n Malawi Law Journal - Reconciling African customary law with women's rights in Malawi : the proposed marriage, divorce and family relations bill : notes and comments

Volume 1, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1996-7675



The 1994 Constitution of Malawi (the 'Constitution') recognises the right to culture without expressly subordinating it to any other right. At the same time, it also recognises the right of women to equality and special protection from the state. These two rights often come to a head because many African customary practices are inconsistent with the rights of women. Determining whether such practices and rules are unconstitutional is not an easy task because these practices can be protected as part of the right to culture. This article seeks to contribute to the on-going debate on the interaction between African customary law and women's rights by analysing the manner in which the proposed Marriage, Divorce and Family Relations Bill (the 'Bill') addresses this interaction.

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