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Gender Parity and Multicultural FeminismTowards a New Synthesis$
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Ruth Rubio-Marín and Will Kymlicka

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198829621

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198829621.001.0001

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Legal Pluralism, Gender Equality, and Parity of Participation: Constitutional Issues Concerning Customary Law in Liberia

Legal Pluralism, Gender Equality, and Parity of Participation: Constitutional Issues Concerning Customary Law in Liberia

Chapter:
(p.150) 6 Legal Pluralism, Gender Equality, and Parity of Participation: Constitutional Issues Concerning Customary Law in Liberia
Source:
Gender Parity and Multicultural Feminism
Author(s):

Susan H. Williams

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198829621.003.0006

This chapter examines the practice of customary law in Liberia and how it contributes to gender inequality. The familiar menu of constitutional tools to protect equality has often failed, both because external legal limits on customary law are inaccessible to women in traditional communities and because they put those women in the position of opposing their own communities. The only sustainable solution is to empower women to reshape their own customary law. This requires rethinking culture and customary law at three levels: first, we must view culture as an evolving process to which all members contribute; second, we must view customary law as an evolving part of the common law that interacts with state law; and third, we must enhance ‘participatory parity’ for women. The chapter concludes with suggestions for constitutional reform in Liberia to promote the role of women as norm creators.

Keywords:   Liberia, customary law, culture, constitutional reform, participatory parity

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