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Constitutions

Update on the Women’s Movement in Botswana: Have Women Stopped Talking?

Citation:

Bauer, G. 2011. “Update on the Women’s Movement in Botswana: Have Women Stopped Talking?” African Studies Review 54 (2): 23–46.

Author: G. Bauer

Abstract:

Across Africa in the early twenty-first century, autonomous women's movements have transformed the political landscape. With their support, African women are lobbying for constitutional reforms, entering political office in unprecedented numbers, and initiating legislation to expand women's rights. African women's movements have been emboldened by changes in international and regional norms concerning women's rights and representation, a new availability of resources to enhance women's status, and in many places, an end to conflict. In Botswana, the 1980s and 1990s were a period of heightened women's mobilization. Led by the women's organization Emang Basadi, the women's movement accomplished many significant victories, including winning a landmark citizenship case, prompting a comprehensive review of laws to identify instances of gender discrimination, issuing the first women's manifesto in Africa, and organizing workshops for political parties and women candidates. Some scholars have suggested that Emang Basadi's work was responsible not just for increasing women's representation in parliament, but also for broadening democracy in Botswana. Since 2010, however, a once vibrant women's movement has gone quiet. This article seeks to understand this development and to explore how the movement might be revitalized. The article concludes by drawing comparisons with other women's movements in the region and suggesting that the women's movement in Botswana, like others in the region, may be, in the words of one scholar, "in abeyance."

Topics: Armed Conflict, Citizenship, Democracy / Democratization, Gender, Women, Governance, Constitutions, Political Participation, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Botswana

Year: 2011

After Apartheid: Consensus, Contention, and Gender in South Africa’s Public Sphere

Citation:

Hassim, Shireen. 2009. “After Apartheid: Consensus, Contention, and Gender in South Africa’s Public Sphere.” International Journal of Politics, Culture, and Society 22 (4): 453–64. doi:10.1007/s 10767-009-9076-6.

Author: Shireen Hassim

Abstract:

The South African transition from apartheid to democracy is one of the iconic developments of the late twentieth century coming soon after the fall of the Berlin Wall. The country, led by a universally admired Nelson Mandela, seemed to embody the world's hopes for peace and democracy. In the aftermath of the first inclusive elections in 1994, South Africans adopted one of the world's finest constitutions and set up a modern and representative system of governance. However, the euphoria was not sustained. Economic inequality rose; poverty appears intractable, and an increasingly angry citizenry seems less willing to adhere to the liberal norms of tolerance and respect for difference. This article lays out some dimensions of the new conflicts detailing the intolerance for outsiders and violence against women and gay and lesbian people. [Hassim] argue[s] that the quality of democracy is not measured by its formal institutions important they may be. Rather, it is in the interactions between citizens in the public sphere that we are able to ascertain the extent to which democratic values have become normalized. Viewed from this perspective, it is evident that the legacies of distrust and antagonism continue to shape the possibilities of democratic deliberation in the public sphere.

Keywords: South Africa, public sphere, xenophobia, violence, sexuality, gender

Topics: Democracy / Democratization, Economies, Economic Inequality, Poverty, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Governance, Constitutions, Post-conflict Governance, LGBTQ, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict, Race, Sexual Violence Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 2009

Women and Peace-Building in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Citation:

Sadie, Yolanda. 2010. “Women and Peace-Building in the Democratic Republic of Congo.” Strategic Review for Southern Africa 32 (1): 31–57.

Author: Yolanda Sadie

Abstract:

Mobuto's fall from power in 1997 ended a repressive dictatorship of 30 years in the Congo. However, 'The War of Partition and Plunder' followed, and lasted from 1998 to 2003. Despite the signing of a Peace Agreement in 2003, the implementation of a new constitution in February 2006, and subsequent multi-party presidential and legislative elections that took place in the same year, fighting in the eastern part of the Congo has escalated since 2007. The devastating effects of the war and the resulting humanitarian crisis resulted in both the international community as well as the Congolese engaging in peace-building efforts in the country. This article explores the nature of the involvement of Congolese women in peace-building. Peace-building, or Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development as it is termed by the African Union, is a multi-dimensional approach, which, according to the African Union's Post Conflict Reconstruction and Development strategy, encompasses six indicative elements. These serve as the framework for analysis.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Development, Gender, Women, Governance, Constitutions, Elections, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction Regions: Africa, Central Africa Countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo

Year: 2010

Constitution-Making in a Time of Cholera: Women and the 1991 Colombian Constitution

Citation:

Morgan, Martha, and Monica Bultrago. 1991. “Constitution-Making in a Time of Cholera: Women and the 1991 Colombian Constitution.” Yale Journal of Law & Feminism 4: 353-413.

Authors: Martha Morgan, Monica Bultrago

Keywords: women, constitutional design

Topics: Gender, Women, Governance, Constitutions Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 1991

Conflicting Agendas? Women’s Rights and Customary Law in African Constitutional Reform

Citation:

Tripp, Aili Mari. 2009. “Conflicting Agendas? Women’s Rights and Customary Law in African Constitutional Reform.” In Constituting Equality: Gender Equality and Comparative Constitutional Law, edited by Susan H. Williams, 173–94. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Author: Aili Mari Tripp

Topics: Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Governance, Constitutions, Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa

Year: 2009

Gender Quotas in Politics-A Constitutional Challenge

Citation:

Dahlerup, Drude, and Lenita Freidenvall. 2009. “Gender Quotas in Politics-A Constitutional Challenge.” In Constituting Equality - Gender Equality and Comparative Constitutional Law, edited by Susan H. Williams, 29–52. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Authors: Drude Dahlerup, Lenita Freidenvall

Topics: Gender, Gender Balance, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Governance, Constitutions

Year: 2009

Gender Equality from a Constitutional Perspective: The Case of Turkey

Citation:

Elver, Hilal. 2005. “Gender Equality  from a Constitutional Perspective: The Case of Turkey.” In The Gender of Constitutional Jurisprudence, edited by Ruth Rubio-Marín and Beverley Baines, 278–305. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Author: Hilal Elver

Abstract:

Turkey, a bridge connecting Asia and Europe, occupies the geographic border zone between two vastly different regions of the world: the East and the West. This gives Turkey a unique position, as it has cultural, social, and legal characteristics of both regions and tries to achieve the values of both in its current search for identity. This makes it difficult and puzzling to evaluate the status of women in Turkey.

Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Governance, Constitutions Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East, Europe, Southern Europe Countries: Turkey

Year: 2005

Constrained Spaces for Islamic Feminism: Women’s Rights and the 2004 Constitution of Afghanistan

Citation:

Choudhury, Nusrat. 2007. “Constrained Spaces for  Islamic Feminism: Women’s Rights and the 2004 Constitution of Afghanistan.” Yale Journal of Law and Feminism 19: 155–99.

Author: Nusrat Choudhury

Abstract:

The Afghan Constitution of 2004 attempts a reconciliation between democracy, Islam, Islamic law, and women's rights. This raises much debate. Although the constitution guarantees equality and includes gender quotas, some fear that the balance struck is too precarious. For example, nothing prevents a judge from relying upon the Shari'a described in the constitution to emphasize the incompatibility between Islamic law and women's rights. The author therefore questions the viability of this legal combination.

Topics: Democracy / Democratization, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gender Balance, Governance, Constitutions, Quotas, Religion, Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Afghanistan

Year: 2007

Women and the Transition to Democracy in South Africa

Citation:

Albertyn, Catherine. 1994. “Women and the Transition to Democracy in South Africa.” Acta Juridica 1: 39–63.

Author: Catherine Albertyn

Abstract:

This article considers the historical context as well as the transitional period and the process of writing South Africa's interim constitution to the current 1996 Constitution to assess the extent to which they took account of the experiences, interests and demands of women in South Africa.

Topics: Democracy / Democratization, Gender, Women, Governance, Constitutions, Post-conflict Governance Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 1994

Lifting Our Veil of Ignorance: Culture, Constitutionalism, and Women’s Human Rights in Post-September 11 America

Citation:

Powell, Catherine. 2005. “Lifting Our Veil of Ignorance: Culture, Constitutionalism, and Women’s Human Rights in Post-September 11 America.” Hastings Law Journal 57: 331-383.

Author: Catherine Powell

Topics: Gender, Women, Governance, Constitutions, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Americas, North America Countries: United States of America

Year: 2005

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