International Research Collaboratives

Gender in Customary / Indigenous Law and Proceedings


Winifred Kamau, Ulrike Schultz

Postcolonial societies live with the reality of plural legal systems where customary law (including religious law) commonly co-exists with formal law enacted by the state. Customary law (also known as indigenous law or traditional law) is by nature flexible and fluid, and consists of a wide diversity of mostly unwritten norms practiced among different local communities. It continues to be relevant to the majority of people, particularly in rural areas, as it mediates social relationships, entitlement to resources and participation in decision making. There is need for more research and theorizing on gender and customary law and its processes for a more nuanced understanding of the gendered effects of the interplay between customary law and state law, which will be the focus of this IRC.


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