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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Emang Basadi, Women, Sex Discrimination and the Constitution of Botswana
Author:Rembe, N.S.
Periodical:Lesotho Law Journal: A Journal of Law and Development (ISSN 0255-6472)
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:Botswana
Southern Africa
Law, Legal Issues, and Human Rights
Equality and Liberation
women's rights
gender discrimination
Abstract:Botswana is one of the few African countries credited for its good record of human rights and democracy. Often this gives the impression that there is internal harmony between human rights as proclaimed and practised. The recent judgment of the High Court of Botswana in the case Unity Dow v Attorney General (June 1991) raises important questions about the commitment of the country to protect human rights. In this case the High Court considered whether the provision of the Citizenship Act 1984 (Section 4) that denies citizenship to children born in Botswana of a female citizen married to a noncitizen, violates the Constitution, notably Section 15 which declares that 'no law shall make any provision that is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect'. After examining the UN Declaration on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women and discussing the position of women under the Roman-Dutch and common law, the court ruled in favour of the applicant, and nullified S.4 of the Citizenship Act as 'ultra vires' the Constitution of Botswana. This judgment has surfaced a number of questions on Botswana's alleged record on human rights and it will boost and catalyse 'Emang basadi' ('Stand up women') and other groups fighting against discriminatory laws. Notes, ref.