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(Dis)Continuities of custom in Zimbabwe and South Africa: the implications for gendered and sexual rights

By Oliver Phillips


This article historicizes the legal regulation of sexuality and claims to sexual rights in South Africa and Zimbabwe, analyzing their implications. Focusing on the interaction of formal Constitutions and informal customary law in the differential development of agency and rights, it highlights the constancy of women's partial legal subjectivity alongside shifts in authority from lineage to nation-state. The tensions between the legal formalism of rights, and the historical authority of customary structures buttress the regulation of sex and the claims to sexual rights within these two countries, and they frame a discussion of how sexualhealth programs and policies might better engage with the development of sexual agency.\u

Topics: UOW8
OAI identifier: oai:westminsterresearch.wmin.ac.uk:3695
Provided by: WestminsterResearch

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  1. (see note 21),
  2. (see note 35),
  3. (1999). (see note 6),
  4. Chanock (see note 12), p. 13. Zimbabwe Independent, 8/26/01; “Chidyausiku Accused of Bias,” Daily News, 9/20/01; “2001: Judiciary’s Major Turning Point,” The Herald, 1/8/02;
  5. (2003). Coercion, Constraints, and ‘Cultural Entrapments:’ A Further Look at Gendered and Occupational Factors Pertinent to the Transmission of HIV
  6. (2000). Conflict in the Zimbabwean Courts: Women’s Rights and Indigenous Self-Determination in Magaya v.
  7. (1996). Equality legislation of direct application to women includes the Prevention of Family Violence Act (Act 133 of 1993), the Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act
  8. (2000). For a discussion of a similar dynamic in Latin America
  9. (2004). For more on these specific situations see
  10. (2001). Gender and Constitutional Issues: Special Report 2,
  11. I am grateful to Alice Miller for this suggestion.
  12. Judgments affirming formal rights of equality for same-sex couples include National Coalition for Gay and Lesbian Equality v.
  13. (2001). Multilateral Motor Vehicle Accidents Fund 1999 (4) SA 1319 (SCA). Moseneke and Others v. Master of the High Court
  14. Rubin (see note 8).
  15. The “dissident” position is one that suggests that factors such as
  16. (2003). The ideological premise of the “indigeUnfinished Business”
  17. The minority opinion suggested that the majority decision under-
  18. This policy was enforced with such vehemence that it led to the ejection of the Greater Nelspruit Rape Intervention Project (GRIP) from the Rob Ferreira and Temba hospitals because they were supplying the drugs AZT and 3TC to rape survivors.
  19. (1984). Women in Zimbabwe:
  20. (1987). Women in Zimbabwe: Stated Policy and State Action”
  21. Zyl (see note 5),

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