Werbner, P (2018) Divorce as process, Botswana style. Journal of Legal Anthropology, 2 (2). pp. 1-23. ISSN 1758-9584

[thumbnail of (2019) Divorce as Process, Botswana Style.pdf] Text
(2019) Divorce as Process, Botswana Style.pdf - Published Version
Restricted to Repository staff only

Download (367kB)


This article aims to unravel the complex negotiations surrounding property settlements and custody in cases of divorce in customary courts in Botswana today in the light of an earlier legacy of penalising divorce initiators. It argues that women’s attempts to get their husbands to initiate divorce proceedings can entangle women in lengthy negotiations and ultimately frustrate the aim of achieving a divorce. Repeated court hearings can last for years, we show. At the same time, in Botswana’s statutory courts today, an equal division of property irrespective of the causes of marital breakdown has become established practice. In the article, we aim to show that customary laws regarding property settlement in divorce have indeed changed, gradually adjusting to notions of equity in women’s rights in marriage, in response to a wider ideological, critical movement, even though chiefs or headmen presiding over customary courts do not always explicitly acknowledge this change.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The final version of this article and all relevant information regarding copyrights and more can be found at; https://www.berghahnjournals.com/view/journals/jla/2/2/jla020202.xml
Uncontrolled Keywords: Botswana; customary courts; customary law; divorce; living law
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social, Political and Global Studies
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 12 Aug 2020 13:54
Last Modified: 09 Mar 2021 09:44
URI: https://eprints.keele.ac.uk/id/eprint/8523

Actions (login required)

View Item
View Item