Women of St. Marks, Transkei : negotiating customary law, c.1940 - c.1960

 

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dc.contributor.advisor Mager, Anne en_ZA
dc.contributor.author Kabandula, Abigail en_ZA
dc.date.accessioned 2014-10-30T13:52:51Z
dc.date.available 2014-10-30T13:52:51Z
dc.date.issued 2009 en_ZA
dc.identifier.citation Kabandula, A. 2009. Women of St. Marks, Transkei : negotiating customary law, c.1940 - c.1960. University of Cape Town. en_ZA
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11427/8969
dc.description Includes bibliographical references (leaves 68-73). en_ZA
dc.description.abstract This thesis explores the ways in which customary law affected the women of the St. Marks district, Transkei between 1940 and 1960. In particular, it examines how women worked within and through customary law and the customary law courts in order to obtain redress for their problems. The thesis discusses the argument that the codification of customary law was the result of collaboration between older African men and colonial administrators and that its effect was to increase and render more rigid the patriarchal control of women. It argues that literature on women and customary law shows that after African customs were codified, their form and content changed in accordance with British administrators' legal and administrative needs. Women's legal and social status was negatively affected. The codified law emphasised the patriarchal aspects of the African custom and reduced women's social status in society. However, the thesis concludes that the question of how far customary law oppressed women has not yet been resolved. Using Customary Law Court Cases and records from the Chiefs Courts, the Native Commissioner Courts and the Native Appeal Courts of St. Marks District in Cofimvaba in Transkei from the late 1930s to the early 1960s, this thesis explores how women viewed themselves in relation to the law and also to the way it was applied by officials in the courts. It also explores and how women negotiated customary law in a bid to deal with the changes in the lives brought about by Christianity, capitalism and migrant labour. Missionary teachings, colonial rule, capitalism and migrant labour were significant social and economic factors that greatly affected the lives of the women of St. Marks. In court, educated women married by Christian rites were able to manipulate and challenge patriarchal values and frustrate men's attempts to prevent their access to property and inheritance or their efforts to demean women in various ways. The thesis shows that African women were not merely victims of customary law. Rather, they found ways of negotiating their agency within the confines of the customary law courts. en_ZA
dc.language.iso eng en_ZA
dc.subject.other Historical Studies en_ZA
dc.title Women of St. Marks, Transkei : negotiating customary law, c.1940 - c.1960 en_ZA
dc.type Master Thesis
uct.type.publication Research en_ZA
uct.type.resource Thesis en_ZA
dc.publisher.institution University of Cape Town
dc.publisher.faculty Faculty of Humanities en_ZA
dc.publisher.department Department of Historical Studies en_ZA
dc.type.qualificationlevel Masters
dc.type.qualificationname MA en_ZA
uct.type.filetype Text
uct.type.filetype Image
dc.identifier.apacitation Kabandula, A. (2009). <i>Women of St. Marks, Transkei : negotiating customary law, c.1940 - c.1960</i>. (Thesis). University of Cape Town ,Faculty of Humanities ,Department of Historical Studies. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/11427/8969 en_ZA
dc.identifier.chicagocitation Kabandula, Abigail. <i>"Women of St. Marks, Transkei : negotiating customary law, c.1940 - c.1960."</i> Thesis., University of Cape Town ,Faculty of Humanities ,Department of Historical Studies, 2009. http://hdl.handle.net/11427/8969 en_ZA
dc.identifier.vancouvercitation Kabandula A. Women of St. Marks, Transkei : negotiating customary law, c.1940 - c.1960. [Thesis]. University of Cape Town ,Faculty of Humanities ,Department of Historical Studies, 2009 [cited yyyy month dd]. Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/11427/8969 en_ZA
dc.identifier.ris TY - Thesis / Dissertation AU - Kabandula, Abigail AB - This thesis explores the ways in which customary law affected the women of the St. Marks district, Transkei between 1940 and 1960. In particular, it examines how women worked within and through customary law and the customary law courts in order to obtain redress for their problems. The thesis discusses the argument that the codification of customary law was the result of collaboration between older African men and colonial administrators and that its effect was to increase and render more rigid the patriarchal control of women. It argues that literature on women and customary law shows that after African customs were codified, their form and content changed in accordance with British administrators' legal and administrative needs. Women's legal and social status was negatively affected. The codified law emphasised the patriarchal aspects of the African custom and reduced women's social status in society. However, the thesis concludes that the question of how far customary law oppressed women has not yet been resolved. Using Customary Law Court Cases and records from the Chiefs Courts, the Native Commissioner Courts and the Native Appeal Courts of St. Marks District in Cofimvaba in Transkei from the late 1930s to the early 1960s, this thesis explores how women viewed themselves in relation to the law and also to the way it was applied by officials in the courts. It also explores and how women negotiated customary law in a bid to deal with the changes in the lives brought about by Christianity, capitalism and migrant labour. Missionary teachings, colonial rule, capitalism and migrant labour were significant social and economic factors that greatly affected the lives of the women of St. Marks. In court, educated women married by Christian rites were able to manipulate and challenge patriarchal values and frustrate men's attempts to prevent their access to property and inheritance or their efforts to demean women in various ways. The thesis shows that African women were not merely victims of customary law. Rather, they found ways of negotiating their agency within the confines of the customary law courts. DA - 2009 DB - OpenUCT DP - University of Cape Town LK - https://open.uct.ac.za PB - University of Cape Town PY - 2009 T1 - Women of St. Marks, Transkei : negotiating customary law, c.1940 - c.1960 TI - Women of St. Marks, Transkei : negotiating customary law, c.1940 - c.1960 UR - http://hdl.handle.net/11427/8969 ER - en_ZA


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