This week Elena Moore was interviewed on the POWER Zone with Morio Sanyane focusing on customary wives and the law. Elena discussed the ways in which the reform of customary law offers some legal protection for customary wives. However she also highlights the limits of the law and the ways in which customary wives still struggle to access property as widows or divorcees. If you are interested and want to hear more, here is the podcast: Customary law and the problems it causes for widows
Elena Moore, in the Mail & Guardian, describes the ways in which customary wives in South Africa, in challenging marital violence, navigate relations of patriarchal domination either through appeals to the state, familial channels or a combination of both.
The Families and Societies Research Unit, together with the NRF Chair in Customary Law, Indigenous Values and Human Rights hosted a two-day workshop on the relationship and interaction between gender, generation and negotiating power in families on the 21 and 22 of Jan 2019.This workshop provided a forum for scholars working within the sociology and regulation of personal relationships and gender to consider generation and generational interaction through an intersectional framework. The workshop examined how a focus on generation facilitate new understandings of the processes by which social inequalities are made and perpetuated in our intimate lives. Several leading scholars in the area attended the workshop including Sindiso Mnisi Weeks, Deevia Bhana, Nolwazi Mkhwanazi, Michael Yarbrough and several emerging scholars including four FaSRU doctoral students. John Comaroff acted as a discussant for the first day and made insightful contributions throughout the course of the day. Elena would like to thank everyone who participated in the workshop and is looking forward to taking this work further.
Elena Moore and Prof. Himonga, in the Mail & Guardian, outline the ways in which the practices of succession in customary law can be challenging for widows. Despite the introduction of new laws, widows can face discriminatory practices and can be denied inheritance following the death of a customary husband. These issues have been in the news recently following the death of Jubalani Tsambo (HHP) and the subsequent court application by his customary wife, Lerato Sengadi. For more see: ‘https://mg.co.za/article/2018-11-23-00-customary-law-can-pose-problems-for-widows
The Centre of Excellence in Human Development’s conference on ‘Children, Families and the State: Contestation and Collaboration’ also facilitated the launch of the children’s Gauge. Elena Moore, together with Prof. Himonga have a chapter on ‘Living Customary Law and Families’. It is the first time in the 13 years of publishing the Children’s Gauge that the Gauge has included a specific focus on living customary law. For more see http://www.ci.uct.ac.za/ci/child-gauge/2018
This week the FaSRU team attended the Centre of Excellence in Human Development’s conference on ‘Children, Families and the State: Contestation and Collaboration’ at Wits University. Elena spoke in a panel on “Methodologies for finding out more”. The conference was well attended by most scholars working on children and families in South Africa together with a range of policymakers, postgraduate students and representatives from government.
Lwando Scott and Isaac Chinyoka, both undertaking doctoral research at FaSRU, caught up at Yale recently. Lwando was presenting a lunchtime seminar on 'Same-Sex Marriage in South Africa' while Isaac received the Fox Fellowship and is spending the 2016-2017 academic year at Yale.
Congratulations go to Kristy Button, a postgraduate researcher at FaSRU. Her thesis "Household economies of low-income, African female-headed households in Khayelitsha: intergenerational support, conflict, and tension", completed in June at the Sociology Department, was awarded a Distinction from both external examiners. Kirsty will be continuing her research in this area by undertaking a doctorate in the coming months.
In the third part of the series of the reform of customary marriage, divorce and intestate succession, we show how customary practices of male primogeniture continue to operate. The reformed laws on intestate succession have not ensured greater protection for women and extra marital children in matters of intestate succession.