CEDAW, Compliance, and Custom: Human Rights Enforcement in Sub-Saharan Africa
66 Pages Posted: 28 Apr 2016
Date Written: 2009
This Article examines treaty body compliance discourse through an examination of the CEDAW Committee’s jurisprudence related to sub-Saharan Africa. Drawing on the constructivist literature and the sociological framing literature, Part I of this article introduces adoption and adaptation as key features for domestically enforcing treaty obligations. Part I also introduces the CEDAW Committee compliance discourse framework. Through the issue of married women’s property rights in Rwanda and Uganda, Part II demonstrates the challenges of implementing the adoption and adaptation process with a circumscribed collaboration approach. Drawing on the constructivist and sociological insights regarding the adoption and adaptation process Part III critiques the CEDAW Committee’s compliance discourse’s circumscribed approach to collaboration. The Committee’s emphasis on awareness-oriented programmatic reforms without an appreciation for customary legal officials as an important resource in the adaptation process minimizes the effectiveness of domestic enforcement mechanisms.
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