to the analysis of contemporary liberalism - the dominant value system in the modern world - by examining how it both exists in and is resisted in developing and post-transition societies. (Summary from WorldCat)
 
Table of Contents:
1. Introduction
Maxine Molyneux and Shahra Razavi
 
Part I: Re-Thinking Liberal Rights And Universalism 
 
2. Women's Capabilities And Social Justice
Martha Nussbaum
 
3. Gender Justice, Human Rights And Neo-Liberal Economic Policies
Diane Elson
 
4. Multiculturalism, Universalism And The Claims Of Democracy
Anne Phillips
 
Part II: Social Sector Restructuring And Social Rights 
 
5. Political And Social Citizenship: An Examination Of The Case Of Poland
Jacqueline Heinen and Stephane Portet
 
6. Engendering The New Social Citizenship In Chile: Ngos And Social Provisioning Under Neo-Liberalism
Veronica Schild
 
7. Engendering Education: Prospects For A Rights-Based Approach To Female Education Deprivation In India
Ramya Subrahmanian
 
Part III: Democratisation And The Politics Of Gender 
 
8. Feminism And Political Reform In The Islamic Republic Of Iran
Parvin Paidar
 
9. The 'Devil's Deal': Women's Political Participation And Authoritarianism In Peru
Cecilia Blondet M.
 
10. In And Against The Party: Women's Representation And Constituency-Building In Uganda And South Africa
Anne Marie Goetz and Shireen Hassim
 
PART IV: Multiculturalisms In Practice 
 
11. The Politics Of Gender, Ethnicity And Democratization In Malaysia: Shifting Interests And Identities
Maznah Mohamad
 
12. National Law And Indigenous Customary Law: The Struggle For Justice Of Indigenous Women In Chiapas, Mexico Aida
Hernandez Castillo
 
13. The Politics Of Women's Rights And Cultural Diversity In Uganda
Aili Mari Tripp
 

Topics: Economies, Poverty, Education, Governance, Political Participation, Privatization, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, Central Africa, Southern Africa, Americas, Central America, South America, Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Europe, Eastern Europe Countries: Chile, India, Iran, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Poland, South Africa, Uganda

Year: 2002

Whose Turn Is It to Cook Tonight? Changing Gender Relations in a South African Township

Citation:

Annecke, Wendy. 2015. "Whose Turn Is It to Cook Tonight? Changing Gender Relations in a South African Township." Cape  Town: Department for International Development.

Author: Wendy Annecke

Abstract:

This study is set in an urban area, in a township called Khayelitsha in South Africa, where poverty, violence and unemployment are endemic. Since the new democratic order came to power in 1994, there have been two changes in policy that impact on this study. The first is that gender equality has been legislated (with some machinery to enforce this), the second is that an accelerated electrification programme has been implemented so that 75% of the formal houses and shacks in Khayelitsha are electrified. This study uses cooking as the domestic chore that epitomises traditionally gendered domestic relationships to explore the hypothesis that when women have access to modern energy services their daily drudgery is reduced and they are able to improve their own lives. The findings include the resentment felt by some men that they can no longer use force to compel their partners to perform domestic duties to their own satisfaction, and that, backed by strong institutional support for gender equality, access to modern energy services (in this case electricity) can facilitate shifts in gender roles and responsibilities in the domestic sphere

Keywords: gender relations, Energy, gender violence, domestic tasks, household electrification

Topics: Gender Roles, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Households, Infrastructure, Energy Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 2015

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