Details for Law reform: Whose responsibility?

Name:Law reform: Whose responsibility?

This article looks at the law reform process and critically examines the efforts made so far towards marriage law reform (substance and process) in Zimbabwe with special focus on the efforts made by the Zimbabwe Women Lawyers Association (ZWLA), a non-governmental organization whose aim is to improve the status of women in Zimbabwe. Insight into the problems necessitating law reform is gained and obstacles that are responsible for the reluctance to reform the marriage laws unearthed. An effort has been made to understand the critical stages in effecting law reform in the Zimbabwean situation and to identify the actors involved, especially in reforming laws that are deemed to be discriminatory against women. Different researchers and writers from as early as 1980 have recommended that family laws, particularly marriage laws, be reformed in order for the status of women to be improved and for gender equality to be achieved. Interest in this topic has arisen from witnessing daily the problems that women face as a result of the current marriage laws. Furthermore, because the marriage law reform process has not yet been documented by ZWLA, important experiences might be lost if they are not recorded. ZWLA’s experiences form the basis of the paper and it is hoped that the lessons learned from these experiences will assist in future endeavours to reform other problematic laws. The article shows that law reform is a long process which should involve all concerned actors, given that the net effect is to change people’s way of life.

By Linda Kalenga

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Created On: 03/22/2011 00:14
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Last updated on: 03/22/2011 00:15