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Lesotho

The Kingdom of Lesotho is an enclave within South Africa. Its 1993 constitution still recognizes customary or traditional law, although it also grants civil and political rights to both women and men. The Constitution also recognizes domestic violence and rape as criminal acts and provides for equal rights for men and women on property ownership. Heavily dependent on men, however, Basotho women are considered legal minors under the permanent guardianship of father, brothers, or most likely, husbands, with no right to own land, but they do gain usufruct rights through marriage, as in several other African countries. The government passed a law in 2006 aimed at eliminating discrimination against married women, but it has had little effect so far. Customary law grants ownership ...

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