Gender and Land Rights Database


Discrepancies/gaps between statutory and customary laws

  • Although the Constitution recognizes a dual system whereby local courts administer customary or traditional law, customary law prevails in practice because it is unwritten and administered by a local court system dominated by untrained male justices with a patriarchal background (14).
  • Statutory law provides for the sharing of property between husband and wife and the maintenance of either spouse upon divorce. However, customary law denies women any rights to family property or maintenance upon dissolution of marriage (14).
  • Although statutory law allows women to have land registered in their own names, women face a lot of pressure from the community and the family not to do so (13).

Sources: numbers in brackets (*) refer to sources displayed in the Bibliography