ISBN 9781779150066
Pages 56
Dimensions 246 x 189 mm
Illustrations B/W Illustrations
Published 2002
Publisher Weaver Press, Zimbabwe
Format Paperback

Lobola: It's Implications for Women's Reproductive Rights

by Sara Mvududu

An in-depth, accessible study of the function of 'lobola' - the bride price - in seven Southern African countries in which it is a widespread tradition and its practice is still common. The study considers this social institution in both matrilineal and patrilineal societies to show that almost without expection, the practice of paying the bride price results in the wife become the property not only of her husband but also of his extended family. It discusses how this impacts negatively on her reproductive rights - she becomes a child-rearing machine, has little control over family planning or her sexual health - and therefore on the health and development of the whole society. It argues that the institution of 'lobola', which is weakening in some circles but still widely condoned under the guise of the preservation of tradition, is incompatible with a basic standard of human/personal rights for women; calls for its abolition; and for governments to take a stronger lead in formulating laws that better protect women's marital and reproductive rights.
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