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Women in Law: Perspectives Across Africa

The corpus of scholarship from the “Global North” signal an increasing global feminization of the legal profession. Yet, little remains known about the trends in the “Global South”, as this apparent feminization across Africa remains understudied. This research project traces and analyzes women’s presence in the legal professions across Africa, focusing on the bar, the bench and the legal academy in Africa— three major branches of the legal profession, which remain male-dominated. How are women’s presence and participation in the professions affected by historical positioning (precolonial, colonial and post-colonial contexts) race, class, age, ethnicity and other identity categories? Using a comparative analytical framework, this study engages in a continent-wide critical investigation and comparison of women’s entry into the legal professions across Africa, with a focus on seven case studies where I conducted in-depth interviews, namely Senegal, Ghana, Nigeria, The Gambia, Kenya, Cape Verde, and Ivory Coast. Drawing on socio-legal approaches, and anchored in postcolonial feminist critique, I build on my earlier theory of matri-legal feminism as an analytical framework for studying issues of women, gender and the law across Africa.


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Is any information on this page incorrect or outdated? Please notify Ms. Nel-Mari Loock at [email protected].