WWW.DISSERTATION.XLIBX.INFO
FREE ELECTRONIC LIBRARY - Dissertations, online materials
 
<< HOME
CONTACTS



Pages:   || 2 |

«THE DUNG BEETLE EFFECT : TAKING LAW TO THE PEOPLE IN SOUTHERN AND EASTERN AFRICA, WITH AN EMPHASIS ON ZIMBABWE Paper presented at the Law Libraries' ...»

-- [ Page 1 ] --

"THE DUNG BEETLE EFFECT" : TAKING LAW TO THE PEOPLE IN

SOUTHERN AND EASTERN AFRICA, WITH AN EMPHASIS ON ZIMBABWE

Paper presented at the Law Libraries' Section, IFLA, at WLIC 2007, Durban, South

Africa, 19 August.

Cecilie Butenschøn Mariri, Librarian, Southern and Eastern African Regional Centre for

Women's Law (SEARCWL), University of Zimbabwe

_______________________________________________________________________

Abstract This paper presents the Southern and Eastern African Regional Centre for Women's Law, at the University of Zimbabwe, which is running a masters degree programme in Women's Law. The paper touches into contents and methodologies of the course, the role of the library, north-south cooperation, and plans for the future. The future of SEARCWL depends of course very much on the developments in Zimbabwe, so a short description of everyday's challenges and lack of infrastructure is also given.

Introduction This is the story of a long time running academic programme, and its effects on people and the law, and of the libraries' role in it.

Maybe you wonder what the dung beetle is doing here - in the North, it is normal to talk about a "snowball effect" for something that develops bigger and bigger. There is little snow here in southern Africa (even if there has been some this year, even in the Namibian desert!!), but we know how the dung beetle constantly compile balls of animal dung to lay their eggs in.

History A postgraduate diploma course in women's law for African scholars was first established by the University of Oslo, Institute of Women's Law in 1987. The course relocated to the University of Zimbabwe (UZ) in 1990, where it has been held since. The last Diploma course was held in 2000, in what was called the Women's Law Centre in the Department of Private Law. Plans were then already established for expanding the course to a Masters Degree.

In 2002, the Women's Law Centre moved out of the UZ Campus to a separate building.

In fact, a villa, with a huge garden and swimming pool!! The centre also changed its name to Southern and Eastern African Regional Centre for Women's Law - SEARCWL.

This was mainly done to emphasise that it is not a programme for Zimbabweans only, but is offered to candidates from the whole region. (Actually, "southern and eastern Africa" has in some cases been interpreted quite widely, as we have had two students from Cameroon, and one from Ethiopia.) In times where bilateral cooperation state to state with Zimbabwe has been withdrawn, it is also important for SEARCWL to "fly the regional flag" as high as possible, as the programme is fully financed by NORAD, the Norwegian Agency for Development, and the UZ of course is a governmental institution.

Now, in 2007, we are running the 3rd masters degree course. Some people ask if the course is for women only, but no, men are most welcome! We have had 5-10 male students in each group of 30 - this year 9, among them3 men from the Zambian Police Force.

Women's Law Programme: contents and methods The programme runs for approximately 15 months. Students start in January one year, and finish by the end of March the following year. The first semester, the core courses

are mandatory for all students, and comprises:

• Theories and perspectives in women's law

• Research methodologies and methods in women's law

• Practical paper.

Theories and perspective in women's law covers a range of sub-topics, from feminism to customary law, comparing African realities with "western" standards, and comparing law and legal systems based on comparative law. Defining limits of the law. Asking questions like: "Whose law?" "Whose standards?" "Who is the victim? - and Who the perpetrator?" "Which women?" During this course the students are presenting seminars on topics from their own countries, proposing reforms to the present legislation where they see it is unjust for women.

Research methodologies and methods has a very practical approach, and the main textbook is Pursuing grounded theory in law: North-South experiences in developing

women's law. Here "grounded theory" is defined as:

"(...) an iterative process in which data and theory, lived reality and perceptions about norms are constantly engaged with each other to help the researcher decide what data to collect and how to interpret it. The interaction between developing theories and methodology is constant, as preliminary assumptions direct the data collection and then the collected data, when analysed, indicated new directions and new sources of data. In the Northern hemisphere this approach is often referred to as 'the snowball method'. However, in a region where there is little, if any snow, a new metaphor needed to be found. The metaphor we (i.e. the authors) find most apposite is that of the dung beetle. (...) The 'dung beetle method' that is described in this book is a grounded research process in which the researcher collects data, sifts and analyses it, considers the implications of her findings, determines what to collect next to meet her needs, and continue her collections and analysis cycle. Through this process new methodologies, perspectives and theories are hatched."

In this course we include teaching ICT. Many of our students are not very computer literate when they come to us, but we force them to learn, by demanding all assignments sent as soft copies to various folders on our intranet, by giving most information as emails instead of on a wall notice board, etc. Use of and rules of the library, UZ library online resources, evaluation of information found on the Internet, and how to make bibliographical references, is also included here.





Lectures on the use of film and drama as a way of communicating women's rights to people are also included in this course. This year some of the students used this way of communication in one of their “assignments” in the 2nd term - one group making a small drama of women’s right to housing; another making a video/DVD on the right to pregnancy and birth health care.

The last part of the first semester is a practical paper. The students work in groups on various topics related to the lives of women in rural areas. They then go on a field trip to another part of Zimbabwe, doing interviews with women, local authorities etc. For the non-Zimbabweans, 3rd year undergraduate law students (who take women's law as an optional course) are hired as interpreters. A positive side-effect of this is of course that the undergrads get a wider personal network.

During the second semester, the students take 2 different in-depth courses, each ending with a full day exam. The courses are taught by a range of guest lecturers from several

countries. Topics are:

• Women, law reform and social justice strategies

• Women, human rights, constitutions and the international arena : an African perspective

• Men, law and gender : a masculine perspective

• Gender, law and sexuality

• Women and criminal law, criminal procedure and punishment

• Women, employment and the law

• Women, commerce and law in Africa

• Women, access to resources and the law A topic like Women, access to resources and the law has several subtopics, e.g. access to education, access to health care, access to land, access to water.

The number of students are expanded for the second semester, as past diploma students are invited to upgrade their diplomas to a masters degree. They choose two subjects, and in addition have to write what we call a "long essay".

After the second semester, the foreign students go home and start doing research for their dissertations. Dissertation topics must be related to their own countries. Between the second and third semester, the SEARCWL director and deputy director travel to the countries where we have students, and supervise them. Zimbabwean students are coming to us in Harare for supervision.

The third and last term is thus partly spent "at home", and only the last 6 weeks are spent in Harare for write-up of their dissertations.

All expenses are covered for the students: travels to and from Harare, accommodation, living allowances, book allowances, child-minders for those students who bring infants, medical insurance.

The course is highly rated by the students and graduates, both the contents and the methodologies used. Students are not only those with a law background or degree, but social scientists and educationalists have participated and achieved good results.

Partnership Since the introduction of the first postgraduate diploma course, ties and cooperation have been strong between the UZ and the University of Oslo. The University of Oslo keeps some of our funding, making it easier for us to pay invoices in forex - e.g. IT equipment, library books and subscriptions, air tickets.

We also have agreements with the University of Cape Town, the University of Malawi and Makerere University, and an agreement is under negotiation with the University of Nairobi.

We have lecturers coming from these universities, plus from University of Pretoria, from the universities in Warwick, Westminster, Edinburgh, from the National University of Lesotho. Our external examiner is from Warwick University. Of course we also use lecturers from Zimbabwe, some of them our ex-students.

Every second year we arrange a Colloquium, where SEARCWL staff, lecturers and librarians meet and discuss the experiences and further development of the course.

Last year the focus was on teaching methods, resulting in a plan for making a textbook on the SEARCWL teaching methods and research methodologies.

Clearly this is a good example of north-south two-ways cooperation and intellectual exchange for development.

The libraries are drawn into this cooperation as well. Some of the book funding has been allocated for partner libraries to develop collections in the topics that lecturers from their universities are responsible for. E.g. sexuality and law, and women and crime, for Makerere.

We inform each other of publications of interest, and participate in SEARCWL's Colloquium every second year. University of Cape Town has supplied us with a wonderful tool: a list of international, regional and national law websites, and good websites for gender studies and women's law.

The Law Library at UZ benefits from our subscriptions to law reports and statutes on CD-ROMs (access to the Internet is too unreliable, so we prefer the CD-ROMs in intranet). Sometimes books bought by SEARCWL are placed in the Law library for wider use.

Other parts of the UZ also benefit from the NORAD funding, as our library can afford to buy books from abroad. Our collection is not limited to material on law in a strict sense;

we also have quite a lot on development, feminism, sociology, HIV/AIDS, education. By the end of this academic year a whole delegation of sociology students thanked me for letting them use the library over the past couple of years.....

Results and development Students with a masters degree in women's law from SEARCWL often get promotions or better jobs. They boast of more self-confidence in their work, developing more alertness of gender aspects, and are often requested to sit as members of boards or commissions.

We have a website, where dissertations and long essays produced by our students are available. Unfortunately, access to this website from outside Zimbabwe is often nearly impossible, and in any case extremely slow, so we are in process of placing a copy at the University of Oslo.

Plans are in an early stage for developing a PhD programme in women's law. After running three masters degree courses, the course is now institutionalised and running smoothly - of course with all the challenges of Zimbabwe's present-day lack of infrastructure. PhD students could be studying at one of our partner universities but being coordinated and supervised from SEARCWL.

Of course I have to mention some of the present-day challenges in Zimbabwe.

Our students these days say they are studying for an "MBC" - Masters By Candlelight!!

The power-cuts are frequent and long, and even if SEARCWL has a generator and can afford diesel for it, it doesn't help when the UZ itself have no electricity - because the server with our links to the Internet and email is in the Faculty of Law! And of course when systems at the UZ library are down, I as librarian can use neither the catalogue nor the circulation systems. This is, to put it mildly, getting more and more frustrating.

The afore-mentioned swimming pool, however, is coming in very handy: when there is no water in the taps, we can at least collect water in buckets from the pool and get our toilets flushed.... !!

The recent "slashes" in prices of basic commodities have resulted in more or less empty shops, so everybody depends on good connections to be able to buy food on the so-called parallel market. Not so easy for the foreign students, but the Zimbabweans help the foreigners, selling them meat and eggs when they have access to such luxury goods.

It is really hard and challenging to operate an academic programme under such circumstances.

Time will show whether we will manage to start a new course in 2009. Of course we hope so - one of our evaluators this year claimed that only a civil war may stop the programme from being held in Zimbabwe.

Taking law to the people...

By producing professionals in women's law, we produce lobbyists for law reforms and gender awareness in Africa, in societies where men usually have a much stronger position than women. Women can learn about their rights, and learn which institutions to turn to for assistance.

We also teach undergraduates at UZ. Interest for women's law among these is increasing

- the class gets bigger every year. These are young Zimbabweans who will eventually work in local NGOs, in local law firms, etc. Female lawyers are active in Zimbabwe Women Lawyers' Association (ZWLA), which provides legal aid to women and children.

E.g. after the government’s horrible ‘Operation Murambatsvina’ in 2005, ZWLA handled a lot of cases for women who had lost their houses and/or informal business.



Pages:   || 2 |


Similar works:

«OTHER NOTES AND COMMENTS Phase 1 of the Namibian Ascertainment of Customary Law Project to be completed soon∗ Manfred O Hinz∗∗ Introduction Many lawyers still find it difficulty to accept that customary law is not static, but that it changes – and even is changed in the communities where it applies.1 The widely made reference to the Roman law perception of customary law, according to which one criterion to distinguish customary law from customs is the continued observation of the former...»

«PROGRAMME DE PROMOTION DU COMMERCE SUD-SUD NIGER EXPANSION DU COMMERCE INTRAET INTERREGIONAL ENTRE LES PAYS DE LA CEMAC ET DE L’UEMOA Etude de l’offre et de la demande sur les textiles et l’habillement Septembre 2003 Madame Bala Mariama Monsieur Maliki Barhouni Cabinet AUDEC-SARL Etude de l’offre et de la demande sur les textiles et l’habillement – Niger Les appellations employées dans ce document et la présentation des données qui y figurent n’impliquent, de la part du Centre...»

«STAFF REPORT ACTION REQUIRED 2525-2545 Lawrence Avenue East, 1380 Midland Avenue and 1-51, 201-211 and 300 Prudential Drive Zoning Bylaw Amendment Application Preliminary Report March 14, 2016 Date: Scarborough Community Council To: Acting Director, Community Planning, Scarborough District From: Ward 37 – Scarborough Centre Wards: Reference 16 109705 ESC 37 OZ Number: SUMMARY This application proposes the development of four separate blocks of vacant land at 2525-2545 Lawrence Avenue East,...»

«1 Laws of the President and Trustees of Bates College THE CHARTER On May 5th, 2012, the President and Trustees of Bates College, pursuant to 13-B M.R.S.A., §§ 101 et seqa., amend and restate its Charter as follows, to be effective immediately upon adoption: Section 1. Name retained. The institution of learning called the President and Trustees of Bates College in honor of its first principal benefactor, Benjamin Edward Bates of Boston, Massachusetts, and now located in Lewiston in the County...»

«DISCOURSE PROCESSES, 34(2), 193–235 Copyright © 2002, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.Silencing in Classroom Interaction: Producing and Relating Social Spaces Kevin M. Leander Department of Teaching and Learning Vanderbilt University Researchers have studied silencing practices in a number of ways, including focusing on turn taking and temporal dynamics, documenting specific interactional strategies, and analyzing the types of discourses expelled from a given context. The article forwards...»

«LBNL-6017E ERNEST ORLANDO LAWRENCE BERKELEY NATIONAL LABORATORY Electricity Bill Savings from Residential Photovoltaic Systems: Sensitivities to Changes in Future Electricity Market Conditions Naïm Darghouth, Galen Barbose, Ryan Wiser Environmental Energy Technologies Division January 2013 Downloaded from: http://emp.lbl.gov/reports This work was supported by the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (Solar Energy Technologies Program) and the Office of Electricity Delivery and...»

«ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE AMICUS CURIAE David L. Taylor James O. McDonald Indiana Trial Lawyers Association Thomas R. Haley III Everett, Everett & McDonald Adrian P. Smith Joseph A. Samreta Terre Haute, Indiana Smith & DeBonis, LLC Jennings Taylor Wheeler & Haley, P.C. Highland, Indiana Carmel, Indiana In the Indiana Supreme Court _ No. 83S01-0501-CV-00007 AUTO-OWNERS INSURANCE COMPANY, Appellant (Defendant below), v. JON HARVEY AND MISTY JOHNSON, AS CO-PERSONAL...»

«UNDERSTANDING JUVENILE & CRIMINAL RECORDS AND THEIR IMPACT ON EMPLOYMENT IN NEW YORK STATE 225 Varick Street Fourth Floor New York, NY 10014 (212) 243-1313 www.lac.org www.hirenetwork.org UNDERSTANDING JUVENILE & CRIMINAL RECORDS AND THEIR IMPACT ON EMPLOYMENT Acknowledgements The information in this booklet was researched and written by Laurie Parise, an Equal Justice Works Fellow and Director of the National HIRE Network’s Youth Reentry Project. We would like to thank Equal Justice Works...»

«The Ohio State University Knowledge Bank kb.osu.edu Ohio State Law Journal (Moritz College of Law) Ohio State Law Journal: Volume 49, Issue 2 (1988) 1988 The Misappropriation Theory: Carpenter and Its Aftermath Aldave, Barbara Bader Ohio State Law Journal, vol. 49, no. 2 (1988), 373-391. http://hdl.handle.net/1811/64417 Downloaded from the Knowledge Bank, The Ohio State University's institutional repository The Misappropriation Theory: Carpenterand Its Aftermath BARBARA BADER ALDAVE* I....»

«THIS DOCUMENT IS IMPORTANT AND REQUIRES YOUR IMMEDIATE ATTENTION. If you are in any doubt about the Pt2 1(d) contents of this document, you should consult your stockbroker, bank manager, solicitor, accountant or other person authorised under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 or comparable legislation in other jurisdictions who specialises in advising on the acquisition of shares and other securities. This document comprises an AIM admission document drawn up in accordance with the...»

«Boston Legal Loose Lips Season 1, Episode 8 Written by Jonathan Shapiro & David E. Kelley © 2004 David E. Kelley Productions. All Rights Reserved Airdate: November 28, 2004 Transcribed by Sheri for boston-legal.org [version updated June 17, 2006] Conference Room of Crane Poole & Schmidt Alan Shore sits at the staff meeting in full Santa regalia Paul Lewiston: This is a staff meeting, Mr. Shore. Alan Shore: I realize that. Paul Lewiston: Why are you in a Santa suit? Alan Shore: It’s after...»

«2 RESEARCH ON TERRORISM A Review of the Impact of 9/11 and the Global War on Terrorism Andrew Silke School of Law, University of East London, London, U.K.(a.silke@uel.ac.uk) CHAPTER OVERVIEW This survey of terrorism research focused on research studies published in the first five years after the 9/11 attacks. It highlights a number of positive trends which can be seen in this initial period after 9/11. To begin with, it is clear that more researchers are working on the subject than before and...»





 
<<  HOME   |    CONTACTS
2016 www.dissertation.xlibx.info - Dissertations, online materials

Materials of this site are available for review, all rights belong to their respective owners.
If you do not agree with the fact that your material is placed on this site, please, email us, we will within 1-2 business days delete him.