13 Oct 2012

Customary law overturned

6:06 am on 13 October 2012

The High Court in Botswana has overturned a customary law which prevented women from inheriting the family home.

The judge ruled the law contravened the constitution, which guarantees equality for men and women.

The case was brought by elderly sisters who have fought a five-year legal battle after their nephew said he was the rightful owner of their house under customary law.

The Southern Africa Litigation Centre says the Botswana ruling is a significant step forward for women's rights in the region, where many countries are addressing similar discriminatory customary laws.