Long Essays

This is a collection of Reasearch Papers done by Upgraders.

Papers List

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An exploration of lobola and its impact within the arena of sexual relations and procreative imperat An exploration of lobola and its impact within the arena of sexual relations and procreative imperat

This essay revisits the issue of lobola in the context of the AIDS pandemic in Zimbabwe. Lobola or roora is the bride price traditionally paid by a husband to the family of his wife­to­be. The author investigates the effect of this tradition on the power relations within traditional marriages.She suggests that when women are ‘bought’, they enter into an unequal partnership and cannot easily negotiate safe sex with their husbands, thus increasing their vulnerability to HIV infection. Other factors resulting in unequal power relations in marriages are discussed and both national and international legal frameworks for married women’s sexual rights are examined. The essay explores the meaning, significance and implication of lobola, finally focusing on whether the abolition of lobola would increase women’s ability to negotiate safer sex in marriage.

By Irene Sithole

A critical analysis of the efficacy of the Intestate Succession Act chapter 59 of the Laws of Zambia in protecting the rights of widows A critical analysis of the efficacy of the Intestate Succession Act chapter 59 of the Laws of Zambia in protecting the rights of widows

This article examines the Intestate Succession Act chapter 59 of the Laws of Zambia to assess whether it complies with international treaties and conventions and adequately protects the rights of widows. The author uses a theory of patriarchy to explain women’s position in society through a plural perspective and cites relevant case law to investigate the way the law functions within this context. While the law provides equally for men and women, gendered perceptions and cultural norms still ultimately prevent women from claiming their rights. Consequently, while a woman is granted the right to the family home on the death of her husband, this right is withdrawn should she decide to remarry. The author points out further anomalies in the application of the Act and reveals that gendered, patriarchal and cultural forces still override the law’s attempt to comply with international human rights legislation. Even the Zambian constitution is ambiguous with regard to cultural practices and needs to be reviewed. She also calls for a review of the Intestate Succession Act chapter 59, taking into account the cultural reality of women’s position in society and dealing with particular situations like polygamous marriages and customary land. She acknowledges that a shift in societal attitudes is also needed and recommends a rigorous information campaign.

By Daphne Chabu

 

 

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