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Gender-Related Legal Reform and Access to Economic Resources in Eastern Africa

Author

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  • Gopal, G.

Abstract

The impetus for change in African legal reform is coming primarily from African women themselves, as they respond to their personal and practical experiences with the law. Top-down imposition of norms has not worked; if legal reform is to lead to sustainable equity for women, the voices of these women must be heard. Given that previous efforts to ensure greater equity in personal laws have not been fully successful in eastern African countries, any new legal initiatives must not repeat the mistakes of the past. Law must not again remain merely on the books as a legitimizing tool that reinforces or supports gender discrimination, but must actively protect and guard the interests of both men and women. This paper attempts to draw out some possible lessons from past experience to inform new efforts at legal reform in these countries. It examines the laws related to allocation of economic resources within households in the broader historical, social, and cultural context in some of these countries, and examines the effectiveness of these laws in challenging gender relationships.

Suggested Citation

  • Gopal, G., 1999. "Gender-Related Legal Reform and Access to Economic Resources in Eastern Africa," World Bank - Discussion Papers 405, World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:fth:wobadi:405
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    Cited by:

    1. Hallward-Driemeier, Mary & Gajigo, Ousman, 2015. "Strengthening Economic Rights and Women’s Occupational Choice: The Impact of Reforming Ethiopia’s Family Law," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 260-273.
    2. Rao, Nitya, 2006. "Land rights, gender equality and household food security: Exploring the conceptual links in the case of India," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 180-193, April.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    LAW ; WOMEN;

    JEL classification:

    • J10 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - General
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • K31 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Labor Law
    • N47 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - Africa; Oceania

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