Go to AfricaBib home

Go to AfricaBib home African Women Go to database home

bibliographic database
Previous page New search

The free AfricaBib App for Android is available here

Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Evolution of Women's Property Rights in Colonial Botswana, c. 1890-1966
Author:Morton, Barry
Periodical:Pula: Botswana Journal of African Studies (ISSN 0256-2316)
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:Botswana
Great Britain
Southern Africa
customary law
property rights
Women's Issues
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Law, Human Rights and Violence
History and Exploration
Law, Legal Issues, and Human Rights
Cultural Roles
History, Archaeology
Right of property
Abstract:The legal rights of women to inherit and own property, independent of husbands or male guardians, were first established a century ago among the Ngwato by Khama's Law. It applied to royal women but afterwards spread to commoners and other parts of Botswana. However, after a series of property disputes raised by defiant women in colonial courts in the 1920s, these advances were reversed. 'Traditional' laws and customs expunging such rights were imposed by the colonial authorities on the reactionary advice of Western-educated men such as Tshekedi Khama, and were codified in Isaac Schapera's 'Handbook of Tswana Law and Custom' (1938). Women's property rights in customary law and their access to colonial courts were not fully restored until the 1950s, by a combination of new colonial legislation and female activism. In modern Botswana the right of women to own property is fully recognized in both government and traditional courts. Notes, ref., sum.