Journal article

Gender, traditional authority, and the politics of rural reform in South Africa

H Rangan, M Gilmartin

Development and Change | BLACKWELL PUBL LTD | Published : 2002


The new South African Constitution, together with later policies and legislation, affirm a commitment to gender rights that is incompatible with the formal recognition afforded to unelected traditional authorities. This contradiction is particularly evident in the case of land reform in many rural areas, where women's right of access to land is denied through the practice of customary law. This article illustrates the ways in which these constitutional contradictions play out with particular intensity in the 'former homelands' through the example of a conflict over land use in Buffelspruit. Mpumalanga province. There, a number of women who had been granted informal access to communal land fo..

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University of Melbourne Researchers