SOAS Research Online

A Free Database of the Latest Research by SOAS Academics and PhD Students

[skip to content]

Banda, Fareda (2006) 'Women, Law and Human Rights in Southern Africa.' Journal of Southern African Studies, 32 (1). pp. 13-27.

Full text not available from this repository.


This article examines the development of human rights in the Southern African Development Community (SADC).1 It looks at personal laws and the attempts of parties in postcolonial states to deal with conflicts that arise between the dictates of state customary law, which may be discriminatory towards women, and the move towards embracing human rights with their focus on the removal of sex and gender-based discrimination. While it is clear that there has been enormous progress made in enshrining women's rights, the article urges caution, noting that there are limits to the law's power to change behaviour. Law cannot always provide a solution to discrimination rooted in socio-economic and cultural dispossession. The article is divided into four parts. Part one introduces the legal systems of the region. Part two offers a discussion of the different constitutional models illustrated by case law relating to inheritance. Part three provides an overview of the African engagement with human rights before moving on to consider the two Declarations of the SADC in dealing with gender-based discrimination and violence against women.2 Part four focuses on the rights contained within the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People's Rights on the Rights of Women, adopted by the African Union in July 2003

Item Type: Journal Article
SOAS Departments & Centres: Legacy Departments > Faculty of Law and Social Sciences > School of Law
School Research Centres > Centre for Human Rights Law
ISSN: 03057070
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 13 Sep 2015 08:25

Altmetric Data


Download activity - last 12 monthsShow export options
Downloads since deposit
6 month trend
6 month trend
Accesses by country - last 12 monthsShow export options
Accesses by referrer - last 12 monthsShow export options

Repository staff only

Edit Item Edit Item