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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:State Sponsorship of Women's Rights and Implications for Patriarchism in Namibia
Author:Cooper, Allan D.ISNI
Periodical:Journal of Modern African Studies
Geographic term:Namibia
Politics and Government
Women's Issues
Law, Human Rights and Violence
Law, Legal Issues, and Human Rights
Equality and Liberation
Status of Women
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/161751
Abstract:The inability of the State in Africa to create surplus capital has caused many Africans to look to precolonial structures as organizational mechanisms for mobilizing economic power and political influence. This article explores how those in power in Namibia are confronting the issue of respecting precolonial/traditional structures while enhancing their own political base of centralized authority. It argues that this nationalist elite is limiting the potential threat of traditional leaders by promoting the extension of rights to women. There have been significant improvements in the status of women since Namibia's independence, with most taking place during the time that legislation was being enacted to recognize an official role for traditional authorities. However, it is too early to tell whether the government will reify its commitment to equality of rights for women for its own sake, or whether it will wait for a challenge from traditional authorities before such provisions are enforced. The dilemma in contemporary Namibia is how to react to traditional authorities who wish to preserve the customs of their ethnic groups when these violate the human rights provisions enshrined in the constitution. Ref.