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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Negotiating Marriage on the Eve of Human Rights
Author:Besendahl, Kirsten
Year:2004
Periodical:African Sociological Review (ISSN 1027-4332)
Volume:8
Issue:1
Pages:11-30
Language:English
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:Malawi
Central Africa
Africa
Subjects:women's rights
polygamy
Women's Issues
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Law, Human Rights and Violence
Cultural Roles
Marital Relations and Nuptiality
Law, Legal Issues, and Human Rights
law
marriage
human rights
marriage law
Common law
Polygyny
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/24487413
Abstract:Adopting a pluralist perspective on law and rights, this paper examines women's rights in marriage. In an African context, to negotiate a marriage usually signifies the communication and transactions between two families before a marriage is contracted. This paper examines the negotiations that take place between the spouses and their respective families during marriage and at the discontinuation of a marriage in the case of divorce. Based on research in Malawi in 2000-2001, the paper explores the ways Malawian women negotiate marriage. The focus is on polygyny, with which many Malawian women have experience. The paper discusses the interplay between different types of laws and norms related to marriage, as well as the opportunities and limitations women experience when negotiating polygynous marriage. Finally, it examines the possible impact of the introduction of women's rights on the legal framework in Malawi. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract, edited]
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