Gender Legal Reform in Zimbabwe: Wanting

Publication Date
Financial Markets Group Discussion Papers DP 874
Publication Authors

Zimbabwe has introduced some legal reforms towards women’s rights in the first three dozen years since its independence in 1980, though these changes have been continuously challenged by customary law and Supreme Court rulings. The credit for this reform process goes to women-led organisations that mobilised women throughout the country to lobby for their rights. The pre-eminence of customary law has meant that the formal legal progress, however small, has not translated to gender equality in practice, since matters on property, inheritance, and marriage are still governed by customary law which does not recognise women as being equal to men.