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Faculty of Law | University of the Western Cape

Research Portal

Faculty of Law | University of the Western Cape

UWC LAW FACULTY

Access to justice, gender and customary law in Malawi

Publication title information

Mwambene, Lea and Nanima, Robert (2020). 'Access to justice, gender and customary law in Malawi'. In Lawson, Dubin and Mwambene (eds) Gender, Poverty, and Access to Justice: Policy Implementation in Sub-Saharan Africa. Routledge.

Further detail

Publication type
Books and chapters
Description
Malawi is a signatory to various international and regional instruments advocating for women’s rights. However, the patriarchal nature of customary marriage laws, as well as the poverty most rural women live in, works against the realisation of such rights. In order to address these challenges, the Malawi government has, among other strategies, reformed its laws to recognise the principle of equality in all marriages. This chapter contextualises poverty and critically analyses the legal strategies currently being used to promote equal access to, and positive outcomes from, justice processes for rural women who are governed by customary marriage laws in Malawi. It is argued that the ability of Malawi’s substantive laws to enable rural married women to enjoy their rights within, and at the dissolution of, a marriage forms the yardstick with which to gauge access to justice.
About the author/s

Lea Mwambene

Lea Mwambene is a Professor of Law in the Department of Private Law and currently the Deputy Dean: Teaching and Learning of UWC Law Faculty. https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4822-5394

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Robert Doya Nanima

Robert Doya Nanima is a post-doctoral research fellow in the Children’s Rights Project of the Dullah Omar Institute, University of the Western Cape. https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8825-3376

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