Challenges Surrounding the Adjudication of Women's Rights in Relation to Customary Law and Practices in Tanzania

29 Pages Posted: 22 May 2019

Date Written: April 25, 2019

Abstract

Women's rights litigation has produced varied outcomes in many African countries. Although courts have looked at the legislation that discriminates against women with different degrees of success, matters such as tradition and culture continue to be unpredictable when subject to lawsuit. In Tanzania, the judiciary has gradually begun to recognise that discrimination on a prescribed ground cannot be justified. However, this principle has not blocked some judges from maintaining that gender discrimination based on customary rules can still be justified, despite the existence of internal, regional and national human rights law, which prohibits it. It is contended that the judiciary has a significant role to play in ensuring that customary law and harmful traditional practices are reformed and advanced to comply with human rights legislation and ensure equality between men and women in Tanzania.

Keywords: customary law and practice, women's rights, human rights, judicial enforcement, Tanzania

Suggested Citation

Msuya, Norah Hashim, Challenges Surrounding the Adjudication of Women's Rights in Relation to Customary Law and Practices in Tanzania (April 25, 2019). Potchefstroom Electronic Law Journal, Vol. 22, 2019, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3392336

Norah Hashim Msuya (Contact Author)

University of KwaZulu-Natal ( email )

Umbilo Road
Durban 4000, KZN 4000
South Africa

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