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Women, Marriage, and Intestate Succession in the Context of Legal Pluralism in Africa

Akua Kuenyehia


The law that governs family relations the law of marriage and inheritance, among others is an area of law that has an immense impact on the status and welfare of women in Africa. It is an area that is rendered particularly complex by the interaction of plural legal systems. For reasons ranging from history to culture, the average African is today subject to at least two distinct, and sometimes conflicting, legal systems. Customary law usually regulates family and allied relations, while statutory law regulates other aspects of life. There is no denying the fact that some aspects of customary law and practices are discriminatory and harmful. The competing values of these plural legal systems more often than not result in denial of rights, and, ultimately, access to justice is adversely affected.


women, marriage, legal, pluralism, africa

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JENdA: A Journal of Culture and African Women Studies. ISSN: 1530-5686 (online).
Editors: Nkiru Nzegwu; Book Editor: Mary Dillard.

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