Sunday Times Books LIVE Community Sign up

Login to Sunday Times Books LIVE

Forgotten password?

Forgotten your password?

Enter your username or email address and we'll send you reset instructions

Sunday Times Books LIVE

UCT Press

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

In Search of Equality Provides Insight into Women’s Rights in Seven African Countries

In Search of EqualityNew from UCT Press, In Search of Equality: Women, Law and Society in South Africa edited by Stefanie Röhrs and Dee Smythe:

Just over 50 years ago several African countries drew up new Constitutions which included protocols such as the Protocol on the Rights of Women. Decades later, has constitutional reform brought gender equality to women in Africa? And what does gender equality mean in the everyday lives of women on the continent?

The contributors to this volume provide insights into women’s rights in seven African countries – Cote d’Ivoire, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa and Uganda. Each looks at the causes, context and consequences of the struggle to uphold women’s rights. Their case studies illustrate property-grabbing in Malawi, women’s citizenship in Nigeria, and the rise of hate crimes and sexual violence against black lesbians in South Arica, among other issues.

Drawing from empirical research in coastal communities across South Africa and Mozambique, this book provides cutting-edge analyses of and new conceptual approaches to these issues. It aims to enhance an understanding of why benefits are distributed in the way they are, the main blockages preventing greater equity, and strategies for more equitable benefit-sharing. The findings have relevance and application for coastal livelihoods, rural governance and resource sustainability, not only in these countries but across the world in a context where community rights are increasingly undermined by land-grabbing, unequal power relations and externally driven development interventions.


Acronyms and abbreviations
Table of cases
Table of legislation

Introduction: In search of equality: women, law and society in Africa – Dee Smythe and Stefanie Röhrs
Chapter 1: Challenges in litigation on gender issues in Namibia – Dianne Hubbard
Chapter 2: Constitutionalism and the law of inheritance: Recent experiences from Uganda – Florence Akiiki Asiimwe
Chapter 3: Gender equality in customary marriages in South Africa – Mikateko Joyce Maluleke
Chapter 4: Enforcing women’s rights in Malawi – Maureen Kondowe
Chapter 5: The justice system and women’s rights in Côte-d’Ivoire – Marie Agathe Bahi
Chapter 6: Ending impunity for hate crimes against black lesbians: An opportunity to create feminist jurisprudence – Wendy Isaack
Chapter 7: Strategic litigation of women’s constitutional rights in Rwanda’s changing judicial landscape – Eugene Manzi
Chapter 8: Associational life and women’s constitutional rights in Africa – Ada Okoye Ordor

About the editor

Stefanie Röhrs is senior researcher at the Gender, Health and Justice Research Unit at the University of Cape Town.

Dee Smythe is Professor and Director of the Law, Race and Gender Unit in the Faculty of Law at the University of Cape Town. She is also senior lecturer in the Department of Public Law. She is the author (with Pithey, B, and Artz, L) of Commentary on the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act 32 of 2007, (Juta, 2011), and (with Artz, L) Should we consent? The politics of rape law reform in South Africa (Juta, 2008).

Book details


Please register or log in to comment