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6 - The Long Road Ahead

The First Period of a Gender-Responsive Constitution in Zimbabwe

from Part II - The Issue of Gender

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 February 2020

Tom Ginsburg
Affiliation:
University of Chicago
Aziz Z. Huq
Affiliation:
University of Chicago
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Summary

While most constitutions today have been revised to contain some commitment to eradicating status discrimination based on gender or sex, true social transformation of gendered power dynamics requires uprooting deeply entrenched inequities that can pull forcefully toward preservation. As a result, most gender-responsive constitutions struggle to accomplish their stated goals. This analysis uses Zimbabwe as an illustrative case study to show how the first period of a gender-responsive constitution can be critical for the reform process. The first period will not be equally beneficial, or even necessarily beneficial, for all the tasks of a gender-responsive constitution, but it has some potential to disrupt the status quo. By viewing relevant elements of the constitution within this context, we can begin to set expectations and develop strategies that maximize the work of individuals and institutions working to realize women’s equality through constitutional protections.

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Chapter
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From Parchment to Practice
Implementing New Constitutions
, pp. 129 - 158
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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