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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Legal pluralism in Botswana: women's access to law
Author:Griffiths, AnneISNI
Periodical:Journal of Legal Pluralism and Unofficial Law
Geographic term:Botswana
Subjects:conflict of laws
Abstract:This article deals with legal pluralism in Africa and women's access to law, in the context of research carried out in Molepolole, a village in Kweneng district, western Botswana, in the period 1982-1989. The research looked in particular at the status of sexual relationships between women and men and how marital or nonmarital status affected women's claims on their partners for compensation for pregnancy, maintenance and rights to property in both social and legal terms. From this perspective, the author raises issues about the role of the urban setting and how it features as part of a set of life strategies relating to the worlds of the peasantariat and the salariat; the gendered environment within which women have to operate, and the contraints this places on their access to, and control over, resources; and the nature of legal pluralism which moves beyond a definition of pluralism in terms of 'common' or 'customary' law. Cases involving legal claims for maintenance or compensation for pregnancy, or the distribution of property on divorce, expose the problems women face in the legal arena, as well as demonstrating that the different legal fora, such as the Magistrate's Court and the Chief's 'kgotla', are not separate and autonomous, but that rules in one system are shaped by and are shaping those in another. Bibliogr., notes, ref.